“Youth unemployment is one of the biggest problems in the European Union. In certain areas of Belgium, one in three people under 25 are looking for work. That is morally unacceptable”, says King Philippe. He made this statement while in Berlin on Thursday, during a visit regarding professional work-linked training. The King thinks this is intolerable from a political point of view “as young people are pushed to the periphery of society without being able to fully perform their role as a citizen”. “This is economically intolerable, as their talent is not used for the good of our society”, he added.
As the press was presented with the different work sessions of the round table organised inside the German ministry for Education and Research, the Head of State reiterated the fact that he had a “special passion” for issues surrounding unemployment. “I want to be the catalyst that gives our community the ambition to do something about youth unemployment. Here in Germany, they have seen some good results. I hope we can learn something”. The monarch added that it was a long-term project. Germany is seen as a shining example in the work-linked training department due to the excellent functioning of its “Duale Ausbildung” system. This keeps youth unemployment relatively low, King Philippe explained.
The King’s entourage said he was attending a series of conferences with the heads of Education and Research, the entrepreneurial world and the Unions to try and fix the situation. Thursday’s visit to Berlin and Friday’s visit to North Rhine-Westphalia is part of this.
The King is accompanied on this visit by federal and regional Education and Research ministers and Union representatives. The heads of the employment offices, representatives for employers, and experts on the situation are also with him. A work dinner took place on Thursday evening at the Belgian embassy in Berlin. The Head of State saw the German President Joachim Gauck at the Berlin Slot Bellevue beforehand. On Friday, the 50-strong Belgian delegation will head to Düsseldorf, where they will be taught more about the “Duale Ausbildung” system.