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Education & Youth Employment: What do we need for our future?

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The increasing digitalisation of society and the workplace will have many consequences for the next generation of workers, both in terms of education and employment. Skills which were once considered essential by employers are likely to evolve, creating new ways of working and communicating, especially considering the growing influence of social media.

Youth unemployment remains a key concern in Europe, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and so measures are being put in place to improve employment opportunities for young people across all member states.

So, now it’s over to you: What can we do to ensure better education and employment prospects for young people across Europe?

  • If you were an MEP, what would you do to help improve education and youth employment across Europe?
  • How should the European Parliament act to combat the emergence of a Covid-19 “lockdown generation”?
  • What do you think will be the essential skills that European employers expect from young candidates entering into the world of work?
  • How important a role will Artificial Intelligence (AI) play in the education and employment of the future generation of workers?

 

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Education and Youth Employment

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III.AG
14 December 2020

How important a role will Artificial Intelligence play in the education and employment of the future generation of workers.
Artificial intelligence will rid us of hard, repetitive and non-fulfilling work. Thanks to this, we will be able to engage in activities that make a person human. Of course, this cannot be done without temporary turbulence in the labor market. That is why it is important that this topic is discussed and understood by each of us. Of course, education will also need to be adapted to this. Subjects that will soon be replaced by artificial intelligence, such as the profession of radiology, need to be phased out. On the other hand, more artificial intelligence developers will be needed, so teaching this field will need to be made more attractive so that aspiring students will be interested. It can serve physicians in improving the diagnosis and development of treatments for previously incurable diseases; can reduce energy consumption by optimizing resources; can contribute to a cleaner living environment by reducing the need for pesticides; can help refine weather forecasts and anticipate disasters, etc. The list is basically endless. Artificial intelligence will be the main thing driving economic growth and increasing productivity and contributing to sustainability, and viability of the industrial base in Europe. Artificial intelligence changes the world just like in the past a steam engine or electricity.

Daniel
13 December 2020

It is becoming evident that technology is more prominent in both our daily and working lives. To prepare young people across the EU, I feel that education in the use of computers and other technological devices must be incorporated into our school curriculum from a young age to ensure that we can keep up with the future demands of our potential employers. This education should include both programming/coding and the use of a variety of application software. This education would provide young people with an improved knowledge of technology which would in turn help to increase the percentage of youths being employed throughout the EU for the years to come.

Beatriz
13 December 2020

Reforme the teaching curricular goals to a more pragmatic approach, aiming to make our students more fit for the labor market.
We forget a lot of what we study and we end up losing time at school with too much theory.
We could use that time doing more pratical activities and preparing us for what the labor market expect for us.
Insert simulations of real issues that might come up at work in schools, and progressively make mandatory for the universities to have internships for their students.
This measure would help bridge the absence of a first professional experience, which is very important since we find very hard to actually work and study at the same time, and when we try to get a job we are constantly asked for professional experience, because what we studied wasn't enough.

Willemijn Ponsioen
13 December 2020

The EU should take over responsibility for job opportunity programmes for young people from the governments of individual member states. This will greatly enhance international cooperation, job mobility and chances to find a suitable job for young people within the EU area.

Jente
13 December 2020

I think that the way that corona virus has changed the way of learning will give a whole new perspective for our future. New technologies will be found for our future jobs and I think that the employers will search for technical people. We won't go to the office every day, but I think working from home will become more popular. Also for students in school things will change. Maybe schools will continue the online classes. There is a chance that schools will give hybride lessons (online and in school). It is important that middle and high schools are going to create new classes like computer science or something.

Casper
13 December 2020

In six months' time, I will have to sign up for a college course and fortunately I already know exactly which course I will choose. But many of my friends who also have to sign up do not yet know where their interests lie.

The fact that I already know which course I'm going to follow is partly due to the internships I've done. I think internships are much more important than most people think. I did several internships myself before I was 16 years old and that helped me enormously in finding my interests.

