Sarkozy earmarks 1.3 billion euros to fight youth unemployment
Paris - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday the government had drawn up a plan that earmarks 1.3 billion euros (1.7 billion dollars) to aid jobless under the age of 26.
In a speech in the town of Jouy-le-Moutier, north of Paris, Sarkozy said his plan would lead to the recruitment of 320,000 apprentices by June 2010.
One proposal foresees giving a bonus of 1,800 euros to small and mid-sized companies for every apprentice they take on. The state is also to pay a bonus to companies who hire workers 25 years of age or younger.
The young have been particularly hard hit by the economic crisis. At the end of 2008, more than 20 per cent of active job-seekers under the age of 26 were unemployed. (dpa)