Youth Guarantee Support System is a tool for the local governments, which enables them to find out about the non-educated and non-working young people (NEETs) in their area through STAR information system (Social Services and Support Data Register) and, if necessary, provide them with support for continuing their education and entering the job market. The Youth Guarantee Support System is a separate activity that supports the overall European Youth Guarantee program. Such a tool, that is linked with the data taken from national population register, currently only exists in Estonia.
With this tool local governments can learn about NEETs in their area and if necessary, provide them with support for returning to education and reaching the job market. The Youth Guarantee Support System is aimed at young people aged 16-26. If the NEET agrees to meet with the local government then a plan for further action is put together.
The Ministry of Social Affairs tests and develops the Youth Guarantee Support System in cooperation with local governments between 2018–2020. In 2016, pilot projects were carried out in the cities of Tartu and Võru to test the functioning of the data exchange between registers. The results of the test showed that, with the IT solution created by the Youth Guarantee Support System, it is possible for local authorities to create a tool that makes it much easier to reach the NEETS. Local governments have been using this tool since May 2018. Today, 57 local governments have used this tool. To join the Youth Support System local governments, have to submit an application through the STAR information system. Applications should be submitted before 1 March or 1 October prior to each request for data. The query will be launched on March 15 or October 15.
The innovation approach of the Youth Guarantee Support System lies in the fact that NEET receives its personal case manager who contacts the NEETs and identifies the goals that are important for them and sets out youth-oriented plan to achieve these goals. The case manager instructs and keeps up with the NEET’s activities. Together, the individual plan is analysed and, if necessary, changes are made to objectives or action steps. When the goals are achieved, the plan is terminated or a new plan is prepared according to the wishes of the young person. The personal case manager helps NEET to create his/her CV, provides information about courses, e-learning or other career services.
One of the biggest difficulties was that the young people had lost motivation to help themselves and they did not want to hear what local government wanted to offer and they did not answer to the emails or text messages that were sent first. In these cases, if the NEET does not answer in the first 14 days the case worker will call or contact the NEET through social media. The difficulty is also the national population register from where the data about the NEETs is taken from. If the data there is expired, the NEET cannot be contacted.
The long-term benefits of helping the NEETs is not just improving the unemployment situation but being the NEET for a longer period of time can lead to a variety of negative social conditions such as isolation, precarious and underpaid jobs, crime, and mental and physical health problems. Youth Guarantee Support System can help to avoid this.