Negotiate Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe

Seminar in Oslo

Panel at SAMSVAR seminar in Oslo. Photo: NOVA
by Nina Eriksen

June 23 2017 NEGOTIATE researchers from NOVA and HiOA presented findings at a seminar aimed at discussing unemployed young people in Norway.

Christer Hyggen gave insights into recruiters’ evaluations of young job applicants in Norway.

Recruiter’s evaluations

Early job insecurity among young job seekers may signal low abilities to employers and impede future employment chances. A main goal of NEGOTIATE is to better understand how early employment instability and unemployment affect the careers of young job seekers from the perspective of employers. European countries have been hit differently by the recent economic crisis and the proportion of young people in insecure job situations varies greatly.

The study presented provides insights into recruiters’ evaluations of young job applicants in different economic and policy contexts across Europe and will help to gain knowledge about some of the mechanisms driving cross-country variations in the individual consequences of early job insecurity.

In a survey distributed to recruiters, the researchers considered different markers of early job insecurity, such as unemployment, work experience in deskilling jobs, and job hopping.

Read about the results in Policy Brief no. 6: Employers assessments of young job applicants: Findings from a comparative study

Life satisfaction

Janikke S. Vedeler and Ida Tolgensbakk talked about youth unemployment and the consequences for life satisfaction and social trust.

In an effort to understand the subjective effects of youth unemployment in Europe, the NEGOTIATE project conducted life story interviews with 211 individuals from seven countries and three cohorts (1950–1955, 1970–1975 and 1990–1995). The participating countries were Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Norway, Poland and the UK. The Norwegian team has written the report , with important inputs from all the participating national teams.

Policy recommendations

The interviewees called for better, individually tailored governmental services, rendered by employment agency caseworkers who do not only see you as a number, but as an individual. Many interviewees told of feeling that their skills and experiences were overlooked. Furthermore, the interviewees expressed a need for the development of better active labour market measures that would enhance rather than reduce their employability.

It is important to the interviewees not to be trapped by such measures, but to enter the competitive labour market as soon as possible. For some interviewees, private employment agencies have been important, and many wish for these to be better incorporated in governmental policies. However, these agencies normally only provide temporary jobs that foster precariousness and poor working conditions. Hence, interviewees asked for better regulation. The findings are presented in working paper 4.4.

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Nina Eriksen
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