ONE of the most important targets on the French government’s agenda for 2006 is to tackle youth unemployment.
Many observers claimed the riots that hit France last year were as a result of lack of job opportunities amongst many young people.
Recent research by DARES (Direction de l'animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques) highlights the problems the government faces.
Although the percentage of under-25s without a job has fallen to 22.7%, this compares to a national figure of 9.5%.
But most worryingly is the fact that out of the EU member countries only Italy, Greece, Slovakia and Poland have a higher percentage of young people out of work.
In the UK the figure stands at 12.1%, in Holland it is 8% and in Germany, which has faced similar economic problems to France, the number of under-25s unemployed is 15.1%.
One of the measures the government introduced after the riots was the relaxation of employment contract regulations that allowed employers to lay off younger members of staff within the first two years of employment.