Negotiate Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe

European Youth Guarantee, it’s lessons and future

by Ischi Graus

Ten years after the onset of the financial crisis, unemployment and job insecurity are still challenges that affect young people in all European countries. The NEGOTIATE project reveals that despite convergence of policies there is still significant divergence of outcomes. Bad luck in timing of labour market entry leaves scars on the young. During the final conference to take place on 4 and 5 December in Brussels we will discuss ‘Scarred youth – What can the EU do?’.

The European Youth Guarantee – lessons learned and future

The third session will discuss the European Youth Guarantee – Lessons learned and future. Irene Dingeldey, University of Bremen (Germany) will discuss how the EU could ensure continuity into youth unemployment policies in times of ongoing changing labour market.

Addressed in the NEGOTIATE policy brief on the ‘Coordination of European strategies to tackle early job insecurity and youth unemployment: Lessons from a comparative study’, the situation of the young unemployed has become an increasing concern of national governments and the European Union (EU) after the financial crisis. Hence, in 2013 the Council launched the Recommendation on the Youth Guarantee (YG) and the Member States made a commitment to ensure that young people under 25 years “receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education”. NEGOTIATE has been researching the implementation of this guarantee as a policy strategy because it is innovative due to its clear objective and provides dedicated financial resources for youth employment policy through the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).

According to the researchers it is paramount for Member States to facilitate their national institutions to better support their young people systematically during their transition into the labour market. Especially the national capacity of the public employment services with regards to its financing and human resources is in need of strengthening by also offering a more qualitative support to youth in local employment offices. Hence, further (financial) support and guidance is required at national level, to implement measures such as one-stop shops or work experience placements. Social partners and other stakeholder need to be included in the design and monitoring of the youth employment measures. Additionally, Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems play an important role to bring together the demands of employers and the needs of young apprentices while safeguarding the quality of both work and education, as well as fair wages. Thus, efforts of member states to build such institutions are appreciated.

The EU should aim at facilitating the exchange of ideas on youth employment policy at Member State level and remove bureaucratic obstacles. As for the European Semester, it should monitor the progress made on national level through the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans (YGIP) and its country specific goal-setting on a more qualitative basis and enhancing models of good practice.

Here you can find the latest programme of the conference.

To join us on 4 and 5 December, please register here by 29 November at the latest.


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Our final conference will be discussing the consequences of labour market marginalisation

by Ischi Graus

The second session will discuss the consequences of labour market marginalisation from different angles. Christian Imdorf, University of Basel (Switzerland) and Rumiana Stoilova, Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge (Bulgaria) will address the role of employers in the inclusion of young job applicants into the labour market, and how the views of employers contrast those of young job candidates. The NEGOTIATE policy brief ‘Employers assessments of young job applicants: Findings from a comparative study’, shows that recruiters tend to penalise job applicants with extensive work experience in deskilling jobs, a history of job-hopping and unemployment. Therefore, recruiter behaviour contributes to the “scarred” youth of Europe, who struggle to find their way out of an insecure job career. The results suggest that unemployment measures aiming at a quick labour market integration of the young unemployed without considering job quality is not a sustainable solution, as deskilling jobs may be dead-end jobs that might even decrease young people’s employability in the long-run. 

The second part of the session includes presentations by Sara Ayllón Gatnau, University of Girona (Spain) and Piotr Michoń, Poznań University of Economics (Poland) who provide insights into the effects of job insecurity beyond the labour market. Their research on the transitions to adulthood in the context of the economic crisis shows that that young Europeans were more likely to enroll in education during the recent economic crisis. However, youth in households at the lowest end of the income distribution were significantly less likely to choose this strategy than their richer counterparts. This result hints at growing social inequalities in human capital accumulation across Europe as a consequence of the recession. Further, their research documents that early job-insecurity cannot unequivocally be related to fertility. The NEGOTIATE policy brief ‘the consequences of early job insecurity and labour market marginalisation: Subjective and objective well-being’, shows that quality employment is key to protect young Europeans from negative effects of job-insecurity on well-being. Taking into account individuals’ well-being, young people should not be pushed into taking up “any kind of employment”. Hence, our researchers stresses the positive role of quality employment and decent jobs in securing the future inclusion of youth in the labour market.

Here you can find the draft programme of the conference.

Join us to discuss the outcomes of the research project and its policy recommendations together with the involved scholars, policy makers, civil society and youth.

Online registration closes on 29 November 2017

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Young people walking in street. Photo:

How does early job insecurity impact later labour market outcomes?

