In recent years, young people’s opportunities have been affected severely by the socio-economic crisis, leading to higher rates of social exclusion. This has shown that young people tend to be vulnerable. However, some youth groups are more vulnerable than others. The participation in the educational system and in the labour market bears potential, as it enables young people to self-determine their life-course and overcome social exclusion and its underlying drivers.

Our workshop ‘European youth between education and employment - Improving young people's participation in society’ explored the educational and professional participation of three selected vulnerable youth groups (age range 18-25): young adults with mental health problems, young adults leaving care, and young adults with a third country background. The workshop placed a spotlight on how local authorities can support these groups through person-centred and community-based services. More particularly, we looked at the impact of early school leaving as well as at the opportunities and challenges of school-to-work transitions.