Colloque PetV Dcrochage scolaireYoung  people  are  the  first  victims  of  the  wave  of  unemployment  which  has  struck  Europe  and  its  major cities and most vulnerable people. In December 2014, 21.4% of young people (aged 15 - 24) in Europe were without  work.  In  some  countries  and  major  cities,  youth  unemployment  has  even  hit  more  than  50%.  It affects  all  young  people,  but  those  with  the  fewest  qualifications  are  hit  hardest.  In  Europe,  one  young person in eight leaves secondary education without a diploma. Many fear a 'lost generation' which will see its  chances  for  a  better  future  diminish  through  a  combination  of  school  drop-out  and  unemployment.
Keeping  young  people  in  school  and  helping  them  enter  the  labour  market  is  therefore  a  fundamental challenge and priority for European society, and therefore also for Belgium and its social actors. For  the  reasons  outlined  above,  the  Foundation  P&V  has  launched  an  extensive  programme  which combines  scientific  research  with  concrete  action.  The  programme  started  in  2012  with  an  appeal  to thousands of social scientists and research institutions across the whole of Europe. From the more than 40
submissions,  an  international  panel  selected  9  winning  contributions  which  distinguished  themselves through their original and informed take on the issue. These contributions were collected in the book. Early school leaving & Youth unemployment, published by Lannoo Campus and Amsterdam University Press, and presented in the European Parliament on 7 and 8 March 2013 in the presence of European Commissioner László Andor, various ministers and important stakeholders. These debates led to a broad call for projects that  work  on  this  issue within  Belgium,  which  was  launched  on  5  June  2013.  By  5  October  2013,  we  had received  245  dossiers  from  all over  Belgium.  After  various  evaluation  rounds,  a  jury  composed  of  Belgian experts  (from  the  education,  employment  and  poverty  reduction  sectors)  selected  6  projects  from  these  dossiers to receive grants of between €10,000 and €50,000. Two projects came from Brussels, two from Flanders and two from Wallonia. In 2014, these projects were closely monitored by the Foundation P&V.

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