At the request of the European Parliament, the European Commission directly managed 18 small scale pilot projects in 7 Member States to test local partnerships for Youth Guarantee schemes (EP Preparatory Action).
The projects aimed to provide Member States with practical experience for implementing their national Youth Guarantee schemes.
The projects were launched between August and December 2013 and ran for one year in Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“The International Labor Organization went further, warning that the gap might contribute to extended spells of unemployment and might reduce the effectiveness of policy interventions to stimulate growth. In the United States, the phenomenon has also helped contribute to a rise in long-term joblessness, the organization said.
Around two million job vacancies around the European Union are languishing unfilled, about the same number as in 2010, in sectors ranging from hotel work to computer programming, according to Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union.”
“Governments and companies around Europe are fast-tracking efforts to retrain the unemployed for a burst of technology-related jobs. They are also stepping up campaigns to lure university students to mathematics, engineering and science in place of popular courses in the humanities and social sciences.”
“Part of the problem for all countries, not only Ireland, was that technology-related university training lost appeal after the dot-com bust in the early 2000s, said Regina Moran, the executive director of Fujitsu in Ireland. In Ireland, people flocked to construction or tourism work, which blossomed in the middle of the decade.”
“But last year he latched on to back-to-work programs that the government had introduced with businesses.”
“The initiatives are not without flaws. For example, as part of the JobBridge internship program, people continue to collect unemployment and receive a modest €50 stipend per week. For many, that barely covers transportation and food. Stories have littered the Irish press of abuses by companies in the program, such as giving interns either menial tasks or fully fledged professional work with no pay, and with no job ultimately materializing.”
Ms Sutherland describes the UK and Republic of Ireland as “a ripe recruiting ground” for Canadian companies. She highlights the shared English language, similar cultures, and the abundance of not just qualified, but experienced tradespeople in the British Isles.
With a jobless rate of just 4.3% in Alberta, compared with 7.6% in the UK and 13.3% in the Republic of Ireland, Ms Sutherland describes the situation as “win-win right now”.
“We have demand, they have supply,” she says.