Half of the unemployed people are currently long-term unemployed, that is, unemployed for more than 12 months. Long-term unemployment has implications for society as a whole, with dire social consequences for the persons concerned and a negative impact on growth and public finances. Long-term unemployment is one of the causes of persistent poverty.
Addressing long-term unemployment is a key employment challenge of the Commission's jobs and growth strategy.
The Council Recommendation puts forward three key steps:
- encouraging the registration of long-term unemployed with an employment service;
- providing each registered long-term unemployed with an individual in-depth assessment to identify their needs and potential at the very latest at 18 months of unemployment;
- offering a job integration agreement to all registered long-term unemployed at the very latest at 18 months.
Simplified access to support
This will lead to simplified and better access to support for those out of work for long periods.
The job integration agreement should consist of a tailor-made plan to bring the long-term unemployed back to work. It can include, depending on the existing services in each Member State:
- help with the job search,
- further education and training,
- support for housing, transport, child and care services or rehabilitation.
Each long-term unemployed will have a single point of contact for accessing this support.
Member States have committed to an active involvement and partnership with employers, who should be more involved in finding a pathway back to work for the long-term unemployed.
In October 2016 the employment ministers of all EU Member States endorsed a framework to monitor the implementation of the Council Recommendation. The first data collection will take place in mid-2017.