Negotiate Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe


by Ischi Graus

In April 2017 the Consortium members of the NEGOTIATE project came together at the University of Girona in Spain for our fourth progress meeting.

With less than a year left to finalise the project, the many researchers involved are well on their way to shaping the final outcomes of their papers. Research shows that being unemployed when young leads to many negative outcomes – scarring effects – in later life stages in terms of well-being, health, subsequent lower pay, higher unemployment and reduced life chances.

In the research conducted empirical data was retrieved from life-course interviews with three cohorts that all have experienced insecure labour markets across nine different European countries, Norway, the UK, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

During the Lightening talks, where all researchers were presenting their main findings thus far, the deep effects, or scarring effects, of early job insecurity and youth unemployment become gravely clear; young people without a job are more likely to turn to drugs, have psychological problems, have difficulty transitioning into adulthood and this can drag on for many years throughout the course of their lives. However, differences are identified when it comes to the severity of the economic situation on national level and policy coordination.

When it concerns policy coordination, or any type of stimulation from the state’s side, it appears to be somewhat difficult to simply say that any type of measure is a good one. Giving financial incentives to employers to hire young people, doesn’t have the needed long-term effects, work training also doesn’t necessarily seem to help. In addition, the researchers in the project are exploring in what way European states can coordinate, on different levels, to assure sustainable improvement for young people.

The upcoming months everyone involved in the project will focus on finalising their papers, the final conference, that is to take place in Brussels in December, and finalising two main volumes to be published the beginning of 2018 in which the main messages of all the different papers will be combined.

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Ischi Graus

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