EU to spend four million on intra-EU job placements

An EU budget of four million euro is to support an expected 2,000 to 3,000 intra-EU job placements in 2012-2013.The programme, entitled ‘Your first EURES job’ (YfEj) is an element of the European Commission’s ‘Youth on the Move’ initiative, and was first proposed as part of the EU 2020 strategy. It is now classified as a ‘preparatory action’, which is defined as “a scheme designed to prepare proposals with a view to the adoption of future actions”.In a document received from the European Commission by the University Observer, the scheme was described as “an ‘Erasmus-style’ scheme to foster youth job mobility across the EU-27 countries.”Financial support will be provided, in the form of flat-rate financing, for both employers and job-seekers involved in the scheme. A European Commission spokesperson explained to the University Observer how the scheme will support jobseekers travelling abroad for the purposes of an interview or starting a secured job, but will not cover the exact expenses incurred. “The objective is to provide them with a contribution (fixed amount) for the travel and subsistence costs if they make an interview trip abroad and/or for moving to the country of destination if they get a job abroad. The scheme will not cover actual costs.” The maximum cost of an average job placement is estimated to be 1,800 euro.All jobseekers aged eighteen to thirty from an EU member state will be eligible to participate in the scheme. The “young people” within this age group are described as having “the potential to be more mobile than middle-aged or older people.” The EC spokesperson explained that the scheme is not graduate-focused. “YfEj is not exclusively tailored for labour market entrants or for graduates. All young people aged eighteen to thirty, national of any of the EU-27 Member States and legally resident in any of these countries can apply, irrespective of their level of qualifications, work experience or social/economic background.”The scheme looks to be particularly beneficial for jobseekers from countries in economic difficulty, as employment rates will be taken into consideration. “Labour market needs and labour supply offer will determine where recruitment projects will be carried out.”While all employers in the EU member states are eligible to apply to the scheme, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) will be prioritised as they “represent ninety-nine per cent of enterprises in the EU and account for about seventy per cent of new jobs.”A call for proposals “to select labour market organisations with the necessary employment expertise and management capacity to implement the preparatory action at European level” was launched on August 22nd of this year, and final proposals from applicant organisations who will “act as job brokers, i.e. provide intermediation employment services targeting young jobseekers, job changers and employers” will be submitted this Thursday, 20th October. The proposed activities of the scheme are expected to be initiated before March 2012.