Social Dialogue : Training of Young People at Heart of Tripartite Summit

Article excerpt

It is urgent to restore mutual trust in the eurozone: this was the message relayed in chorus by the social partners at the Tripartite Social Summit, on 17 October. Meeting ahead of the European Council of 23 October, trade unions and employers voiced their grave concerns about the current economic situation to Commission and Council representatives. The social partners particularly stressed the question of young people, the leading victims of the economic crisis.

According to monthly labour market reports, more than one young person in five is jobless in the EU. "In the light of the results of our latest barometer, SMEs have poor employment expectations, which are not set to grow in the next half year. Small companies cannot be expected to hire in today's economic climate without appropriate labour market rules and without the skills they require. This is why we support the reinforcement of vocational training systems and notably apprenticeships," commented Andrea Benassi, secretary-general of UEAPME, backed by the other social partners. BusinessEurope noted its commitment in favour of the initiative on job prospects for young people that the Commission is set to present in the coming weeks. It will address the concerns of young people who cannot find jobs by giving them apprenticeship or traineeship opportunities.

Behind this relative unity, however, the social partners were divided on the specific measures needed to exit the crisis. The trade unions reiterated their call for a European New Deal based on a fair taxation system. …