EU Jamais. In or Out? Will it make any difference to youth unemployment levels?

european-union-flag-financial-literacy-youth-unemploymentThe battle lines are being drawn on the forthcoming referendum on our continued membership of the EU, and politicians, journalists, academics and assorted other opinion formers are all busily getting their messages out, in the hope of having an influence over the way we decide to vote, come the big day.

The rival claims and counter claims for and against our continued membership of the EU are bombarding us from all directions, and it is difficult for the ordinary voter to make an informed assessment of the credibility and validity of the wide range of opinions being offered up on our nightly TV news programmes.

One side claims that we will flourish outside the EU and be far better off simply trading with whom we want as an independent nation, the other side issues dire warnings of certain disaster if we leave the EU, with an impoverished UK struggling along without the many benefits of being a member of one of the world’s biggest trading blocs.

Youth Unemployment a forgotten problem

There is one stark fact about the EU that is not discussed with as much intensity  as it deserves, and it is having a ruinous impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable citizens of the EU, and its name is youth unemployment.

Across the EU the current rate of youth unemployment (latest valid number collected in November 2015) is 20%.

What is worse, is that that figure does not  take any account of those young adults who are on unpaid internships of one kind or another.

As desperate young people are prepared to offer free labour to businesses of all kinds in the hope that their commendable efforts will lead onto a whole time job, or, if that does not happen, at least populate their CV with some job skills.

There may be arguments about the accuracy of the statistics being bandied about by both sides in the referendum debate, but there is no argument about the statistics demonstrating the catastrophic levels of youth unemployment across the EU.

Statistics proving a grave problem that all the politicians and journalists and academics and other opinion formers seem unable to talk about, never mind solve.

If every EU government committed itself to a planned programme of high quality, finance based, life skills for its young people which explained to them the many problems they will have to grapple with in their adult lives, and equipped them with the knowledge to comprehend those problems and the skills to manage their way through them.

That statistic of 20% of the EU’s young people already experiencing the demoralising reality of unemployment would be a statistic of interest only to historians.

Wasting the talents and energies of one in five of the EU’s young adults is madness

We can make huge improvements through functionally useful education and life skills training. The next time you hear some one banging on about the issues we face in the referendum, ask them what they are going to do for the millions of young people in their midst who are already on the scrapheap in the EU.