This book confronts readers with questions emerging from the 'gap' between EU aspirations to reduce youth unemployment without increasing social exclusion - and what is actually happening in practice. Aimed at a diverse readership, it is based on a three year European Union (EU) project into education, training, guidance and employment (ETG) programmes for young adults across six countries. Insights are grounded in the lives and stories of disadvantaged young adults, and of those who work with them, bringing to life unintended impacts of well intended interventions. The authors consider the influence of shifting political and pedagogical ideologies in the EU on local practices and young peoples’ lives and choices. They also consider the impact of policy and performance management discourses ’on the ground’. This work uses rigorous yet innovative narrative forms to invite readers into a ’whole system’ inquiry into these complexities. Unemployed Youth and Social Exclusion in Europe will make an important contribution to reflecting critically on current policy and practice, as well as to academic understandings of unemployed youth, and restrictive and reflexive approaches to learning for inclusion across Europe.