Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Community initiative on employment and development of human resources - "Employment - YOUTHSTART" (promoting labour market integration of young people), 1994-1999

Programme funding

EUR 441 million

Official Journal Reference

C 180 of 1994-07-01

Legislative Reference

94/C180/08 of 1994-07-01
To promote labour market integration of young people, in particular those without basic qualifications or training.


YOUTHSTART is one of four strands incorporated into the Community initiative on employment and the development of human resources; the other three are: "NOW" which is focused on promoting equal employment opportunities for women; "HORIZON" which focuses on promoting the labour market integration of the disabled; and "INTEGRA" which is concerned with improving access to the labour market and the employability of vulnerable groups).

YOUTHSTART has been established in the context of the Commission's White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment which identified the need for a greater effort to enable young people to participate effectively in the labour market. The programme aims to stimulate actions in the Member States through the formulation of national programmes tailored to the requirements of each Member State, with the long-term objective being the progressive introduction of measures to ensure that all young people have access either to full-time employment or to a recognized form of education or training.

To maximize the value of YOUTHSTART, the measures supported under the programme are to be linked to the establishment of agreed standards and targets. Examples of the standards and targets to which the initiative would make an essential contribution include:

- A coherent link with the labour market;
- Minimum training/qualification standards;
- Independent counselling;
- Adequate post-activity placement;
- Remuneration;
- A full range of "soft infrastructure" support (childcare, literacy, etc.);
- Role of social security and planned, structured transnational exchange opportunities.


Eligible measures:

- Development of appropriate training guidance, counselling and employment systems, in the public and private sectors as appropriate, including:
. The setting of targets and standards for careers guidance, pre-training, vocational training, apprenticeships, placement activity, supporting measures and evaluation;
. Identification, adaptation and transfer of existing good practice models relating to labour market integration of young people;
. The conception, development and delivery of innovatory approaches to labour market integration of young people;
. Facilitating a more active interaction between education, vocational training and the labour market to enhance job opportunities generally;

- Provision of training and placement, including:
. Structured training and placement programmes for young people, with a particular emphasis on enhancing and reinforcing vocational, personal, entrepreneurial and linguistic skills, to be coordinated effectively with local programmed training and placement activity;
. Training of trainers and placement personnel, particularly those designing and delivering services at local level, in order to improve labour market integration of young people;
. Facilitating special training and placement experience, particularly in the fields of the arts, cultural heritage, environmental protection, urban regeneration and care services;
. Application of innovatory models which can support and enhance local activity;

- Assisting job creation, in particular through transnational cooperation, including:
. Measures aimed at young people wishing to become self employed with particular emphasis on developing relationships with young entrepreneurs in other Member States, transnational trading agencies, and self help networks;
. Transnational exchanges between local development agencies in order to identify and apply innovative support and development models;
. Support for local employment initiatives aimed at the integration of young people, particularly in the fields of the arts, cultural heritage, environmental protection, urban regeneration and the care sector;

- Information dissemination and awareness actions, in particular on a transnational basis, including:
. Measures aimed at raising awareness, especially among the social partners and of agencies concerned, of the particular integration problems facing young people and of possible responses;
. Support for related information services at national, regional and local level;
. Information activities aimed at promoting the Employment -YOUTHSTART programme among young people.


The activities under the YOUTHSTART programme are implemented as part of the Community initiative on employment and the development of human resources (EMPLOYMENT), 1995-1999. They are designed to complement the introduction or development of appropriate measures within national programmes and actions supported under the European Social Fund (ESF) and the LEONARDO DA VINCI programme.

Actions improving the employment prospects of young people are to be jointly financed by the Member States, the Community and by enterprises and other bodies as appropriate. Where employees of companies take part in the various operations covered by the programme, the enterprise concerned is required to finance an appropriate portion of their participation costs. The programme is applicable to the whole territory of the Union, although particular emphasis is placed on the needs of the less favoured regions. A number of measures, therefore, only apply to priority regions (Objectives 1, 2, 5b and 6).

The Member States were invited to submit proposals for support under the YOUTHSTART strand of the Employment initiative to the Commission by 1 November 1994. In accordance with the rules covering the Structural Funds, these proposals must include a general appreciation of the situation indicating the objectives to be attained and should include a timetable, criteria and procedures for implementation, monitoring and assessment. The proposals submitted by the Member States are approved by the Commission.

Community assistance to selected proposals under the Employment initiative, is in the form of subsidies funded from a budget of ECU 1.835 billion, of which ECU 441 million is reserved for the implementation of actions under the HORIZON programme. Of the global budget reserved for the implementation of the Employment initiative, ECU 0.9 billion is earmarked for Objective 1 and 6 regions.

Where appropriate, the Community provides support to national programmes drawn up by the Member States through the Community Support Frameworks. More limited, but carefully targeted resources, are to be made available, particularly for pilot actions. The distribution of these resources between the Member States is based on the relative severity of structural problems including, in particular, relevant unemployment levels, as well as the quality of the proposals submitted for operational programmes and global grants. To encourage transnational operational programmes, two or more Member States may, on their own initiative, or on the initiative of the Commission, present a single application for financial assistance.

Technical assistance under the programme may include the dissemination of information and other awareness actions, the provision of consultancy and expert services, the creation or development of Community-wide networks to facilitate innovation and transnational cooperation, the development and sharing of databases on training and employment services and other aspects of labour market organization, etc.

Responsibility for implementing actions under the programme is entrusted to a single Monitoring Committee in each Member State. During and at the end of the planning period, the Commission will evaluate, in partnership with the Member States, the results of the programmes submitted. The Commission will use the targets specified by the Member States in their proposals as the main benchmark against which progress is to be assessed. The European Parliament, the Management Committee on the Community initiatives and the national Monitoring Committees are to be fully informed of the results of these evaluations and the action taken in response to them.

In order to ensure the exchange of good practice and experience, YOUTHSTART will support the development of structured networks of projects and programmes in order to ensure the exchange of good practice and experience.
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