Almost everyone who hears about my internships thinks it's special that I did something like that, but I think doing internships should become normal. All students should have the opportunity to do an internship before their 18th birthday. I'm not talking about useless internships of one or two days, but longer internships of at least a week.

Let the students choose their own internship location and help if necessary. If the students can't find anything themselves, make sure that they can at least go to a partner company. The government should fund the internships if necessary.

An internship in New York has changed my life. I would like other students to have the same opportunity.

Lucia
13 December 2020

The pandemic crisis has made a significant impact on the youth unemployment of the EU. The European Parliament is already on its way to solve this intricate problem, however, we, young people, would like to have an opinion about it as well. The key factor of the European Parliament’s support for the lockdown generation should definitely include assenting the resources for the modernized education processes in every member state. In the poor parts of the EU countries, there should certainly be an ensured backup for the modernization, investing into weaker education programmes. It should especially bear in mind the most hit member states and provide them the help they need. As the lockdown generation is quite literally dependent on the digitalisation and social media, the Parliament could also help in assuring more home office job opportunities. If the pandemic situation gets better, the Parliament should also help in a way of supporting our generation, so that it won’t be despised on the labour market.

Merel
13 December 2020

According to Parliament's Think Tank 2020, there will be an increase of 11-37% of labour productivity related to Artificial Intelligence by 2035. That is why the EU should pay more attention to Artificial Intelligence and help AI businesses. This could be combined with the unemployment of young people in the EU. A standard should be made for AI companies to hire younger people and provide traineeships, who will be paid for by the EU. This standard should be made by the EU and member countries.

Kate
13 December 2020

In a society that is rapidly being digitized, more and more jobs are being automated. As AI technology improves, there are more and more opportunities for its implementation, meaning that jobs which require human experience and thinking will become more popular. Unfortunately, many young people are lacking the experience and skills for these roles. If young people aren't suitable for those roles, and if other jobs to which they are suited to are done by AI, this leaves virtually no options for them. The majority of employers will be looking for people who are able to use and work alongside this technology, which means that it is of vital importance that young people have these skills.
This is not an issue just confined to the younger generations, everyone who is employed needs to ensure they can keep up with the technology that they are using. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many industries to introduce more technology, but this may be at the expense of many jobs. There is an ever growing demand for people with coding skills, social media skills, even typing skills, and if young people are unable to meet that demand due to a lack of the necessary skills, they will find it increasingly difficult to find employment. I feel that the EU needs to put a larger focus on improving opportunities for young people to gain these skills. AI is by no means the “bad guy” here, but if Europe is unable to grow and develop along with the technology, it will be the younger generations who will feel the brunt of the repercussions.

Darragh McDonagh
13 December 2020

Our European workplaces are changing rapidly and will continue to change into the future. An important aspect of the preparation process when entering the world of work is to develop the job skills that will help you succeed. Our world has become more interconnected through the developments and improvements in technology, now more than ever before, allowing us to work remotely with people from all parts of Europe and beyond.

In my opinion, the five most essential skills that European employers will expect from young candidates entering into the world of work are; emotional intelligence, creativity, flexibility and tech-savviness

Employers will be expecting young candidates to be emotionally intelligent. Young people must have the ability to understand and express their own emotions, as well as understand someone else’s emotions. There are so many jobs that involve and will continue to involve interacting with people. Despite the fact that we are moving into a digitally led era, I believe that human interaction and emotional intelligence will continue to be a necessity in the European workplace.

Many jobs rely on employees to be creative. European employers will expect young candidates to have the ability to be creative, imagine, and invent new products.

We live in a very changeable society and so, future employees will need to be flexible and adaptable, as well as having an openness to learn new information. Everyone will need to build their flexibility and adaptability skills and accept new ways of doing things. I think that workers will no longer enter an occupation and remain in the same position throughout their career. Young people must have the willingness to accept new challenges. This makes being flexible and adaptable imperative skills.

Technology has never been so prevalent in every career as it is now. We are constantly seeing improvements and developments in the area of technology. Therefore, young people must be tech-savvy. Everyone needs to understand what these changes are, how fast these different technologies are developing, and what that means for their career. Due to the current situation, many employees can operate from their home via networking platforms. In my view, this will be the most important skill for future European candidates to have.

