The extremely high level of youth unemployment in Europe is one of the most pressing challenges currently facing us – especially in many southern European countries. Over 5.6 million young Europeans are not in work. Statistics show that youth unemployment isn’t a problem specific to southern Europe. It also affects eastern and western Europe, and Scandinavia. In order to address this problem, the TUI Foundation has teamed up with stiftung neue verantwortung (snv) to launch the “Impact4Jobs” project.

This is a challenge to society as a whole that cannot be solved by the political and administrative sectors alone. Although the European Union Member State governments have approved eight billion euros for the Youth Guarantee scheme – the first step in the right direction – very few of them have used any of the funds yet. It is time to develop with innovative, sustainable and effective concepts that unite the political, financial and corporate sectors because youth unemployment in Europe is a cross-sector problem that cannot be resolved by government, the education sector, social services and the corporate sector unless they cooperate more closely with each other.

The solutions have to be just as multifaceted as the problem. That’s why we believe that a bottom-up approach has to be adopted when developing these solutions and concepts. In our Europe-wide search for best practices, we focused on young people with low skill levels. We wanted to explore the issue of what role companies could assume in this situation. How can they help these young people to gain work experience and vocational training? What kind of support and accompanying measures do they need? What innovative approaches for cross-sector collaboration are possible?

Diverse stakeholders will have to accept joint responsibility and pool their resources if we are to effectively combat youth unemployment. What we need are solutions involving cross-sector partnerships.

The kick-off event was held in March 2015.