I am beginning a short adventure in Western Europe. So, I thought I would try to learn a bit about my environment. Things are very different here. The economics, education, families, are very different. Locals do not blink to pay several dollars for a small plastic bottle of Coke or Dr. Pepper or a month’s rent for a nice dinner. The very fabric of the workplace is also very different. The undercurrent often seems to be that Europeans are superior to Americans and that we are a couple of generations behind them socially. But I found one area that we should try to avoid.
Please do not interpret anything herein as a criticism of life here. People have been very warm, inviting and friendly and I think I am going to love my adventure. That is not the point. The point that I hope to make is that we, as Leaders can learn from our Western European colleagues as we try to assist and support our younger generation towards greatness.
I want to share some recent research that caught my attention studying why the younger generation and employers are so mismatched. Some of the findings suggest ways that you and I should be focusing on our efforts to mentor, lead and support the younger ones around us.
Here is the proposition:
The problem of youth unemployment in the European Union is not new. Youth unemployment has been double or even triple the rate of general unemployment in Europe for the last 20 years. The events of the past few years have dramatically exacerbated it, however: 5.6 million young people are unemployed across Europe, and a total of 7.5 million are neither being educated nor are they working. Moreover, while young people are eager to work, more than half of those without jobs say they simply can’t find one—all while businesses across Europe insist they struggle to find young people with the skills they need.
This sounds terrible to me. There are areas where things may be slightly better, but there are areas where things are much worse. For example, in Italy, the unemployment rate for people under 24 years of age is more that 40%. The root cause for this appears to be
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