The Slovenia Times

Govt Adopts Youth Guarantee Scheme



The programme entails measures worth around EUR 157m for this and the next year, Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Anja Kopač Mrak told the press after Thursday's government session.

Slovenia expanded the group of youth eligible for the measures under the scheme to 29 years of age, as compared to 25 in other EU countries, the minister said, adding that Slovenia was also on top among EU nations by the amount of funding earmarked per unemployed.

"I believe this is absolutely not a bad document and that given the urgently needed economic kick-start and the projected economic growth in 2015, it can more effectively solve the problem of youth in the labour market", the minister said.

Young people are divided into four groups in the scheme considering their education. The measures are divided into four pillars with the measures intensifying with the length of unemployment.

The first is a preventive pillar, helping young people to make a more informed decision about their future careers. The measures include lifelong career orientation, scholarships for shortage occupations, labour market demand projections as well as the government's pledge to set up a centralised experiences registry.

The available measures at the start of unemployment are those that are already being implemented now, with the minister underscoring an intensification of counselling, while the Employment Service will also employ young people to get closer to that age group.

Three months into unemployment, measures to subsidise employment of youth will follow. As part of the Youth Employment Initiative EUR 10m will be earmarked for training on the job and for subsidies for the employment of 3,200 young people in eastern Slovenia.

Other measures include incentives for entrepreneurship, self-employment and innovative companies, apprenticeship subsidies for 1,300 youths as well as testing for 2,770 youths, employment of junior researchers in the corporate sector and the involvement of 7,000 young people in university incubators.

The key goal of the scheme is activating the young unemployed faster with Kopač Mrak saying that the government would help the youth to enter the labour market at a time of a reduced demand by employers.
The minister underscored though that the government cannot secure as many jobs as the young need.

The document has been coordinated with youth representatives. It has also been agreed that a joint platform to stimulate youth entrepreneurship be established by 2015.

Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek and youth officials agreed earlier this week that the scheme would provide the groundwork for further work in youth employment, rather than an employment strategy, which is yet to be drawn up.

Head of the Slovenian Youth Forum Tea Jarc said that given the situation, they were satisfied with the agreement. "The important thing is for the scheme to be adopted by the government and to be endorsed by Brussels so it can start to be implemented on ground," Jarc said on Tuesday.


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