In the 2021 State of the Union Address, Commissioner President, Ursala von der Leyen, conceded that Europe must do more to support youth employment, particularly for those struggling to access the labor market. As a result, the European Commission launched the ALMA initiative targeting those aged between 18-29 who are not employed, in education or training (NEETs) with particular emphasis on those encountering long-term unemployment or insufficient school performance as well as people with a disability or migrant background.
The objective of ALMA is to assist these young people in entering the job market and integrating into society through a combination of educational support, vocational training, or employment in their home country, accompanied by a learning experience in another EU Member State. Namely, ALMA will offer participants:
- A supervised stay abroad for a period of 2 to 6 months in another EU Member State.
- A comprehensive project cycle implying coaching and counselling at every step.
During the period 2021-2027, the ALMA initiative will be funded and implemented through the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) with regional and national managing authorities spearheading the allocation and network building. The success of ALMA will rely on national and regional managing authorities building partnerships at these levels. It will complement existing programmes supporting the mobility of young people like Erasmus Plus or the European Solidarity Corps.
These partnerships will need to include social services and youth organizations to assist in both the selection of youth participants and to offer vocational training opportunities. Thus, Eurodiaconia welcomes our members working with NEETs youth to connect with their ESF+ managing authorities as soon as possible and to send applications during the call for proposals to benefit from this initiative.
Recognizing the demand to address youth employment, with an emphasis on NEETs, Eurodiaconia is delighted to invite our members for an upcoming Roundtable. The focus will be on school-to-job and/or job-to-job transitions for NEETs youth under 30. Please save the date for this event scheduled for this summer, June 29th, here in Brussels.
To access the European Commission’s website about the ALMA initiative, please click here.