Fabian Demicoli

GRTU at European Social Partners’ fact-finding seminar

 GRTU Director General has this week
also participated at this fact-finding seminar on Youth Employment because it
is a very important topic. Mr Farrugia made a strong intervention for greater
and practical support for small and micro enterprises, most especially, as
within them they have the possibility to recruit youths.

In September 2012, 5.520 million young
people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU-27. Compared with September 2011,
youth unemployment increased by 164 000 in the EU-27 and by 275 000
in the euro area. In September 2012, the youth unemployment rate was
22.8 % in the EU-27.

Recruitment by SMEs is the quickest and
most efficient solution there is but SMEs need a lot of support to make the
renovations and expansions they need. In the times of crises what the EU gave
to SMEs in terms of financial aid can in no way be compared to aid given to the
larger companies, which was much, much more.

We have to do more to remove and
obstacles that hamper youth mobility. Youths need to be mobilised so that
youths from areas where there is a stronger supply of qualified youths can move
to areas that have a stronger supply of employment opportunities. A change in
mentality is also required and youths should be reassured that it's safe and
easy to travel within the European Community and encouraged to go and grab the
opportunities that exist in other countries.

Education establishments also need to be more responsive to
the needs of the market and SMEs. It is imperative that any barriers to
employment by enterprise must be immediately eliminated. Countries that have
enacted employment and training schemes are comparatively doing much better in
youth employment figures, Malta is thankfully one of these countries. The only
shortage of labour we have is in the new categories that the economy is
creating.

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