Negotiate Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe
Panel at SAMSVAR seminar in Oslo. Photo: NOVA

Seminar in Oslo

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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Janikke S. Vedeler, researcher at NOVA. Photo: NOVA, HiOA

Discussing NEGOTIATE results with employers and case workers

by Greta Juul

Vedeler and Tolgensbakk presented policy recommendations from NEGOTIATE at seminar in Bodø, Norway.

On 1 June 2017 NEGOTIATE researchers Janikke Solstad Vedeler (photo) and Ida Tolgensbakk (NOVA, HiOA) were invited to present results from our project to case workers, employers and others at a conference in Bodø: Vi vil ha deg med – en konferanse om inkludering (We want you in! A conference on inclusiveness).

The topic was how to include marginalized youth and migrants in the ordinary labour market. The event was organized by IA-rådet i Nordland and NAV Arbeidslivssenter Nordland , and  well attended, and generated many interesting discussions.

The title of Vedeler and Tolgensbakk’s talk was «Tales of being left behind – On being unemployed as an young adult». They presented some main points from the research going on in NEGOTIATE, before concentrating on subjective experiences of unemployment from the more than 200 life story interviews conducted in NEGOTIATE. The security net provided by the welfare state, in Norway represented by NAV, becomes very important when young people are without income. The interviews tell varied stories: from not needing or wanting to ask for help at all, to being helped in a myriad of ways.

Vedeler and Tolgensbakk ended their talk with pointing to the main policy recommendations from the youth themselves:

  • More, and more robust apprenticeships
  • Better, individually tailored governmental services
  • Better control with existing laws and regulations
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NEGOTIATE at ERAZ conference in Belgrade, Serbia

by Ischi Graus

On 8 June 2017 NEGOTIATE researcher Veneta Krasteva took part in the ‘3rd International Scientific Conference: Knowledge Based Sustainable Economic Development’ (ERAZ) held in Belgrade, Serbia. The event was organised by the Faculty of Applied Management, Economics and Finance, Belgrade in collaboration with the Faculty of Business Studies, Mediterranean University – Podgorica, Montenegro; University of National and World Economy – Sofia, Bulgaria; Faculty of Commercial and Business Studies – Celje, Slovenia and the Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans.

Conference ERAZ is supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia. The event was attended by researchers from eight countries from different scientific organizations, stakeholders and media.

In the beginning of her presentation Veneta Krasteva has presented NEGOTIATE project – its aims, the main stages of work and consortium members. Leaflets among the guests were distributed.

After that, based on life-course interviews conducted in the framework of NEGOTIATE project, Veneta Krasteva has revealed the subjective experience and perception of job insecurity and unemployment of people from two birth cohorts in Bulgaria, who have entered the labour market in periods of economic crisis. In the text the researcher shows: How the interviewees perceive their own situation and capabilities for action and choice when entering the labour market. The themes discussed in the report were the challenges associated with economic crisis, the impact of education, the role of employers, the importance of gender and the source of support.

A paper:Early job insecurity and unemployment: a thematic analysis of interviews with two generations in Bulgaria” will be published in the “Proceedings of the Third International Scientific Conference – ERAZ 2017” after peer reviewing.



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NEGOTIATE at the Applied Stochastic Models and Data Analysis International Conference

by Ischi Graus

In June 2017 the 17th Applied Stochastic Models and Data Analysis (ASMDA) International Conference was held, together with the 6th Demographic Workshop, in London, UK, at de Morgan house of the London Mathematical Society. The main goal of the conference was to promote new methods and techniques in analysing data in fields like stochastic modeling, optimisation techniques, statistical methods and inference, data mining and knowledge systems, demography and life table data analysis. ASMDA Conference and Demographics Workshop aimed at bringing together people from both stochastic, data analysis and demography areas. Special attention is given to applications or to new theoretical results having potential of solving real life problems.

Maria Symeonaki, contributor to the conference and chair of the Invited Session ‘Labour Market Transitions’ that she has organised presented two papers co-authored with Glykeria Stamatopoulou and Maria Karamessini. Contributors Dimitris Parsanoglou and Aggeliki Yfanti presented their study on the employers’ assessments on hiring and the results from a vignette experiment. The presentations are the following:

  1. Symeonaki, G. Stamatopoulou and M. Karamessini, On the measurement of early job insecurity. (paper)
  2. Symeonaki, G. Stamatopoulou and M. Karamessini, Labour market flows in Europe: Evidence from the EU-LFS.
  3. Parsanoglou and A. Yfanti, Employers’ assessments on hiring: results from a vignette experiment.
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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.

To stay up to date on the outcomes of the NEGOTIATE project follow us on facebook and twitter.

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