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Slovenia to grant €300 million to tackle youth unemployment in the next five years

At today’s session, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the 2016–2020 Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan. The Government thus followed the appeal of the European Commission to Member States to ensure that, within four months after leaving formal education programmes or becoming unemployed, young people under 25 should have a good-quality employment offer or possibility of either further education or an apprenticeship or a traineeship.

One of the distinct features of this programme in Slovenia is that it expands the target group. Since young people in Slovenia enter the labour market very late, the Youth Guarantee target group was expanded to include those up to 30 years of age. By adopting the Youth Guarantee programme, Slovenia guarantees that, within four months after being registered as unemployed with the Employment Service of Slovenia, every young person aged 15 to 29 years will receive an offer for employment (including apprenticeships), on-the-job training, formal education or any other training related to employers’ needs.
In the 2016–2020 period, the Youth Guarantee measures will target those who actually need help to enter the labour market. Those who have greater opportunities in the labour market will be directed to workplaces, career counselling and job search skills training, whereas more intense active employment policy measures will especially target the long-term unemployed young people with fewer opportunities and those returnees within the Youth Guarantee scheme who did not get a job despite being involved in the Youth Guarantee measures. 
In comparison to the Implementation Plan for 2014 and 2015, the new plan will not only implement rapid activation measures but will also focus on young people who are facing long-term unemployment (those registered as unemployed person for more than 12 months). In the future, greater emphasis will be placed on systematic measures that provide long-term impacts and the implementation of which is also supported by young people, i.e. measures aiming at the renewal of the traineeship and apprenticeship systems. Given the past implementation and proposals of youth representatives, the rapid activation measures aim to ensure high-quality and more stable (long-term) employments. Furthermore, two additional measures – one aiming at informing the public about the Youth Guarantee and the other aiming at preventing precarious work on the labour market – were implemented.  
The Implementation Plan consists of 15 measures divided into two sets, i.e. the set of preventive measures targeted at young people who have not yet entered the labour market, and set of measures aimed at rapid activation of young people in the labour market. Furthermore, both sets consist of various systematic and programming (short-term) measures. 
During the five-year period of implementing the Youth Guarantee (2016-2020) programme, around €300 million will be allocated for the implementation of measures, most of which (€70.1 million and 62.7 million) will be granted during the first two years of implementing the plan; later on, funds will gradually be reduced. The reason for such allocation of funds lays in the current situation faced by young people in the labour market, which requires a rapid and enhanced action. 
In 2016 and 2017, Slovenia will have access to additional resources of the “Youth Employment Initiative“ EU financial instrument in the amount of €20.7 million. Given the improved economic forecast and therefore the improved situation in the labour market, the youth unemployment rate is expected to reduce, as is also the need for measures, which is why, from 2018 to 2020, less funds will be allocated on a per-year basis to tackle this problem.