While the Greece and Bulgarian employers show less concern about unemployment spells in job applicants’ CVs, Norwegian and Swiss employers show stricter evaluations in regard of experienced unemployment, which in turn may negatively impact the employment chances for the concerned applicants.

Since the completion of the NEGOTIATE recruiter survey in the four countries Bulgaria, Greece, Norway and Switzerland, the Swiss team has been working on multiple analyses using the data gained from the factorial survey experiment.

Results of these research projects have been presented at various conferences: the Conference XXIIIèmes Journées du Longitudinal (JDL) at University of Rennes, the Occupations and Social Inequality (COSI) conference at IAB in Nuremberg, the European Consortium for Sociological Research (ESCR) conference at Bocconi University and the conference of the International Working Party on Labour Market Segmentation (IWPLMS) at University of Manchester.

The XXIIIèmes JDL conference was hold at University of Rennes from the 8th to the 9th of December 2016. Christian Imdorf and Lulu Shi from the University of Basel presented their first findings on “How unemployment scarring hits skilled young workers. Evidence from a factorial survey with Swiss recruiters“. The paper addresses the question, who is penalised the most by experienced unemployment in the Swiss labour market.

At the international COSI conference (29th/30th of June 2017, Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg), that has addressed the question whether and how occupations (re-)produce social inequalities, Lulu Shi from NEGOTIATE and Ariane Bertogg from the University of Konstanz presented preliminary results on “Field-specific recruitment practices: How does unemployment affect later employment chances? A factorial survey design”. The main aim of the paper is to investigate whether employers evaluate experienced unemployment differently across different occupational fields in Switzerland.

Lulu Shi, Christian Imdorf and Rumiana Stoilova finally presented the cross-country comparative results from the factorial survey experiment of the survey at the ESCR 2017 conference at Bocconi University in Milan and at the IWPLMS at the University of Manchester. One of the main aims of their presentation titled “How does early job insecurity impact later labour market outcomes in different European countries?” was to show that there are remarkable cross-countries differences in employer’s evaluation of experienced job insecurity in individual’s career: While the Greece and Bulgarian employers show less concern about unemployment spells in job applicants’ CVs, Norwegian and Swiss employers show stricter evaluations in regard of experienced unemployment, which in turn may negatively impact the employment chances for the concerned applicants.

Written by Lulu Shi and Christian Imdorf

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The employer report from Bulgaria featured in the BAPM bulletin

by Ischi Graus

Findings from Negotiate were widely spread in Bulgaria through The Bulgarian Association for People Management (BAPM).

The monthly bulletin for October 2017 of The Bulgarian Association for People Management (BAPM) includes information about the employer report from Bulgaria.  The text in the bulletin provides web links to the full report in Bulgarian, as well as to the comparative report with Norway, Greece and Switzerland.

BAPM was established in the year 2000 and at present has over 850 individual and corporate members. They all receive the bulletin by email. The bulletin is also accessible at the internet site of the association: issues of the bulletin will be preserved in the site archive. Thus, the information published by the association can reach a wider circle of stakeholders. The information was also published in the BAPM LinkedIn profile, where BAPM has a total of 1,546 members.

BAPM is a non-governmental organization, established to support and develop professionals in the field of people management. The Association is a member of the National Stakeholder Committee – Bulgaria, Negotiate.

Its representatives participated in the first national stakeholder meeting held in December 2015; in this way, BAPM promotes the inclusion of employers in the vignette study (WP7).

In the monthly bulletin for February 2016 BAPM included overall information about the project Negotiate – Overcoming Early Job Insecurity in Europe.  The text in the bulletin was presented the project goals and objectives, the international partners involved, and the Bulgarian team. It  informed readers about the envisaged employer experiment and in-depth interviews with three generations on the topic of early labour market insecurity.

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Final conference – Scarred Youth – What can the EU do?

by Ischi Graus

The NEGOTIATE project‘s final conference titled ‘Scarred Youth – What can the EU do?’ will take place in the Norway House in Brussels on 4 and 5 December 2017.

Ten years after the onset of the financial crisis, unemployment and job insecurity are still challenges that affect young people in all European countries. The NEGOTIATE project reveals that despite convergences in policies there are still significant divergences in outcomes between countries and bad luck in timing of labour market entry leaves scars on the young. In a strongly differentiated European context, where differences in risks and opportunities for young people within and between different countries grow, is there ground for common policies? Are good practices transferable from one context to another. What have we learned? Please find attached the draft program for the conference.

Draft programme

To join us for this debate please register here by Wednesday 29 November 2017.

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