By Steffen Müller

EY is to offer 55,000 traineeships and 35,000 internships by 2020 across Europe in pledge to help fight high levels of youth unemployment across Europe.

The move is part of the Alliance for YOUth initiative, which is aimed at fighting youth unemployment across the continent. By joining the alliance EY also signed the European Commission’s European Alliance for Apprenticeships pledge (EAfA).

"With more than 150 companies from all over Europe joining, Alliance for YOUth is the first pan-European business-driven movement pledging to improve the chances for our young people in a challenging job market", Nestlé Europe chief executive and the founder of the alliance Laurent Freixe said.

According to Eurostat, 22% of people aged 16-24were jobless in Europe by March 2014, with the highest rates in Greece (57%) and Spain (54%) and UK just slightly under the average (20%).

The EC stressed that these rates are more than twice as high as the adult unemployment rates and that the 50 % gap between the countries with the highest and the lowest youth unemployment rate (Germany at 8%) is extremely high.

The EC also found that the chances for a young person of finding a job are generally too low and that the jobs of young people tend to be not stable.

Through the EAfA, the EC intends to approach these problems by bringing together key actors of youth employment in Europe, such as public authorities, businesses and social partners. The three strands of action of EAfA are: reform of apprenticeship systems, promote the benefits of apprenticeships and smart use of funding and resources.

Related links

European Alliance for Apprenticeships