We Are Excluded

Current country studies by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung analyse youth unemployment in Europe

first out« is applied. the previous attempts at flexibilisation through job market reforms in the last few de-cades never resulted in more permanent jobs but only in more precarious jobs. YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN EUROPE In times of crisis. It is a mass phenomenon. However. unemployment and precarious jobs. In view of the debt and economic crisis in particular. especially those of young workers. the policy of »last in. Spaniards aged between 16 and 24 are twice as likely to be unemployed as their older compatriots. In 2012. The government also changed the conditions for training contracts in such a way that it is now feared that trainees are often not introduced to a career but are merely exploited as cheap labour. Condemned to doing nothing at the start of their professional lives: Spain’s »ni-ni generation«. Fernando Rocha Sánchez. when it weakened participation rights and the protection against dismissal. many 15 to 24-year-olds are only finding precarious part-time or temporary jobs or posts with fixed-term contracts in the increasingly deregulated job markets of the EU. A proportion of Europe’s youth has therefore gradually become a lost generation. says Sánchez. ni estudian« or. Instead of a permanent job. approximately twice the average figure for adults. One of the crudest examples of how the young people are hit the hardest can currently be seen in Spain. their rate of unemployment was significantly lower than that for young women. One reason for this is that young workers are especially likely to work in low or moderately skilled jobs in industries that were hit hard by the crisis in Spain: construction. 19 per cent of unemployed people under the age of 24 and as many as 27 per cent of unemployed 25 to 29-year-olds belonged to this »ni-ni generation« (»ni trabajan. In Spain too. production and retail. which makes it even harder for this generation to embark upon careers. 57 per cent of the jobs lost by youth under the age of 24 had fixed-term contracts. Nearly two million of them lost their jobs between 2008 and 2012.Across Europe. After Greece. In the countries of the EU. it is young men who are losing their jobs frequently at present. The current academic country studies by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) from 12 European countries show that a growing proportion of young people in the EU have no longer been successfully making a smooth transition from school to permanent. but it is not its structural cause. in 2012 the government again impinged upon workers’ rights. . Young people throughout Europe are wasting valuable years in an unsatisfactory situation of bouncing backwards and forwards between education. reports Fernando Rocha Sánchez. There is a particular risk of poverty and social exclusion: without work and not bridging this period in either training or education and literally doing nothing. and this does not enable them to make definite life and career plans.The debt and economic crisis may be increasing youth unemployment in many European countries.The current conservative government is attempting to tackle unemployment through yet more deregulation of employment. »neither working nor in education or training«). Spain has the second highest youth unemployment in the EU. more young men are unemployed than young women – and between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of them remain unemployed for one year or more. paid employment. 66 per cent of employees who recently lost their jobs in these three fields were aged between 16 and 29. states the rapporteur who compiled the FES country report on Spain. 52 per cent of young workers under the age of 25 were without a job in the first half of 2012. Before the crisis. an average of 22 per cent of young people are unemployed. in English. The crisis increases youth unemployment but its roots lie in precarious jobs. They are the first to lose their jobs in periods of economic volatility. states Fernando Rocha Sánchez.

school and vocational qualifications. As Kohlrausch reports. the percentage of young school leavers who did not directly find a training place in Germany and ended up in the transitional system programs stood at nearly 30 per cent. Since 1994. which are intended to improve their social. In the transitional system. as it is known. The dual system of vocational education and training– in which employers and vocational training schools jointly ensure the qualification of a trainee – is still having a very stabilising effect on the job market. In 2011.By contrast. Although at 9 per cent. These young people do not appear in the unemployment statistics and are not technically considered to be unemployed. . a majority of those managing to get onto a dual education and training programme shave a good chance of finding a regular job afterwards. Significant difficulties have been arising in this country when it comes to integrating young workers into the job market. says the author of the FES country report for Germany. they are offered a wide range of publicly subsidised programmes and training courses. youth unemployment has been higher than adult unemployment. in Germany young people who are unable to find a place in education or a job end up on the street less often. Bettina Kohlrausch. youth unemployment in Germany is only half that in the majority of European countries.