THE European Commission announced on Wednesday would allocate around €10 million to Cyprus in an effort to combat youth unemployment, as part of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).
According to the Commission, the jobless rate among people under the age of 25 was 43.9 per cent in September.
The eligible regions for the YEI would include the whole of Cyprus.
Three thematic reviews are to be held with stakeholders in November.
There will be a focus on public employment service capacity building and vocational education and training reforms.
Cyprus is looking to speed up Youth Guarantee implementation, the Commission said.
To increase available EU financial support to the regions and individuals struggling most with youth unemployment and inactivity, the Council and the European Parliament agreed to create a dedicated Youth Employment Initiative.
YEI support will concentrate on regions experiencing youth unemployment rates above 25 per cent and on young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
This will ensure that in parts of Europe where the challenges are most acute the level of support per young person is sufficient to make a real difference.
The YEI funding will comprise €3 billion from an EU budget line dedicated to youth employment matched by at least €3 billion from the European Social Fund.
The Commission has proposed to frontload the €6 billion under the YEI so that all this money is committed in 2014 and 2015 rather than over the seven year period of the Multiannual Financial Framework.
To ensure a quick start, member states could exceptionally start implementing YEI-related measures already as of September 2013 to be reimbursed ‘retroactively’ when the programmes are subsequently approved.
The YEI will exclusively target NEETs aged up to 25 years, and where the Member States consider relevant, also those aged up to 30 years.
In this case however Member States will have to allocate additional ESF resources to these measures in order to avoid a drastic reduction of support per person (potentially down from €1,356 to around €700 if all NEETs are included).
More generally, member states will have to complement the YEI assistance with substantial additional ESF and national investments in structural reforms to modernise employment, social and education services for young persons, and by improving education access, quality and links to labour market demand.
The YEI will be programmed as part of the ESF.