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Spain and Germany fight youth unemployment

AFP/The Local · 22 May 2013, 09:02

Published: 22 May 2013 09:02 GMT+02:00

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"Each year nearly 5,000 young Spaniards will be able to benefit from vocational opportunities or even from stable and skilled jobs in Germany," Spain's Employment Minister Fatima Banez said after signing the deal with her German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen late Tuesday.

The deal offers "the determined and sincere support of all the public administrations in Germany to young people who want to train and have skilled work in the coming years." 

A double recession sparked by the collapse of a building boom has thrown millions of people out of work in Spain. It has driven the unemployment rate among those aged 16-24 to more than 57 percent and 27 percent overall. 

Von der Leyen later said Germany had a shortage of skilled workers.

"In Germany we have a shortage of qualified personnel. We have one million open jobs, desperately looking for people who can fill them," she told a conference on youth employment in Madrid.

Banez called it "a big step forward in supporting young people in Europe."

Von der Leyen called for a broader Europe-wide scheme of on-the-job training in companies, along the lines of Germany's vocational system.

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"I think we will need something like a pact in Europe, something like a public-private partnership... to offer a broad range of vocational training jobs," she said.

She proposed a kind of "Erasmus [EU exchange programme] for all - vocational training all over Europe." 

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

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