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European Parliament says no to unpaid work and yes to quality jobs!


A fantastic step forward for youth rights! The Youth Forum is delighted that yesterday the European Parliament voted to adopt a Resolution that aims to support young people in securing quality employment opportunities. The Resolution is in response to the European Commission’s presentation of a Reinforced Youth Guarantee within its ‘Youth Employment Support’ package on the 1st July 2020.

What’s inside the Resolution?

A ban on unpaid internships

For many years, the European Youth Forum and our Members have been fighting to ban unpaid internships, an exploitative and unfair practice that is commonly used by employers. We are very pleased that our demands have been heard and that the European Parliament’s Resolution condemns the practice of unpaid internships, traineeships and apprenticeships and calls for a legal instrument to enforce that they are paid fairly. Unpaid internships were already banned within the European Parliament itself in 2018 and this Resolution is another crucial milestone towards banning them across Europe.

A Youth Guarantee that provides quality opportunities

Youth unemployment is soaring during this pandemic, fuelled by the high rates of precarious work among young people which provides no security and little access to social protection. The Youth Forum is happy that the European Parliament has taken this situation seriously and is calling in its Resolution for the Youth Guarantee to be a binding policy for the Member States instead of a voluntary one in addition to binding quality standards for Youth Guarantee offers.

The Youth Guarantee should be a driving force for quality jobs, but youth organisations report that too often offers under the Youth Guarantee provide only temporary, low-paid work. Just two weeks ago we published our own Quality Standards for the Youth Guarantee based on the contributions of organisations working with and representing young people. They describe how the Youth Guarantee can promote better outcomes for young people through quality offers including secure employment that is fairly paid and gives full access to social protection.

Improved support for vulnerable youth and meaningful partnerships

MEPs highlighted that specifically tailored support services should be provided to address the challenges facing different young people, such as those with disabilities, homeless young people, young Roma, and young migrants and refugees to ensure that the Youth Guarantee reaches the most vulnerable.

They also called on the Member States to improve the participation of youth organisations at all stages of the management of Youth Guarantee schemes and associated EU funding instruments, with clear structures and mechanisms to ensure that this participation is meaningful, something which is lacking in many Member States.

Time for the European Commission and Member States to act!

On Wednesday 8th October MEP Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs; MEP Brando Benifei; MEP David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament; and Frederic Piccavet, our Board Member on Social and Economic Inclusion took part in a press conference where they described the crucial importance of promoting quality job opportunities and ending unpaid internships in order to defend the rights of young people.

In the next few weeks the Council of the EU is expected to adopt the European Commission’s proposal on the Reinforced Youth Guarantee. We call on the Member States to follow the European Parliament’s lead and uphold youth rights by making unpaid internships a thing of the past and introducing binding quality standards for the Youth Guarantee.

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