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The Fight against Youth Unemployment

Press Release October 5, 2012

Young people are disproportionately affected by unemployment. This holds true not just for developing and emerging countries but also for countries within the European Union – especially southern Europe – and industrialised countries. Unemployment can be particularly perilous for young people, as it causes gaps in the CV and puts future career opportunities at risk. We therefore need to address the underlying problems. The stalling job market and discrimination are examples of these problems but there is also a considerable lack of education and training that is relevant to the job market.

"Young people's skills and objectives are different to those of older people”, says Dennis Görlich. “Therefore, a specific strategy for fighting youth unemployment is essential.” He goes on to say that one option would be to encourage Junior-Senior teams, made up of older, experienced workers and younger employees. “The skills of older and much younger workers frequently complement each other. As a result, both sides learn from each other”, says Görlich. Furthermore, an active labour market policy with target-oriented training programmes is necessary for younger people, as well as a dual system that better combines training with the job market.

What would an age-dependent labour market policy look like? To what extent can labour market regulations influence the needs of young people? What skills do young people need and how can these skills be gained? These and further questions will be discussed at the Global Economic Symposium in Rio de Janeiro, 16 to 17 October 2012, which is expected to be attended by 600 experts from the fields of politics, science, economy and society.

“The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2012 is being jointly organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).

Further information can be found at and at the official GES-blog at

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Dennis Görlich

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