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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Lithuania

Lithuania

4. Social Inclusion

4.4 Inclusive programmes for young people

On this page
  1. Programmes for vulnerable young people
  2. Funding
  3. Quality assurance

Programmes for vulnerable young people

Lithuania is included the Youth Employment Initiative in the Operational Programme for the European Union Funds’ Investments in 2014-2020; where its implementation was assigned to specific objective 7.4.1. “Reduce the number of young people between 15 and 29 years of age not in employment, education or training” of Priority 7 “Promoting Quality Employment and Participation in the Labour Market”. This specific objective includes two Youth Employment Initiative supported projects which is aimed to provide assistance to 35,000 young people aged 15-29 who are not in employment, education or training until 2018. The primary intervention project “Discover Yourself” (Atrask save) is implemented between Lithuanian Public Employment Service, called the Lithuanian Labour Exchange, acting as a leading partner, and Department of Youth Affairs. Each institution coordinates a separate strand of the project targeting different NEET groups. Lithuanian Labour Exchange’s programme is designed for active NEETs who are officially registered with LLE as unemployed whereas Department of Youth Affairs targets inactive NEETs. The project offers early intervention services that will focus on the development of motivational, social and labour market skills through engaging NEETs in voluntary activities, various trainings, traineeship and apprenticeship experiences as well as providing them with psychological counselling, skills' assessment and other measures to enhance their motivation for work. It is planned that 23,000 unemployed NEETs and 12,000 inactive NEETs will participate in the project ‘Discover Yourself’, which will be fully launched, most likely, in April 2016. Those participants of the project "Discover Yourself" who do not receive unsubsidised job offer will be offered participation in the secondary intervention project “New Start” (Naujas startas). The project which will be carry outed only by the Lithuanian Labour Exchange, plans to involve a total of 11 065 unique NEETs in various active labour market measures. Most of the participants of this project will be involved in vocational training (around 9 000). Other participants will receive subsidised jobs or a package of several services (for example, vocational training and subsidised job) depending on their needs. The project ‘New Start’ will provide an opportunity to support the most disadvantaged participants of the first YEI project for a longer period of time than just 4 months.

The measure “subsidised employment” is regulated by Article 24 of the Law on Support for Employment. Under this measure, employers hiring youth (ages 16-29) who are registered in the Lithuanian Labour Exchange can have 50% of the gross wage reimbursed for a period not exceeding six months. Priority is given to long-term unemployed youth, young parents of two children, and youth originating from families that have two or more family members registered in the Lithuanian Labour Exchange. The compensation equals 50% of the wage and cannot exceed two minimum wages per month (EUR 600 monthly or EUR 3.64 hourly). Employers who fire subsidised workers (within six months after the subsidy period) cannot receive subsidised employment for at least 12 months. In 2014, over 9 700 youth were hired under “subsidised employment” in Lithuania.  

The measure “Support for the First Job” (Investicijų ir verslo garantijos), financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), was introduced in Lithuania in 2012 to promote youth employment. According to the measure, employers hiring youth (aged 16-29) with no previous work experience can receive a wage subsidy equal to 23.3% of the gross salary paid to the employee. Compensations are paid on a maximum wage of EUR 492.30 per month, and as a consequence the value of the compensation can in no case exceed EUR 114.70 per month.1 The wage subsidy is paid for a maximum of 12 months (see, for more details, the webpage of Investicijų ir verslo garantijos UAB, INVEGA, the independent agency in charge with administering the programme). The overall budget for this measures is EUR 9 270 000, and it is estimated that around 20 000 youth in total will benefit from this measure (European Social Fund, 2014). Although the project is going to end in September 2015, a similar project funded by the European Union will be introduced and shall be operational until 2020.

Job rotation programme is organised in cases when unemployed people are hired to temporary replace employees that are on leave (e.g. parental leave, educational and sabbatical leave). PES provides employer with a wage subsidy of up to 0.5 of the minimum wage for a maximum of 12 months. The programme attracts relatively few participants – 400 people in 2012, which suggests even fewer youth participated in the programme.

The measure “support for the acquisition of professional skills” is also regulated by Article 24 of the Law on Support for Employment. The measure provides partial wage subsidies to employers hiring youth (ages 16-29) who need to acquire new skills. These include: those who have been given a notice of dismissal; long-term unemployed; and those who start a job for the first time. The compensation equals 50% of the wage and cannot exceed two minimum wages per month (EUR 600 monthly or EUR 3.64 hourly). The duration of the subsidy is five months, while it is 12 months for youth starting a job with a newly acquired qualification. During 2014, over 2 000 youth participated in this programme.

