LITHUANIAN YOUTH IS “EN ROUTE”

Some data about Lithuanian youth
The number of young people (aged 14 to 29) totaled 524.1 thousand, accounting for
almost 20% of Lithuanian population (18.7%).
The proportion of young individuals aged 12 to 29 who are unemployed, studying, or
taking part in training programmes amounts to 11.60% according to 2022.
In 2017, there were 24.5 thousand emigrant adolescents aged 14 to 29. (in 2016 –
20.9 thousand). Young people, as in previous years, are the most active participants
in emigration. This figure climbed by 9.5 percentage points in 2017 (from 41.6
percent in 2016 to 51.1 percent in 2017), and it accounted for the lion’s share of
emigration. In 2017, the United Kingdom remained a popular destination for
emigration. Four thousand Republic of Lithuania nationals aged 14 to 29 returned
(re-emigrated) to Lithuania (in 2016 – 5.6 thousand).
Lithuanian Youth & Policies
Youth are more westernised than their parents or grandparents, and ancient social
divisions give way to new ones that are widespread in Western Europe. The typical
approach to grow up is to attend a kindergarten, then a school from the ages of
seven to eighteen, and then immediately pursue university education (up to a
Master’s degree). The only one that is required is school. Most people begin looking
for work only after finishing their studies; before to that, they devote their spare time
to “being students” (partying, etc.), with the exception of an odd summer
employment (if one follows the huge study plans rigorously, (s)he will have very little
free time anyhow).
In Lithuania, youth policy is defined as the full set of procedures and actions aimed
at promoting a young person’s personal development and successful integration into
society. It is usually accepted to refer to structures of support (fields of socialisation),
which are secondary to a person’s and, especially, a family’s work in preparing a
young person for independent existence. These structures are classified as informal,
non-formal, formal, and commercial. Lithuanian youth policy is evolving year after
year.
The number of young individuals and inhabitants in other population groups is
decreasing as emigration of young people has accelerated population ageing. Thus,
the strategy emphasises that Lithuania’s young is one of the most essential
components contributing to the country’s future stability. Multi-year programmes are
used to establish youth policy. From 2011 until 2019, the National Youth Policy
Development Programme was in effect. The present National youth policy action
plan for 2022 establishes the objectives, tasks, measures, qualitative and
quantitative evaluation criteria for the implementation of the national youth policy in
the sphere of youth policy for 2022, including steps to combat the Covid-19
pandemic.
A start-up country
Since 2012, the Lithuanian startup environment has grown at an exponential rate.
Lithuania offers a number of competitive advantages, including its location between
east and west, a highly qualified IT labour pool, lower operating costs, and a
developing and supportive environment. According to Startup Lithuania, the country
has served as a magnet for both local and regional entrepreneurs. The rise of the IT
sector not only helped the establishment of new firms and workplaces, but it also
raised awareness of Lithuanian IT potential, since Lithuanian startups were observed
scaling up globally. Startup Lithuania believes that Lithuania offers an ideal
environment for the IT sector to continue its exponential growth.
Lithuania can be viewed as a model of good practise in terms of access to funding
for youth entrepreneurship. Access to money is one of the most important
components of Lithuania’s youth entrepreneurship support system (OECD, 2015).
The Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund (EPF) is the primary source of funding for
young entrepreneurs. It also assists other significant target groups such as the
unemployed, the disabled, young people (under the age of 29), and the elderly (50
years old or older). The EPF assists emerging firms by providing soft loans backed
by government guarantees. Beneficiaries can also reclaim up to 95% of interest paid
and reinvest the funds in further growth.
Lithuania boasts a plethora of local investors, a strong infrastructure and talent pool,
and a thriving startup community of over 1000 firms. The country was ranked 17th in
the globe by Startup Blink and among the 60 developing startup ecosystems in this
2022 Startup Genome study. In 2021, Lithuanian startups received a record number
of investments totaling more than €428 million.

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