Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis and its restrictions, industriAll Europe’s youth network remains motivated and has adapted to the current circumstances with a fresh format for its actions. 

Determined to not sit back and watch young people bear the brunt of the crisis, industriAll Europe’s youth has decided to step up exchanges to learn from each other, and to become better involved in industriAll Europe’s activities. A joint project with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation provides the framework for a range of meetings and activities over the coming months. For the time being, planned activities will take place online. 

In last week’s kick-off seminar for the project, industriAll Europe’s young members discussed how to improve the situation of young workers in the context of post-COVID-19 European industry. The crisis has impacted regions in different ways but the participants, coming from all over Europe, agreed that young people everywhere have been disproportionately affected. On fixed-term contracts, signed up for temporary agency work, stuck in all sorts of atypical forms of work – young workers are often left with limited or no social protection at all. They are the first to find their contracts suspended or interrupted.

As a first concrete outcome of the discussion, the youth network is preparing a statement that will be presented for adoption at industriAll Europe’s next Executive Committee on 24/25 November 2020. The statement is meant to alert trade union leaders to the challenges faced by young workers in the labour market and the risk of losing the next generation of industrial workers. They will also launch a call to improve youth inclusion in trade union strategies. 

The project will continue over the next months with online training offered to industriAll Europe’s young members. The training will cover issues that are relevant for youth such as Just Transition and young workers, organising young workers and others. The training will provide an opportunity for our young members to analyse the implications of the current crisis and the recovery plans in the sectors and workplaces they represent. They will also get a better understanding of the challenges related to the green and digital transformations of industry. 

IndustriAll Europe welcomes the commitment of its young members to improve the situation of the young generation everywhere in Europe. Given the disastrous and disproportionate impact of the crisis on young people, the concerns of young people must be central to our work. 

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Patricia Velicu (policy adviser)