Lithuanian Labour Exchange implements three ESF projects, where young people are one of the target groups:

  1. Project “Trust in Yourself”: intended for young people aged 16-25 who are not in employment nor education, nor engaged in any measures of active labour market policy. 
  2. Project “Employment Support”: targeted at young people under 29 to engage them in two measures of active labour market policy: subsidised employment and supporting acquisition of job skills. 
  3. Project “Stay in the Labour Market”: targeted at young people under 29 to engage them in three measures of active labour market policy: subsidised employment, supporting acquisition of job skills and job rotation. 

National Youth Policy Development Program for 2011-2019 has the following purposes related to youth social inclusion: 1) to ensure the development of social security, education, and health systems to meet various needs of youth; 2)  to develop and coordinate the system of work with youth as well as ensure the development of youth employment infrastructure. This programme is aimed at creating a favourable environment for a fully-fledged life and the self-expression of youth in Lithuania. The Action Plans for 2011 -2013 and 2014 – 2016 of implementing The National Program for the Development of Youth Policy for 2011 – 2019 have measures addressing NEETs. The Action Plan also provides for developing non-formal education seeking its integration with formal education; creating favourable conditions for youth and organisations dealing with youth to engage in consistent high-quality activities stimulating more active (self) involvement of youth in organised activities.

The National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men for 2015-2016 aims at addressing, in a consistent, complex and systematic manner, gender equality issues, ensuring gender mainstreaming in all spheres and tackling specific problems of women and men. The Programme identifies main priorities for gender equality, and specific measures to achieve set goals aimed at: improving labour market reintegration opportunities for women and men returning to the labour market after childcare leave, promoting equal treatment of women and men in the labour market, equal recognition and assessment reducing thereby sectoral and vocational exclusion in the labour market on the grounds of gender; integrating the matters of ensuring equal labour market opportunities for women and men in social partnership and dialogue; seeking to reduce the gap between the wages paid to women and men.

National Programme for Social Integration of People with Disabilities for 2013–2019 aimed at creating equal opportunities and improved quality of life for people with disabilities. The Action Plan of Measures for National Programme for Social Integration of People with Disabilities for 2013–2019 provides for developing community services for people with disabilities and improving the quality of their life (analysing the existing system of services and assistance, possibilities to acquire housing, providing proposals on their improvement, financing projects of social rehabilitation services to people with disabilities within the community), improving legal regulation and financing adaptation of the environment for people with disabilities, providing funding for the adaptation of housing and respective surroundings to the needs of the disabled, transportation of pupils with special needs to education and training institutions and ensuring that this need is satisfied; increasing the opportunities for the disabled to study at universities, gain employment and stay in the labour market.

Funding

The measure “Support for the First Job” (Investicijų ir verslo garantijos), financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), was introduced in Lithuania in 2012 to promote youth employment. See, for more details, the webpage of Investicijų ir verslo garantijos UAB, INVEGA, the independent agency in charge with administering the programme. The overall budget for this measures is EUR 9 270 000, and it is estimated that around 20 000 youth in total will benefit from this measure (European Social Fund, 2014). Although the project is going to end in September 2015, a similar project funded by the European Union will be introduced and shall be operational until 2020.

Lithuanian Labour Exchange implements three ESF projects, where young people are one of the target groups:

  1. Project “Trust in Yourself”: intended for young people aged 16-25 who are not in employment nor education, nor engaged in any measures of active labour market policy. In 2014, LTL 2.2 million was used for the implementation of the Programme of Social Rehabilitation and Preparation for Employment in the Labour Market; intended funding for 2015 – LTL 1.4 million.
  2. Project “Employment Support”: targeted at young people under 29 to engage them in two measures of active labour market policy: subsidised employment and supporting acquisition of job skills. – In 2014, LTL 12.61 million used for the implementation of activities intended to boost youth employment.
  3. Project “Stay in the Labour Market”: targeted at young people under 29 to engage them in three measures of active labour market policy: subsidised employment, supporting acquisition of job skills and job rotation. – In 2014, LTL 20.5 million used for the implementation of activities targeted at young people under 29 (LTL 17.83 million from ESF funds; LTL 2.68 million from the Unemployment Fund).

Quality assurance

The Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan gives the analysis of the current situation, defines aims, objectives and measures, and establishes evaluation criteria in Annex 2. The external evaluation of Youth Guarantee implementation in Lithuania was carried out JSC ‘PPMI Group’ and public entity ‘Public Policy and Management Institute’ in 2015.