Ilenia
13 December 2020

I think one of the most important issues expecially nowdays certainly is climate change which seems to get worse every year.Starting from pollution we can clearly see the damages we have had on our planet and I believe that our only duty is to respect the world we are living in, starting from the smallest steps. If I were given the opportunity to build a Green Deal against climate change I’d mainly focus on the CO2 emissions caused by road transport. Although this solution is not so easy to reach. Most of the cars are powered with gasoline so a good solution would be using electric cars, they have already been shown to be more environmentally friendly than petrol-powered vehicles or powered by other petroleum-derived fuels but I think that as a consequence of the spread of these vehicles the prices should be lowered , because if we truly want that to become an option we have to really think about the fact that not everyone can afford them , expecially now that the prices of these cars are still a bit high. Therefore if we really wanted to make it an efficient solution we could create some areas where to actually charge your car.For example every 500 miles we could have these parking lots where everyone could stop by charging his or her car.Of course it wouldn’t be the solution to every enviornmental matter but I believe is something that could change our lives even a little and have a small but significant impact on earth.

Is the virus connected in any way to climate change?Will there be any others after this one as a consenquence of the damages we’re causing?
How can we raise awareness and make sure that everyone is doing anything possible to prevent causing more issues?
Is there a way to combine environmentally friendly solutions to affordable prices for everyone?
Is there any chance we can still save our world or do you think at this point we’re just hopeless?
Why do you think that climate change seems to lose more and more its importance?

Ingeborg
12 December 2020

There is barely any contacted between European citizens (especially the youth) and European politics. Nobody observes it, nobody knows what happens during meeting, debates, etc.. Europe is a democracy, but most of its citizens don’t know how the system works. And it is indeed very complicated especially for us, the teenagers of Europe. We are barely, some of us not at all, educated about the importance of the EU and how it influences our daily lives, why it is important to vote for EU selections, what the statements, rights and laws of the EU are.
Our educational systems should be educating us on this. I propose the following (somewhat rough) idea: The EU leaders should contact a team of educational, pedagogical and technical experts to design and create a series of lessons/ classes/ instructions about the EU. For example, how it impacts our daily lives, what a democracy is and what are the requirements that have to be met to be one of the countries to join the EU.
This can be formed in an interactive ‘workshop’ package for elementary schools (age 9-12), high schools (14-18), and educational studies (teachers), varying in difficulty and complexity. The ‘workshops’ can consist of videos, texts or activating teaching methods targeting skills such as communication, debating and critical thinking. When completing the lesson series all students should get an EU qualification certificate for participation.
By doing this, we will finally close the EU gap. We will educate the youth on the society and democracy they live in. We will educate them about the democratic system and how the EU influences their daily lives, and why it is important ( when the times comes) to show up for EU elections.

Vincenzo Pio Senatore
12 December 2020

I think that today soft skills are essential in order to find a job .
In fact one of the most required skills is the ability of working in group.
I truly believe that every country (and EU in general) should educate its citizens in order to develop their soft skills by encouraging them to discover what they can do better than others.
I also think that every country should educate their citizens in order to let them understand how AI works and how to adapt themselves to these new jobs .
In fact , today we know that when a job is substituted by artificial intelligence or machines in general , we lost a certain number of jobs , but on the other hand , we create new jobs.

Valentine
12 December 2020

In order to facilitate youth employment, some positions in the companies could be reserved for young people entering the market. For these jobs, the labour costs could be lowered to help employers hire younger workers (lower employer's contributions for a limited period of time).

