Solving Youth Unemployment in Europe through Collaboration

 “There are 26.2 million people unemployed in the EU today – an increase of more than 9 million people from 2008. This trend has significant economic, political and social consequences for Europe. The challenge for European leaders is to solve this puzzle and to help citizens find sustainable and long-term employment opportunities.”

( – The Institute of International and European Affairs)

Sustainable and long-term employment opportunities do not include just generating new job posts, but also educating and preparing youth to be ready for responsibilities these job posts bring. Nowadays Millennials complain about the lack of open job posts, while businesses argue that Gen Y lack the needed skill sets.

Who is right and who is wrong?

Rather than taking one side, let us consider the fact that there is a gap in expectation setting from both sides: what young people want from their employers vs. companies’ expectations from their employees and the type of employee they would be more likely to hire. Imagine what would happen if we aligned supply and demand – the kind of the jobs young people are looking for and developing the set of characteristics young people need to perform in their dream jobs.

What is also often disputed when talking about youth unemployment is the mindset young people born as Gen Y share – they are ambitious but not humble; they expect excellent conditions from the get go; they are not prepared to start from scratch and work up the ranks, rather demanding everything right now. How can we make sure young people understand what is needed in order to land their dream job? How can we shift the current mindset?

As often happens, challenges arise from more than one source; it is the combination of everything mentioned above. On one hand, the education young people are acquiring is leaving them unprepared to deal with today’s job market reality. They lack practical knowledge, skills and strategic thinking, which are usually not acquired through formal education. And on the other hand, employers seek young people who are ready to dedicate themselves to work, learn and advance but who nevertheless have some previous experience or at least certain set of characteristics and skills.

Do we as young people know what these characteristics are? And are we developing them?

On April 7th in Warsaw, Poland Europe Youth to Business Forum will gather all stakeholders important in solving the issue of youth unemployment – young people, educators, government and business. They will have the opportunity to discuss and generate ideas on how collaboration can lead to solving this challenge in the region.

Join us on livestream and contribute to flipping the switch on youth unemployment in Europe!

Learn how to lead yourself before leading others

Every year, countless magazines publish articles that highlight the successes of the world’s greatest leaders. Regardless of sector, all great leaders have something very strongly in common. They aren’t just managers, but leaders who can inspire others to greatness and to dream more, but before they do that, they need to know how to inspire themselves first.

Their personalities shine and their authenticity is undeniable. But how did they get to that point where they are able to lead others so effectively? They first need to understand how to lead themselves, and that is where self-awareness comes in.

Self-awareness may not sound like a typical word that you may hear in your twenties. But here’s the definition.

Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.

It is the ability to analyze and understand your conscious thoughts and feelings. Opening up the window for you to truly understand your strengths and weaknesses, and how to capitalize on it.

You could be a great manager with mastery of technical skills and relationships to succeed, but exceptional leaders as demonstrated by the author of Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman describes having “awareness,” the ability to read the room (social awareness) and the ability to read the effect on the people in the room (self-awareness).

Remember when you were just a kid who couldn’t give a damn about the world, couldn’t really control when you’d cry, smile, or laugh, or simply–were you ever even conscious of yourself doing that? Fast forward to today, we are typically aware of our environment.

We can laugh, because we saw something.
We can smile, because it makes us happy.



Welcome to the AIESEC Blog!

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– AIESEC International