James Higgins (European Youth Forum) - Youth guarantee practices
PRESENTATIONPresentationThe Youth Guarantee: Policies and PracticesJames Higgins
What is the European Youth Forum?• The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is a European youth-platform, independentlyestablished by youth organisations. It is made up of 98 National Youth Councilsand International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations, which are federationsof youth organisations in themselves• It brings together tens of millions of young people from all over Europe, organisedin order to represent their common interests.• Representation, internal democracy, independence, openness and inclusion areamong the main principles for the functioning of the European Youth Forum andits Member Organisations.
The European Youth Forum is forthe empowerment of youngpeople, so that they can exercisetheir rights and become activecitizens. To do this we work toensure young people have a say inthe policies that affect them.
Youth Unemployment: The Hard Facts• Youth unemployment has been consistently higher than unemployment amongthe adult population for many years• Young people are more vulnerable on the labour market, they are over-represented in temporary and part-time jobs and as a result are more likely to faceunemployment during recessions• As a result, when the financial crisis unravelled in mid-2008 young people wereimpacted the most. The youth unemployment rate climbed to over 21% in 2010and has remained there ever since (currently 23.4%)• According to the European Commission, young people and children are thedemographic most likely to face poverty and are therefore more affected by cutsto services and jobs during economic recession
The Economic Cost• In economic terms, according to EUROFOUND, the cost of youth unemploymentin terms of social welfare costs and lost contribution to GDP amounts to 153Billion Euro per year in 26 Member States – roughly 14.000 Euros per youngperson• Long periods of unemployment while young have been shown to have potential“scarring” effects which have a harmful impact in later life, particularly for youngpeople not in employment, education or training (NEETs).• According to the OECD, a six month spell of unemployment at the age of 22would result in an 8% lower wage at 23, and even at ages 30 and 31 wages wouldbe 2-3% lower than they would have been otherwise. The lower the level of initialqualification, the longer these scarring effects are likely to impact the individual.
The Youth Guarantee• The Youth Forum has been lobbying for a European youth guarantee, the policy ofoffering a young person a job, training, or re-training, as a right, within 4 monthsof being made unemployed since 2010• The concept of guaranteeing a young person a job, training or retrainingoriginated in the Scandinavian countries in the 1980s but has recently gainedinterest in other European countries and regions• Some form of the Youth Guarantee is in place in Denmark, Sweden, NorwayAustria and Finland. There are also youth guarantees in place in municipalities andregions in different parts of Europe, such as Tuscany in Italy and Ballymun inDublin, Ireland.• In order to clearly explain the strengths and weaknesses of the youth guaranteethis presentation will focus on the countries with two of the longest establishedschemes: Sweden and Finland
The Swedish Job Guarantee (En jobbgaranti for ungdommar)• Sweden introduced the first youth guarantee in 1984 (followed by Norwayand Denmark in 1993)• Some difficulties were encountered with the scheme in the 1990s due to therecession in the region, and the scheme has been revised over the past 10years, with a re-vamped version launched in 2007• The target group for the Job Guarantee is unemployed people aged 16-24who are registered for over three months• The aim of the scheme is to offer employment services quickly to preventlong-term unemployment
The Swedish Job Guarantee: ImplementationThe job search support offered by the PES is divided into three phases:1.The young person registers at the PES2.In depth assessment of personal needs carried out3.After 3 months job search activities are intensified and combined with activelabour market measures such as work experience placements, traineeships,support in accessing education or training, or getting start-fund funding for abusiness
Finnish Youth Guarantee (Nuorten Yhtieskuntatakuu)• The target group for the Finnish youth guarantee was young people under 25but this was extended to include young graduates up to the age of 30 in 2013• The aim of the youth guarantee is to reduce the time of NEET status byimproving their chances of finding a job or educational opportunity• Under the Finnish system the public employment services is obliged todevelop a personal development plan for the jobseeker, to carry out a needsassessment of what support is needed and to offer a job, study place oranother ‘activation measure’.• Provisions are made for training, coaching, counselling, subsidised work andstart-ups for small businesses in the scheme
Popularity of Youth Guarantee• The youth guarantee has proved popular with young people in both Swedenand Finland since its inception• In Sweden the young people participating in the scheme increased from10,000 in 2008 to 53,000 in 2010. There were successful outcomes for 46%of young people• In Finland 83.5% of young jobseekers received a successful interventionwithin 3 months of registering as unemployed in 2011• In Finland the PES accelerated it’s services to young people resulting in adrop in youth employment• During the economic crisis both countries struggled to meet demand. InFinland in 2009 there was 1 youth adviser per 700 clients. In 2010 Finlandincreased its budget to its PES to meet the demand from young people
Challenges of Youth GuaranteeAlthough the youth guarantee has proved successful in Sweden and Finland, ithas exposed a number of challenges and areas that need further attention:•Youth guarantees have had limited impact on entrenched ‘hard-to-reach’unemployed young people. Improved integration between youth services, socialservices and health services is required for this group•The youth guarantee depends on the capacity of public employment servicesand the integration of public policies in place (e.g. between employers andeducation providers•Temptation to provide a ‘quick-fix’ solution of ‘any job will do’ rather thanaddressing medium to long term issues; such as skills mismatch•There needs to be an intervention at an early stage, allowing a young person toremain inactive for more than 3 months harms their employability
Summary• The reinvestment of €60 million in the Finnish youth guarantee this year,combined with the popularity of the scheme among young people is atestament to its potential to address youth employment issues• However, the youth guarantee is not a quick-fix solution and for the mostdisadvantaged young people efforts must first be taken on a communitybasis to reintegrate them in society• In order to implement the scheme effectively there must be a real investmentin public employment services in order to make them youth-friendly as wellas capable of handling the increased demand