(12 August 2020) As so often in times of economic crises, the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting young workers and jobseekers the hardest. The ILO finds that globally one in six young people is out of a job and states that the pandemic is “inflicting a triple shock on young people. Not only is it destroying their employment, but it is also disrupting education and training, and placing major obstacles in the way of those seeking to enter the labour market or to move between jobs”.
This devastating analysis demands an adequate response. We need an economic recovery that offers perspectives and security for young people. Trade unions have to take a clear position: The public sector must play an important role in overcoming of the crisis. To maintain and expand the provision of quality public services, the hiring and training of young people must not be scaled back or halted during this crisis and the economic recession. In advocating and campaigning for a recovery that works for young people, active youth sections and networks must play an important role.
The EPSU Youth Network promotes this role through debate and exchange. In our recent youth network meeting on July 3rd we have seen many inspiring actions and successes of trade unions and in particular their young members. Hana Llabjani and her union FSSHK provided direct support and material to workers by using their own union funds in Kosovo. Malte Clemens from ver.di in Germany presented their recent, very comprehensive resolution of the youth congress. Richard Tiefenbacher from Younion in Austria saw an increase in their membership despite a twofold increase of youth unemployment. On World Youth Day, while highlighting the persistent challenges young workers faces as a result of the current crisis, we also want to highlight these young unionists’ important contributions in supporting them.
New ILO report - COVID-19 disrupts education of more than 70 per cent of youth
The disproportionate effect of the pandemic on young people has exacerbated inequalities and risks reducing the productive potential of an entire generation, according to the International Labour Organization.
EPSU Youth Network Meeting on a Recovery that Works for Young People (login to access)