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Jianu (CNIPMMR): We must stop labour exodus; NEET unemployment has reached 23pct

The unemployment rate among Romania's NEET young people - not in education, employment or training - has risen from 17% before the COVID-19 pandemic to 23% today, and that should be our concern and we should stop the labour exodus, Chairman of the National Council of Small and Medium-sized Privately-owned Enterprises in Romania (CNIPMMR) Florin Jianu told the National Recovery Forum on Tuesday.

"I think we should always relate to reality and look at the human resources area. Seven out of ten young people registered for the Baccalaureate this year. So three out of ten did not register... That is extremely serious for our future as a society, including the economy, the way Romania will look, its workforce. Unemployment among NEET young people has risen to 23%, whereas before the crisis it was were below 17%. If we are to compare ourselves with what is happening in other countries, such as Spain or Greece, where unemployment is 50% among these young people, these things should be of concern to us. We must stop this exodus that is once again affecting the workforce. For 27 years we at the National Council of SMEs have also been drafting the White Paper on SMEs and we have seen how the issue of small and medium-sized enterprises has changed. If two years ago we were talking about the main problem, the lack of labour, last year it was a problem of SME survival, and now we return to that problem of lack of labour. The first sector affected is tourism, which, again, is starting to complain about this problem... So, we have to stop this hemorrhage and change it," Jianu said.

He added that Romania will have a labour deficit unless the implementation of investment with existing financial instruments under the National Recovery and Resilience Program (PNRR) is started. Sustainable Romania and EM360 Group organised on Tuesday the National Recovery Forum, an online event that aims to bring into debate Romania's opportunity under the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (RRF) is the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU to help the EU emerge stronger and more resilient from the current crisis. It will make 672.5 billion euros in loans and grants available to support reforms and investments undertaken by member states. The aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

The member states' National Recovery and Resilience Plans have to provide reforms and investment in areas such as: transport, environment, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, green transition, tourism, agriculture, education, health, business, research, innovation, digitalisation.

Romania submitted national plan to the European Commission on May 31, 2021.