Despite signs that Europe's economic troubles are easing, unemployment and insecurities in the labour market remain an issue for young people. Involving them more strongly in employment policymaking and implementation is just one of the insights to come out of ongoing EU-funded research.
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Often forced into the informal economy or to take up unpaid training or work for which they are overqualified, Europes young people are also disproportionately at risk of poverty, material deprivation, social exclusion, unemployment and unstable employment.
EXCEPT, an EU-funded project, is analysing how these new realities are impacting young people, their individual well-being and independence.
The project will identify the most effective forms of labour market organisation, how to improve educational systems and social policy.
Initial results from EXCEPT include the findings that:
- Having a job really matters for the wellbeing and health of young people in Europe; almost regardless whether it is a permanent or a temporary job.
- Unemployment has a negative impact on wellbeing and, to a lesser extent, on health. The spillover effects of job-loss are greater when a male partner loses his job.
- The following can help reduce the negative effects of labour market exclusion and improve wellbeing:
- more generous unemployment benefits;
- an end to stratification within education systems;
- more people entering higher education;
- more second-chance opportunities within education systems.
- Unemployment delays young people moving out of their family home in some countries, but not in others.
The EXCEPT partners are promoting better collaboration, consultation, networking, knowledge-sharing and mobility among researchers with the broader aim of designing relevant policies and programmes. Involving Europes youth more in employment policymaking and implementation is considered a key ingredient to achieve this.
If these challenges are not better understood and anticipated, forces of globalisation [may] push European countries to compete with each other rather than cooperate, thus accentuating differences in Europe rather than commonalities and a right balance between cooperation and competition, notes the project team. The final conference of the project takes place early 2018 in Brussels.