Council of Ministers

The Government of Spain approves the Youth Guarantee Plus Plan 2021-2027

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Tuesday 8 June 2021

The Council of Ministers has approved the Youth Guarantee Plus Plan 2021-2027 for decent work for young people, which aims to improve their qualifications so that they acquire the professional and technical skills necessary to access the labour market.

The Fourth Vice-President and Minister for Work and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, explained that this Plan is part of the Juventud Avanza Strategic Plan, which brings together all the actions for youth employment and which will involve 4.95 billion euros: "This is the largest investment by the Government of Spain in the history of democracy to tackle the main problem facing our country, unemployment; particularly youth unemployment."

Díaz stated that "there cannot be a country without young people, without the talent of our young people in companies. Missing out on the talent of young people in Spain today is undoubtedly a mistake".

Necessary consensus and involvement of the public and private sector

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe minister highlighted the consensus on the approved text, which is the result of social dialogue, co-governance with the regional governments and cities and work with the Tripartite Commission, the Spanish Youth Institute (INJUVE) and the Spanish State Youth Council.

In addition to counting on the continued collaboration and involvement of these institutions and entities, the minister assured that the role of the Spanish Federation of Towns and Provinces (FEMP) will be key to analysing, "almost à la carte, in each locality of our country", the specific training needed by young people in accordance with the business, economic and productive reality closest to them, in order to favour their transition to the world of work.

Díaz also called for the involvement of the private sector, so that the Plan does not become "a airtight compartment", and a change in the business culture to recover the talent of young people in decent and stable conditions: "We cannot have young people earning 436 euros per month. If we have fragile jobs, we have fragile companies, without any continuity.

Three billion euros for Youth Guarantee

The Youth Guarantee Plus Plan, which will receive more than 3 billion euros, consists of 69 personalised guidance measures for young people to equip them with the necessary skills and training for their integration into the labour market. It pays particular attention to those under 30 with low skills, but also to those who are overqualified. "These are the two extremes that operate as a factor of expulsion from the labour market today", said the minister, who is also concerned, she said, about those young people who "have fallen directly into despondency".

Díaz stressed that, through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, Spain is facing a major transformation of the production model, which has been taken into account to design measures to prepare young people for new sectors, such as those derived from the green and blue economies.

The rehabilitation of spaces, in cities and rural areas, and the promotion of new sources of employment - for example linked to design, fashion or audiovisual communication - will also form part of the Plan.

Another important aspect will be to encourage entrepreneurship. Young people who want to develop their projects will be able to access microcredits - without the need for collateral - and consultancy and advisory services, and will even be provided with physical locations.

Ensuring equal opportunities will be the backbone of all measures, with a particular emphasis on specific training and labour reintegration actions for young people with special difficulties, such as those with family responsibilities, women, members of the LGBTI community or people with disabilities.

As a key aspect of the Plan, the minister also highlighted the participation of young people themselves in managing many of the measures included in it.

Promoting Vocational Training

The Minister for the Treasury and Government Spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, stressed that Vocational Training is also one of the important reforms of this legislature, and announced that the Council of Ministers will soon approve a draft law on it.

Today, the Executive agreed to provide the regional governments with 301 million euros to promote the Vocational Training (FP) Modernisation Plan. The distribution of monies will be approved at the Education Sectoral Conference.

This amount is part of the total investment of 2.075 billion euros that the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan has earmarked for the modernisation of the FP system until 2023, in order to achieve quality, flexible and integrated education that brings the FP of the educational system and FP for Employment together into a single system.

The funds approved will mean a new system can be developed to evaluate and assess professional competences - it is planned to accredit the competences of between 450,000 and 500,000 workers this year - and to convert intermediate and higher education cycles into bilingual ones. In addition, 39,000 vocational training places will be created during the 2021-2022 academic year, with the aim of reaching 135,000 in the next three years; 220 classrooms will be digitised - to reach 638 in three years - and 457 entrepreneurship classrooms will be established, boosting the necessary resources so that students can start their own business projects. Another key objective is the training of almost 25,000 teachers.

Sustainable Development Strategy

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo The Minister for Social Rights and 2030 Agenda, Ione Belarra, has presented the Sustainable Development Strategy that Spain will make the case for next month with the United Nations (UN).

Belarra explained that this strategy reaffirms the Government's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, ratified in 2015 by 193 UN member countries, and places Spain at the international forefront in this area.

The minister asserted that it is "a country strategy and not a government strategy" because it is built from the bottom up and defined to be inherited by successive governments. She also pointed out that the regional governments, local entities, social movements, civil society, the private sector and the world of culture, as well as children and young people, have participated in its drafting.

Belarra reiterated that the Sustainable Development Strategy outlines a project for a country that ensures that no one is left behind, a guide for reconstruction and a way for citizens to access accessible housing, public services that attend to them properly, without delays, and so that they can enjoy the diversity of the country, its nature and live free from violence.

Eight country challenges and accelerating policies

Ione Belarra explained that the document sets out the challenges and policies that Spain must adopt over the next decade to tackle the social transition, centred on two axes: the guarantee of social rights and the redistribution of wealth. Here she identified issues such as the right to housing and the fight against energy poverty.

