Local and regional politicians from across Europe gathered in Krakow today to discuss how best to cope with the worryingly high rates of youth unemployment. Marshal of the Malopolska region, Marek Sowa, argued that the recent allocation of EU funds to Poland over the next four years could allow the government to make headway in combating the problem. Nevertheless, he called for regional authorities to be given the flexibility to decide what education and training programmes should be delivered in their communities.
The call came during a Conference on Youth Employment organised by the Committee of the Regions – an assembly of local and regional politicians – in partnership with the Malopolska region. Speakers deliberated on how best to implement training and education programmes locally to tackle youth unemployment which in the EU stands at 22.8% with Poland seeing 26.3% affected. Poland had recently agreed that €13 billion of EU funds dedicated to training job seekers, helping small and medium enterprises adapt by investing in people, modernising vocational education and training, and investing in projects that improve cooperation between schools and companies.