Arianna Simeone
12 December 2020

Hello! we are five girls who are attending the fifth year at the Pantanelli-Monnet institute and are about to graduate. These are our considerations and questions about Erasmus +.
Ylenia's thoughts: "I think that Erasmus is an exciting thing because I consider the thought of being able to travel abroad to study a beautiful experience... unfortunately I haven't been able to try it yet, but who knows, maybe one day I will have the opportunity, obviously I hope to be able to try it as soon as possible. Many people who have had the opportunity to try it have always said that it is a great experience, but it is totally different to hear it from others, than it is to try it in the first place."
Arianna’s thoughts:” Personally, whenever I hear someone talk about Erasmus I get excited and start to think about possible opportunities for me. I have always dreamed of studying abroad and I believe firmly that Erasmus could give every single person amazing experiences and opportunities. Studying abroad is very important, because you can explore various places, get to know multiple cultures and learn the language even better. It is also important for your Curriculum Vitae, as it helps you find a job easily. Lately, I have begun to study Japanese and I would love to study there for a few months, and knowing that Erasmus can give me this chance, makes me feel at ease and full of joy. I cannot wait to experience such thing. Also, I think it is a great way to get to know new people. Even better right? Studying in another place while making new friends, experiencing new things and seeing new landscapes, what could be better than that?”
Marika’s thoughts:”in my opinion, Erasmus is an important occasion, it enables you to travel and therefore get to know other countries, other cultures and learn the languages better. There is also the possibility to find a job. Besides it allows people to be more unattached.”
Carmen’s thoughts:”Erasmus is an excellent opportunity that gives you the chance to work abroad. Thanks to that, it makes life easier because it also offers you to study with an excellent preparation and therefore it gives you the possibility of finding work abroad.”
Giulia’s thoughts:”I wouldn’t change anything about Erasmus. It gives you new experiences and new places to visit. And, of course, studying there in a different environment, surrounded by new people, makes it all special and unforgettable.”


Questions:
1. How do you apply for Erasmus?
2. Are there any activities other than the usual ones for Universities?
3. Are there any privileges for Erasmus students?
4. How do you obtain a scholarship through Erasmus+ to do my postgraduate?
5. What about Youth Exchanges?
6. Could you explain how the traineeships for students work?
7. Can disabled people participate too?

Mattia
11 December 2020

Do you think that the Evolution of technology can replace man and so increase unemployment?
How to reconcile the two things?

Conor Meade
11 December 2020

I believe that our world is changing in such a way, that technological skills will be extremely important. Many European employers should be looking out for candidates who express a high level of technological understanding. By hiring an employee who has expertise in technology, it will allow the company/workplace to focus on more computer-based work; as this is how our working world will be heading Therefore, schools should make technology class mandatory as by doing so, broadens their knowledge on what will later become our entire world.

Secondly, communication should be made essential when searching for a possible employee. As our world is becoming more diverse, being able to communicate with people from different nationalities will be utterly crucial. Despite more technology being introduced into workplaces, communication will still be necessary, even if it is for a phone call. Therefore, schools should encourage second-level students to focus more on their language subjects, as it would give them more opportunity to converse with others in years to come.

Finally, in my opinion, being able to co-operate while also being able to work independently are equally important while entering the world of work. No matter what profession you go into, teamwork and/or the ability to work with others is vital. By promoting teamwork to students, it will allow them to see the importance of valuing each others opinions and choosing what would be best for their situation. This would tie in with real-life scenarios as teamwork opens the amount of options available, allowing workers to choose the best outcome. However, on the flip side, independent work is critical in certain contexts. By having the ability to work independently, it proves how resilient and determined a candidate is. These characteristics would certainly be useful in a job, no matter what. As a result, I feel independent learning and teamwork should be introduced, providing students with an understanding of how important these two skills really are.

Charlie
11 December 2020

I think it is important to promote the teaching of technology skills such as coding, the use of different types of software and web design as these are essential skills for our generation to have going into a more technologically advanced future. Currently, some aspects of technological education are being taught in schools, however I believe there should be more done in this area of learning. These skills would be very attractive for potential employers when they look for employees so I think a program of technological education should be set up for students across the EU.