The strategy envisages the need to build a country that respects the limits of the planet and ensures a just, courageous and ambitious ecological transition. It proposes the closing of inequality gaps and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, especially male violence. It also sets out the steps to build a new economic and productive model that is green, digital, fair and guarantees quality and stability in employment.

The minister stressed that the strategy ensures the reinforcement of public services as an essential requirement to face reconstruction because the pandemic has shown us that "it is necessary to take care of the ordinary, and because the public never turns a blind eye when things get difficult".

Belarra also said that the text proposes the revitalisation of the rural environment as a specific challenge, which is a fundamental element for the cohesion of our country. "People who live in a village or a small town cannot have fewer rights than people who live in a city," she said.

Commitment to cycling and sustainable mobility

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe Council of Ministers has approved the State Cycling Strategy, whose five priorities are to advance sustainable mobility through a modal shift towards cycling; promote healthy living through active mobility; take advantage of the potential of cycle tourism; promote and protect leisure and sport by bicycle; and coordinate State action to promote cycling.

The Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma), José Luis Ábalos, explained that this plan, the first national plan on cycling, is part of the Safe, Sustainable and Connected Mobility Strategy 2030 approved in September last year. Different ministerial departments, the FEMP and associations linked to this type of sustainable transport were involved in its drafting.

Ábalos pointed out that the collaboration of different actors will also be fundamental in its roll out, which is why mechanisms have been created to facilitate it, such as the Mitma's General Cycling Office, which will centralise coordination, monitoring and communication; the Interministerial Network of those responsible for cycling-related matters, and a Cycling Consultative Committee, made up of the organisations involved. Coordination with regional governments and local entities and with the Spanish Parliament will also be emphasised.

The minister announced the next call, through the Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles, for grants to local entities to improve access to railway stations and "establish an intermodality between two clearly ecological means of transport such as the bicycle and the railway". The same Foundation is also promoting Green Routes on former railway lines, which are highly suitable for cycle tourism.

Compensation for homeowners

The Government has approved the measures and the procedure so that the regional governments and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla can use the resources of the State Housing Plan 2018-2021 - within their territorial scope - to address compensation for homeowners or landlords affected by certain cases of suspension on evictions.

José Luis Ábalos recalled that this compensation was included in Royal Decree-Law 37/2020, which established the suspension on evictions. They are aimed at affected landlords and property owners where social services could not find alternative housing for their tenants within three months.

The minister stated that the objective was to respond to situations of vulnerable tenants, thus guaranteeing social protection, but also to balance the efforts made by small landlords, avoiding transferring situations of vulnerability to them.

Compensation for public transport losses

The Council of Ministers has approved the distribution of 433.9 million euros among Local Entities to compensate for the reduction in public transport revenues caused by mobility restrictions and reduced vehicle capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. This exceptional aid will benefit some 237 town councils, city halls, island councils and associations of towns and their metropolitan areas.

María Jesús Montero acknowledged the leading role of towns in people's daily lives and thanked them for continuing to provide an essential service such as public transport during the pandemic.

Combating gender-based violence

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe Executive has agreed to allocate 100 million euros to develop the State Pact against Gender Violence. The funds will finance projects or programmes to combat gender violence, which must be promoted by the regional governments and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. The proposal for territorial distribution will be addressed at the Sectoral Conference on Equality.

The spokesperson for the Executive reiterated the Government's commitment to eradicating violence against women and their children: "We want to let them know that they are not alone, that this government is investing the greatest resources in history to eradicate this scourge, this terrorism, this violence".

In May, seven women and the son of one of them were killed by their partners or ex-partners. These figures, said the minister, "force us to be alert and to recognise that there is still a long road ahead". In this sense, Montero stressed that the government will also continue to work to put an end to the discourse that questions the existence of this type of violence.

The Ministry for Equality is reviewing all the protocols and tools available to the institutions in this area, with the aim of consolidating a stable and well-funded framework by the time the State Pact comes to an end in 2022.

Evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination data

The spokesperson for the Executive pointed out that the data published yesterday show that 11 million citizens have already received the full vaccination schedule and that more than 30 million have had at least one dose: "The next target is to reach 15 million people with the full guideline within the next week".

María Jesús Montero stressed that the government is meeting the objectives set by its president, demonstrating that we are a "very effective country when it comes to carrying out mass vaccination processes".

Furthermore, she explained that "the good vaccination data and the downwards trend in cumulative incidence offers the possibility of re-evaluating the measures aimed at preventing new infections", as proposed by the Ministry for Health.

Current affairs

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo During the press conference following the Council of Ministers, María Jesús Montero announced that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, begins a trip to Argentina and Costa Rica this afternoon, accompanied by a group of businessmen.

She also reported that Pedro Sánchez had had a telephone conversation with the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, with whom he discussed his recent trip to Libya, given that Egypt is a "key player" in the stabilisation of that country. In addition, the head of the Executive recognised el-Sisi's "successful and active contribution" to achieving the ceasefire between Israel and Palestine.

The two leaders were scheduled to meet at the Paris Summit on the African economy, which Sánchez was unable to attend due to the crisis that arose with Morocco.

Non official translation