1.9 Current debates and reforms
Forthcoming policy developments
A new youth policy strategy is being discussed in work groups. The main actors involved include the Department of Youth Affairs , other policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders.
Main issues related to youth policy in Lithuania include developing youth dialogue with municipalities of small towns and villages, developing local initiatives in the rural areas, including job creation schemes, developing the business environment in rural areas and supporting self-employment and small business in rural areas to involve young people. Developing and strengthening youth information centres where young people can be consulted about education, health, social welfare etc. remain main preoccupations of developing youth policy and increasing youth participation.
There is increasing disparity between urban and rural areas in terms of education and employment opportunities and living conditions. This drives young people from rural areas to the major cities (Vilnius, Klaipėda and Kaunas) and abroad.
The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the labor market, had the most negative impact on young people's unemployment rates. The growth in the number of young unemployed persons aged 16–29 in the Lithuanian Employment Service people has been recorded since June 2020. Of particular concern is the growing number of unskilled or under-qualified young people of working age.