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lost generation

The EU ‘lost generation’ must look at Germany

News in Europe | With every serious crisis we feel sorry for young people who cannot find work, calling them a “lost generation”. Well, there have been many such generations in history and they always succeeded in the end, writes Jędrzej Bielecki.

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Germany serves as an example of how effective labour-market reforms can be in improving prospects for young people, for the so-called lost generation. Unemployment is at its lowest today since unification, both among young people (12 per cent) and overall (5.4), and is gradually heading towards full employment. But a decade ago, before the reforms introduced by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Germany was the “sick man of Europe”in labour-market terms.

‘We should be copying their vocational training system. Young people’s employment prospects depend partly on themselves and on whether they are able to adapt their plans to market realities’, said Katinka Barysch at the Centre for European Reform in London.

There are many indications that the worst is already past for young people, both in Poland and Europe. Last year may have seen widespread economic stagnation, but the EU avoided the worst — a eurozone break-up and a resulting recession that it would be recovering from for decades, if it survived at all, that is.

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