50 young trade unionists from across Europe met* in hybrid format in Cluj Napoca, Romania on 22-23 June to agree on actions to implement their new ‘Youth Action Plan’ .

This year’s European Year of Youth lends more urgency to the demands of industriAll Europe’s youth. They expect decisive progress in improving the situation of young workers and apprentices on labour markets across Europe.

So far, the young trade unionists are disappointed with what has been achieved. It appears that the European Year of Youth has turned into a communication exercise only. They are missing policies for young workers and apprentices in Europe’s industrial and energy sectors that:

  • Ensure sufficient numbers of quality apprenticeship places (currently there are not enough places in most European countries).
  • Ensure that apprenticeships, once completed, lead to a good quality employment contract. Young people need an ‘Employment Guarantee’ after finishing their education and training.
  • Limit precarious short-term and agency work contracts. Many young people are trapped in short-term contracts that get in the way of a good start to their careers and adult life. Short-term contracts put young people in a vulnerable economic position and deny them access to benefits like training and life-long learning that are crucial to prepare for a just green and digital transition.

IndustriAll Europe’s young members also demand more involvement in debates about their situation. They expect to be actively involved in their trade unions so that they can push to improve the situation of young people on the labour market. Their voice in preparing the green and digital industrial transitions is crucial, as the transformation will affect their generation the most.

Isabelle Barthès, industriAll Europe’s Deputy General Secretary, affirmed:

“For industriAll Europe, youth is a priority! We are behind the work of our young members at all levels.

“On the policy level, we are pushing together with our young members for quality jobs and apprenticeships in industry. We will organise a high-level event in the European Parliament this autumn to make our demands heard.

“On the internal level, we are empowering our young members to become active in our structures and we are offering them support to make their voices heard. Together, we need to make 2022 - the European Year of Youth - count!”

*The event was organised with the support of the competence centre of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, based in Brussels, Belgium.

IndustriAll Europe's youth action plan: DE, EN, FR

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Patrica Velicu (policy adviser)