respond to COM second-stage consultation with a view to finalise the quality framework for traineeships;
ensure stronger involvement of local and regional level of governance in the delivery of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), including the Youth Guarantee, European Alliance for Apprenticeships and EURES, e.g. by:
promoting the role of local and regional authorities in the formulation and implementation of further concrete initiatives addressing short-term and structural problems leading to youth unemployment;
highlighting methods and operational proposals that are particularly effective and promoting their transfer into other contexts and their implementation in the ESF 2014-2020;
disseminating local and regional solutions and best practices while, at the same time, reinforcing ownership of measures and reform processes at local and regional level, particularly in the area of employment, education and training, promotion of entrepreneurship and support for SMEs, research and innovation, and administrative simplification.
The resolution adopted by the European Parliament on "Tackling youth unemployment: possible ways out" (2013/2045(INI)) shares several points with the CoR opinion on Youth Employment Package:
(5) ... and calls on the Commission to report regularly on Member States' reform efforts with regard to vocational training systems; stresses that special attention should be paid to vulnerable groups at high risk of social exclusion, including NEETs;
(10) stresses that the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, at local, regional, national and European levels, including social partners, employment services, training and education authorities, individual employers, NGOs, and in particular also student and youth organisations, is essential for the successful design, implementation and monitoring of a variety of measures to foster youth employment and employability in an integrated fashion; emphasises that measures to promote quality and sustainable youth employment must be flexible so as to meet the continuously evolving needs of the labour market; notes the need for flexible and at the same time reliable contractual relations, effective reintegration policies and modern social security systems; stresses that early careers guidance for young people, well before they finish basic secondary schooling, is particularly valuable since it requires parents and schools to improve the capacity to help and advise pupils in choosing their education and subsequent career; 20. Invites the Member States and regional and local authorities to set up integrated territorial development strategies, including training and employment components, starting with measures to avoid early school leaving, and to build employment pathways for young people;
(25) Welcomes the decision of the EPSCO Council on 28 February 2013 to agree on a Council recommendation on implementing a Youth Guarantee, and invites the Member States to take action to implement Youth Guarantee schemes in an ambitious manner at national level; calls for the extension of the target groups to include young people under the age of 30, including graduates and those leaving training systems without qualifications;
(32) Encourages the Commission and the Member States to develop clear quality standards and indicators regarding the development of national Youth Guarantee schemes, as well as to boost their support for all actors essential to delivering Youth Guarantee schemes, such as national social partners, local and regional authorities, employment services and education and training authorities; calls for Youth Guarantee schemes to be facilitated through financial incentives, including incentives in public procurement, and funding for on-site training, which will support enterprises in making high-quality sustainable employment and training offers which will represent an effective and targeted investment in young people's potential ; stresses that enterprises have a particular responsibility to make such offers available;
(46) Calls on the Member States to implement the measures set out in their national Youth Guarantee Schemes, taking into account a gender perspective at all stages of the preparation, programming and implementation of these measures; calls on the Member States to set up employment centres, with suitably trained staff, that are able to implement effective awareness-raising policies and provide specific arrangements for women, also to avoid long-term unemployment and the risk of social exclusion;
(59) Calls on the Commission to propose a Quality Framework for Traineeships, building on its earlier proposal for a European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships(14) , including a definition of quality traineeships with criteria for appropriate compensation, working conditions and health and safety standards;
(61) Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the European social partners to take on board an ambitious approach to developing the Alliance for Apprenticeship which will be launched in July 2013, and also to support European, national, regional and local campaigns for changing perceptions of vocational education; believes the Alliance should organise a regular discussion forum on the monitoring of the European apprenticeship strategy with all relevant European, national, regional and local stakeholders; stresses that access to funding should be provided to facilitate cross-border training activities that enable companies and social partner organisations to become involved in establishing dual education systems;
(62) ...stresses that account should be taken of regional specificities, given that they may dictate the success or failure of young people's initiatives, throughout the EU and in particular in the most disadvantaged and outermost regions, where investment is necessary to ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion;
(83) Takes the view that more attractive teaching strategies are needed, with better regional insertion and the creation of networks of platforms for the exchange of experiences and good practices between regions and Member States, taking account of varying situations and allowing flexibility in line with each region's specific needs and characteristics, defining priority areas for the development of each region;"
In accordance with the CoR and the EP's suggestions the European Commission published on 4 December 2013 a proposal for a Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships (COM(2013) 857 final). Also back in July 2013 the Commission launched the European Alliance for Apprenticeships.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
welcomes the Youth Employment Package, which proposes a series of practical measures to assist Member States in addressing unacceptably high levels of youth unemployment and the resulting social exclusion;
stresses the key role that local and regional authorities play in framing and implementing measures to combat unemployment, providing young people with opportunities and support, and exchanging good practice;
also stresses the importance of actively involving young people and youth organisations when drawing up strategies;
given the urgency of the matter, requests the European Council to agree to anticipate the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative already in 2013;
calls on the European Commission to finalise the European Quality Framework for Traineeships, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships and the proposal for the new EURES regulation;
calls on the Commission to support and supplement the action of the Member States in the vocational training policy sector, by proposing, in the form of a recommendation, minimum quality standards for apprenticeships at European level in order to facilitate recognition of the skills acquired throughout Europe.