Exporting Youth Unemployment

By on 26/09/2014
Sardinia is encouraging its young unemployed to leave

Many countries around the world are struggling to find employment for their young and many countries are trying different solutions. In the Eurozone this is a major problem with youth unemployment (under 25-year-olds) standing at 56.3% in Greece, 56.3% in Spain and 43.7% in Italy.

In the island of Sardinia, part of Italy, they are trying a radical solution to their youth unemployment problem. The Mayor of Elmas, a small town near the capital, is leading the council in a Euro 12,000 programme to help young unemployed people to leave.

The programme has met with mixed reactions which tend to fall into two camps. One camp is outraged because it claims that this is a ‘brain drain’; that Sardinia is simply exporting its unemployment problem to elsewhere; and that this is an admission of government policy failure.

The other camp notes that the scheme is designed to help ten people who have lived in the town for at least three years and who are out of work. The scheme will give them intensive English lessons, then buy them a cheap flight to look for work elsewhere in Europe.

The Mayor, Valter Piscedda, sees this as the only hope for some young people to go out, learn about the world, gain job experience and, hopefully, then return enriched and ready to add their skills to Sardinia’s workforce.

The ‘Adesso Parto’ programme (‘Now I’m Leaving) follows on another local initiative in which the council gave financial incentives to businesses to hire young locals. That was a success, and so they are hoping this latest initiative will be an equal success.

About Graham Scott

Graham is an experienced editor and publisher and an award-winning writer. He has travelled extensively and is interested in world cultures.

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