Youth Guarantee

A bottom-up approach to raise awareness.

Youth Guarantee stand at an event in Romania.

Thecontext

Several years after the economic crisis, youth unemployment in Europe was 21.6% – that’s more than one out of five young people without a job! Aware of the critical impact this has on livelihood, the European Union launched the Youth Guarantee Initiative (YG) to ensure that all young people receive a quality offer of a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. With the political scheme underway, ICF Mostra was called upon to initiate pilot information and awareness-raising activities in four EU countries for the European public to learn about the YG.

Several years after the economic crisis, youth unemployment in Europe was 21.6% – that’s more than one out of five young people without a job! Aware of the critical impact this has on livelihood, the European Union launched the Youth Guarantee Initiative (YG) to ensure that all young people receive a quality offer of a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. With the political scheme underway, ICF Mostra was called upon to initiate pilot information and awareness-raising activities in four EU countries for the European public to learn about the YG.

Laptop depicting our decentralised approach.
interview with Latvian economist

Thechallenge

The Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (jointly with national YG providers, e.g. Ministries of Labour) needed to build public awareness of the services provided under the Youth Guarantee as quickly and efficiently as possible – to people under 25. The pilot activities also needed to be transferable, replicable and adaptable for each different EU Member State.
In addition, our target audience – NEETs (people not in education, employment or training) – was incredibly diverse. Unemployed youth can be high school drop-outs or highly educated people who haven’t gotten their foot in the door – and anything in between. Nevertheless, there are fears that this group of 5 million people could become a ‘lost generation’.

The Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (jointly with national YG providers, e.g. Ministries of Labour) needed to build public awareness of the services provided under the Youth Guarantee as quickly and efficiently as possible – to people under 25. The pilot activities also needed to be transferable, replicable and adaptable for each different EU Member State.
In addition, our target audience – NEETs (people not in education, employment or training) – was incredibly diverse. Unemployed youth can be high school drop-outs or highly educated people who haven’t gotten their foot in the door – and anything in between. Nevertheless, there are fears that this group of 5 million people could become a ‘lost generation’.

Youth guarantee posters showing the three steps to finding a job..
Portuguese outdoor advertising

Ourapproach

As the reasons for youth unemployment vary, we needed a single message that could apply to everyone. The best solution for being ‘lost’ is finding a path. That’s why our key message became: ‘Youth Guarantee: 3 steps to finding a job’. The message demonstrated the simplicity of registering for the YG, and underlined that the YG helps get people on the path to work.
Teamwork from many sides was needed, and in the end, we implemented a bottom-up approach. A communication plan was outlined in each country, in collaboration with our local partner agencies and national authorities. Each country adapted the creative idea to local needs (e.g. by choosing the visuals, adapting the slogan) and developed their own activities with input of our national experts.
A communications toolkit was created with a range of print and online materials and guidelines on how each country could localise material. To engage our young audience, heavy focus was placed on social media and online strategies, as well as attending events where youth would be present. Finally, media relations and buying were vital to promoting the overall approach. 

As the reasons for youth unemployment vary, we needed a single message that could apply to everyone. The best solution for being ‘lost’ is finding a path. That’s why our key message became: ‘Youth Guarantee: 3 steps to finding a job’. The message demonstrated the simplicity of registering for the YG, and underlined that the YG helps get people on the path to work.
Teamwork from many sides was needed, and in the end, we implemented a bottom-up approach. A communication plan was outlined in each country, in collaboration with our local partner agencies and national authorities. Each country adapted the creative idea to local needs (e.g. by choosing the visuals, adapting the slogan) and developed their own activities with input of our national experts.
A communications toolkit was created with a range of print and online materials and guidelines on how each country could localise material. To engage our young audience, heavy focus was placed on social media and online strategies, as well as attending events where youth would be present. Finally, media relations and buying were vital to promoting the overall approach. 

A group of people at a press conference in Latvia with paint on their hands.

Theresults

In just half a year, the pilot activities generated quite an impressive resume! A total of 119 partnerships were established in the four countries with municipalities, NGOs, stakeholders, online job portals, bloggers and sport clubs.
Media relations activities generated a total of 691 clippings, including 464 in Latvia alone. Visits to national websites increased significantly (by 78% in Finland and 22% in Portugal), as did the number of followers on social media. We did 11 online media buying actions on Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Draugiem, and other websites: these generated more than 50.9 million ad impressions and views, and 268,148 clicks.
The results of post-campaign phone surveys show statistically significant increases in awareness of the Youth Guarantee in Finland and Latvia (+17% and +13%, respectively), and in the number of registrations to YG schemes in Latvia and Portugal. 90% of our partner organisations said the pilot activities achieved their major objectives of increasing awareness and registrations to the Youth Guarantee Initiative.

 

All images © — 2014 - 2015 — European Union. All rights reserved.

In just half a year, the pilot activities generated quite an impressive resume! A total of 119 partnerships were established in the four countries with municipalities, NGOs, stakeholders, online job portals, bloggers and sport clubs.
Media relations activities generated a total of 691 clippings, including 464 in Latvia alone. Visits to national websites increased significantly (by 78% in Finland and 22% in Portugal), as did the number of followers on social media. We did 11 online media buying actions on Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Draugiem, and other websites: these generated more than 50.9 million ad impressions and views, and 268,148 clicks.
The results of post-campaign phone surveys show statistically significant increases in awareness of the Youth Guarantee in Finland and Latvia (+17% and +13%, respectively), and in the number of registrations to YG schemes in Latvia and Portugal. 90% of our partner organisations said the pilot activities achieved their major objectives of increasing awareness and registrations to the Youth Guarantee Initiative.

 

All images © — 2014 - 2015 — European Union. All rights reserved.