Negotiate Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe

New edited books from NEGOTIATE

by Christer Hyggen

Two edited volumes from the NEGOTIATE project are published with Edward Elgar: Youth Unemployment and Early Job Insecurity in Europe & Negotiating Early Job Insecurity in Europe.

Both volumes are available Open Access with Edward Elgar online:

Youth Unemployment and Job Insecurity in Europe. Problems, Risk-Factors and Policies.

Edited by Bjørn Hvinden, Christer Hyggen, Mi A. Schoyen and Tomáš Sirovátka
Providing original insights into the factors causing early job insecurity in European countries, this book examines its short- and long-term consequences. It assesses public policies seeking to diminish the risks to young people facing prolonged job insecurity and reduce the severity of these impacts. Based on the findings of a major study across nine European countries, this book examines the diverse strategies that countries across the continent use to help young people overcome employment barriers.
Comprehensive and well-articulated, this book provides a new and original investigation of early experiences of job insecurity in Europe and its effects on youth well-being and future employability. Given its innovative approach that goes beyond the “usual” economic argument, the book is a must-read text for every scholar, practitioner and policymaker who wants to broaden their understanding of youth and their perceptions of joblessness and precarity.’
– Massimiliano Mascherini, Eurofound, Ireland

Negotiating Early Job Insecurity. Well-Being, Scarring and Resilience of European Youth.

Edited by Bjørn Hvinden, Jacqueline O’Reilly, Mi A. Schoyen and Christer Hyggen
Offering new knowledge and insights into European job markets, this book explores how young men and women experience job insecurity. By combining analysis of original data collected through a variety of innovative methods, it compares the trajectories of early job insecurity in nine European countries. Focusing on the ways in which young adults deal with this by actively increasing their chances of getting a job through a variety of methods, as the book shows how governmental policies can be altered to reduce early job insecurity.
This excellent book analyses the challenge of youth unemployment, by focusing on its causes and consequences, during the Great Recession in Europe. Throughout the volume, it uses the notions of resilience, capability, and active agency, while also considering policy responses at various levels of governance. It is a very clearly articulated book, conceptually and analytically, which should be read by academics, students and policymakers interested in welfare and labour market issues.’
– Caroline De La Porte, Copenhagen Business
School, Denmark
This is the first volume of one of the most innovative studies on unemployment in recent years, exploring the sources of the persisting high rates of youth unemployment since the Great Recession. It provides valuable insight into the diverse patterns of youth unemployment and insecurity in the EU, the contribution of employer recruitment policies to scarring effects and the changing nature of national and EU policy responses.’
– Duncan Gallie, Nuffield College, Oxford, UK
A compelling collection of chapters addressing the crucial issues of the consequences of job insecurity and exclusion in the transition to adulthood and the policies to tackle them. A must-read for students, researchers, scholars and policymakers in the field of youth labour market integration.’
– Ana M. Guillén, University of Oviedo, Spain


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Young man at job interview. Photo: colourbox

Colloquium on different policy responses to youth unemployment

by Greta Juul

On January 9th, the Negotiate-researchers Lisa Steinberg, Marie-Luise Assmann and Irene Dingeldey from Germany organised a colloquium on different policy responses to youth unemployment in Europe.

The financial and economic crisis had a higher impact on youth unemployment rates albeit with differences between the countries. While youth unemployment rates in the Southern European countries are very high, Germany is less affected. Nonetheless, also in Germany many young people suffer from difficulties in finding a job or apprenticeship place. Consequently, it is hard for young people to establish a livelihood, become financially independent and develop prospects for the future. In 2013, the European Commission launched the Youth Guarantee (YG) and member states made a commitment to ensure that young people below 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” (Council of the European Union 2013). Several institutions are important for supporting the transition from school to work of young people. With examples from Greece, Spain and Germany, the colloquium outlined the respective problem pressure as well as the different policy responses when implementing the Youth Guarantee.

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NEGOTIATE Final Conference: A range of recommendations to strengthen European and national efforts to combat early job insecurity

by Greta Juul

On 4 and 5 December 2017 the NEGOTIATE project’s final conference titled ‘Scarred Youth – What can the EU do?’ took place in Norway House in Brussels. The two-day programme included different sessions and offered high level discussions with over 130 researchers, policymakers, civil society and youth who exchanged views and policy recommendations on how to tackle youth unemployment and help young people overcome the consequences of the economic crisis in Europe.                                                         

In the era of “flexible” labour markets, it is evident that the phenomenon of job insecurity and youth unemployment is present with varying intensity and comes in different forms in each of the studied countries. What is clear however is that the lasting effects and ideological disappointment of long-term unemployment negatively affect or even scar youngsters across the continent?





Max Uebe, European Commission               Ambassador Ingrid Schulerud        

Norway’s Ambassador, Ingrid Schulerud opened the conference by welcoming all the participants to Norway House, before Max Uebe from DG Employment at the European Commission underlined the importance of findings ways to strengthen the efforts to combat early job insecurity. Corinna Amting from the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency underlined the importance of NEGOTIATE and praised the collaboration between the three European projects STYLE, NEGOTIATE and EXCEPT.

Tanya Basarab, Thomas Beaujean, Ignacio Doreste, Katarina Sichel








On the first day, the interactive debate centred on two highly visible topics, namely marginalised youth with very little access to the labour market and highly educated youth with no job opportunities, and how the Youth Guarantee should respond to better monitor and improve the situation for youth in Europe. After researchers had introduced the key topics, panels of experts and stakeholders and members of the audience discussed the issues in more detail.







On Tuesday the three thematically related European projects NEGOTIATE, STYLE and EXCEPT focused on the policy recommendations derived from the different analyses carried out by the researchers involved in the projects (the reader can find an overview here). Markku Markkula (EPP), Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions, presented a territorial perspective on how to support efforts to reduce early job insecurity. The session brought together Brando Benifei and Jens Nilsson, Members of the European Parliament from S&D and Conny Reuter, Secretary of the SOLIDAR Foundation, ensuring a political as well as a civil society perspective in the debate. The speakers shared their views on what the EU can do to come to the aid of scarred youth in Europe. They considered the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative as steps in the right direction, but in need of further strengthening.

Jacqueline O`Reilly, Conny Reuter, Marge Unt, Brando Benifei                                    








Markku Markkula, European Committee
of the Regions

Successful implementation, however, comes down to what actions one is able to make at the regional and local levels. For instance, it may be that to improve structurally the current situation for youth, we need a change of mind-sets. More concretely, institutions should be better equipped to accommodate the needs of the most disadvantaged youth in Europe and those who feel that there are no decent prospects. Speakers underlined that one can only address the need for structural reforms and the creation of quality jobs through targeted public investments. The dual system, with its apprenticeships and other forms of vocational education and training (VET), could be a possible model to explore further. While one needs to take the diversity within the EU into account, the EU should seek best practices that are applicable and relevant in different settings and therefore worth social investment.





As a conclusion of the NEGOTIATE project, Edward Elgar will publish two joint volumes presenting findings from the project by the end of 2018. These will be published open access, which means that everyone will be able to access them free of charge. The first book will assess the problems, risk factors and policies related to job insecurity and labour market exclusion of young people. The second book will touch upon the experiences of early job insecurity and how it relates to scarring, resilience and the wellbeing of European youth. Next spring NEGOTIATE partners will meet with the European Commission both for a final evaluation of the project and to consider how the Commission may take into account project findings in their future work.

The photos of the final conference can be found here.

The programme of the Conference.


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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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