French PM announces 6.5B-euro plan for youth employment

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a stimulus plan worth 6.5 billion euros (US $7.5 billion) to further support youth employment severely hit by the economic recession due to coronavirus pandemic.

In a visit to youth training center in Besancon in eastern France on Thursday, Castex announced an “unprecedented” aid package to boost job creation and help hundreds of thousands of youngsters who are “the most affected when an economic crisis occurs”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two-year “youth plan” proposes a subsidy of 4,000 euros per job for companies to recruit jobseekers aged under 25, with the aim to have 450,000 young people employed by January 2021.

The plan also includes 300,000 subsidized contracts for youngsters entering workforce, and qualified training for 200,000 people.

Some 800,000 young people in France will enter the labour market this summer while the eurozone’s second largest economy is forecast to shrink by 11 per cent.

“We must by all means anticipate, protect the French and prepare the future of our economy,” Castex said.