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EU calls for immediate action to tackle youth unemployment


10:46, December 21, 2011

BRUSSELS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Tuesday called for immediate action of the member states of the European Union (EU) to drive down youth unemployment rate, while launching an initiative in Brussels aimed at creating more opportunities for youth.

The EU's member states should work on preventing early school leaving, helping youngsters develop skills relevant to labor market, ensuring on-the-job training and helping young graduates find their first jobs, according to the commission.

"The current situation for young people in many European countries is becoming dramatic. Without decisive action at EU and national levels, we risk losing this generation with a heavy economic and social cost," said Laszlo Andor, EU's commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion.

The current youth unemployment rate in the EU stands at 21 percent, with about five million young Europeans are jobless as the EU is trying to get through what is believed to be the toughest debt and economic crisis since the end of World War II.

The commission has put forward a set of concrete actions to be financed directly by EU funds under the initiative, including a funding of four million euros (about 5.25 million U.S. dollars) to help guarantee young people will be either employed or further educated within four months of leaving school.

The European Social Fund, which still has 30 billion euros (39 billion dollars) of funding uncommitted to projects, has to be made better use of, the commission added.

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