Thematic Group on Rural Youth Employment: the Voice of Rural Youth 

a woman standing in a kitchen

One of the priorities for moving European rural youth forward is to create sustainable and high-quality rural jobs accessible to young people. Rural youth unemployment rates are higher than the average throughout the EU and rural employment opportunities tend to be relatively limited, with a prevalence of seasonal jobs.  

Supporting youth employment can help revitalise rural areas, prevent depopulation and strengthen rural communities. Remote work, co-working, social farming or start-ups represent a ‘window of opportunity’, particularly for young people. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the reinforced Youth Guarantee by Member States and a variety of EU programmes offer multiple and significant resources to support rural youth employment, and these opportunities need to be better understood and applied in a targeted and coordinated way.   

This EU CAP Network Thematic Group, facilitated by the CAP Implementation Contact Point, took a holistic approach in exploring the mechanisms to support employment of young rural people, considering developments on the rural job market, ongoing global trends, but also relevant policies and available tools, initiatives and funds.

The main objective of this TG was to explore various approaches to developing sustainable and high-quality rural jobs accessible to young people, and thereby inform relevant policies. 

The TG consisted of a small but dedicated cross-section of informed and engaged stakeholders from different parts of Europe.  The TG was stakeholder-driven, allowing young rural stakeholders – principally people under 30 years of age from different EU rural areas – to have a significant say in shaping the discussions around rural youth employment. The list of TG members is available here.  

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Thematic Group meetings