Charlotte
11 December 2020

I believe that employers are looking for soft skills (communication, teamwork...) and a good understanding of tomorrow's challenges (global warming, AI ...) which we usually lack of in my opinion. Indeed, I feel like EU students have a pretty good theoretical and academic knowledge but we're definitly not prepared for the reality of the world of work. For instance, if you ambition to become an engineer, you would probably study physics and maths in high school but that's definitly not enough: you also need to know how to work as a team, communicate your projects, pursue long-term projects, be familiar with hard problem-solving. To put it in a nutshell these are the things we usually lack of, that's why, to enhance our visibility of the world of work the EU could implement a 6- months internship in firms, research-labs (...) in another european country possibly at the end of high school.

Charlotte
11 December 2020

I assume that in the future, employers will be looking for new tech- savvy, highly- skilled in computer science young employees that are also aware of our future challenges. From coding, editing, to social medias, sustainable development, AI, young people should have a very strong background in these topics. Hence, the EU should implement compulsory computer science and new-tech focused classes in secondary school at least that would raise our awarenesses about these issues and help us acquire a deep understanding of the scientific background behind. I'm also convinced that Europe hosts among the best researchers in theses topics (AI, renewable sources...) that's why the EU should organize partnerships between the best european universities that would finance thousands of students' training courses. These classes could take place in several european universities where students would benefit from our cutting-edge european teachers and researchers.

James Muldoon
11 December 2020

I think as an MEP to improve opportunities for youth employment I would push for a reform in the way schools prepare students for employment. I think it would be beneficial to add mandatory classes that cover core skills that are transferable to many careers for example, IT and communicative skills and maybe give students the opportunity to go on work experience, to see what career is most suitable to them and to acquire the experience many employers want when looking to employ.

Another idea could be if schools linked with local businesses to encourage employment. this could be done by adding job boards where employers advertise upcoming job positions. This would help students gain valuable workplace experience which will help them upskill in the future.

Seán Reilly
11 December 2020

I strongly believe that more practical skills should be thought in the classroom. When something is taught in a maths classroom, often, a student will ask the teacher "when will we use this in life?". The teacher usually replies with some very specific job and chances are, no one in that class will ever go into that profession. If we were thought more practical things in both primary and secondary school, such as how to manage money or how to cook, this question would not need to be asked. These skills are used almost every day in your adult life, but we have to go somewhere else to get them. Teaching children and teenagers how to cook for example would be especially useful as ordering takeaways has never been easier. The rise in takeaways and other fast foods can be directly linked to the rise of obesity in many European countries. It is also important as children from poorer backgrounds may not be able to afford the cost to go on a cookery course.

Márk Váraczki and Panna Iváncsik
11 December 2020

In Hungary we have many theoretical subjects, lot of students are facing with problems when they have to deal with everyday situations.
– How would you change the proportion between the practical and theoretical subjets in the grammar schools?
- What subjects do grammar school students learn nowadays in the EU? What is the ration between the pratical and theoretical subjets?


A lot of new and essential skills are needed when a young student enter into the world of work.

- How does the EU’s educational experts react to the needs of grammar schools in terms of new subjects,skills, schoolarships, foreign student exchange programmes?

- How do teachers in the EU motivate their students and help them to learn new skills?

- Is it possible to create a database within the EU to organize schoolarships, partner programmes between foreign schools, a channel to invite and send teachers and students within the EU to help the education? If yes, how?


Mattia
11 December 2020

Do you think that the Evolution of technology can replace man and so increase unemployment?
How to reconcile the two things?

Lucia
11 December 2020

The pandemic crisis has made a significant impact on the youth unemployment of the EU. The European Parliament is already on its way to solve this intricate problem, however, we, young people, would like to have an opinion about it as well. The key factor of the European Parliament’s support for the lockdown generation should definitely include assenting the resources for the modernized education processes in every member state. In the poor parts of the EU countries, there should certainly be an ensured backup for the modernization, investing into weaker education programmes. It should especially bear in mind the most hit member states and provide them the help they need. As the lockdown generation is quite literally dependent on the digitalisation and social media, the Parliament could also help in assuring more home office job opportunities. If the pandemic situation gets better, the Parliament should also help in a way of supporting our generation, so that it won’t be despised on the labour market.

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