Youth and employment in Europe : a dead-end? ETUC Youth conference by Marie-Anne Robberecht Madrid 26-28 August 2010 Target group: Youth Definition « Youth may be considered as a transition phase, between a world of rather secure development to a world of choice where individuals have to choose and plan their own social integration» (Eurostat) • The passage from a dependant childhood to independant adulthood: Milestones: age, age-limit for child-benefits, voting age, endofcompulsoryeducation… This report focuses on population aged between 15 and 29. Demography: close to 100 million young people live in the EU Key figures relating to demography • Currently 96 million young people aged 15-29 live in the EU. • Young people aged 15-29 constitute 19,4% of the total population within the EU (a fifth). • Projected share of young people in 2050: 15,3% of the total population. Education Many pathes lead to the labour market Useful concept and definitions by the International Standard of Classification of Education (ISCED) • Level 1 and 2 : Primary and Lower-secondary education (compulsory education) • Level 3 : (Upper) secondary education: begins at the end of compulsory education. Entrance age: 15 or 16. • Level 4: Post-secondary non tertiary education: pre-degree foundation courses or short vocational programs • Level 5: First stage of tertiary education: theoretically based programms (history, philosophy, mathematics, etc); giving access to professions with high skill requirements (medecine, dentistry, architecture..) • Level 6: Second stage of tertiary education: leading to an advanced research qualification Most young people are entering upper- secondary education after the end of compulsoryeducation… Note: At the age of 19, more than 60% of young people are still in formal education By ISCED 3, choosing the programme: general or vocational? Source: ISCED, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization General education Education which is mainly designed to lead participants to a deeper understanding of a subject, especially with a view to preparing participants for further education at the same or a higher level. Succesfull completion may or may not provide the participants with a labour-market relevant qualification. These programmes are typically school-based. Vocational education Education which is mainly designed to lead participants to acquire the practical skills, know-how and understanding necessary for employment in a particular occupation or trade. Successful completion of such programmes lead to a labour-market relevant vocational qualification recognised by the competent authorities in the country in whichitisobtained(e.g.MinistryofEducation, employers’associations,etc.). A gender gap in upper secondary education: more women than men in general education • Attending general programmes: 54% of girls 43% of boys • Attending vocational programmes: 46% of girls 53% of boys A great part of 19 years old are engaged in ISCED 3 and 6 More students in the knowledge triangle: education, research and innovation • Notes: The number of tertiary education students has increased by nearly 25 % between 1998 and 2006. In 2006: 19 million students in the tertiary field in the EU Notes: 15 % of the population aged between 18 and 34 attend tertiary education More than half of the countries show attendance rates higher than 15% Low rates for Cyprus, Malta and Luxemburg: young people are studying abroad More women than men Young people in tertiary education are full- time students, which leads to higher dependance Learning foreign languages : « a key for the future! » • Many mother tongues are « the ability to understand and communicate in more than one language is a desirable life-skill for all Europeancitizens. It enables people to take advantage of the freedom to work or study in another Member State » (European’sCommission communication onaNewFrameworkStrategyfor multilinguism (2005) • At EU level: less than 10% of pupils in upper-secondary education (ISCED 3) do not learn any foreign language • Pupils in vocational education at ISCED 3: 64% learn one language, 24% learn two languages • Pupils in general education at ISCED 3: nearly all pupils learn at least one language • Note: in Portugal and the UK, 40% do not learn any foreign language! « Learning mobility should be provided to all young people in Europe » • Since 1987, Erasmus has supported more than 2 million students The phenomenon of « early school leavers »isdecreasing… …butstillexists Countries with the highest values: Malta, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Cyprus Countries with the lowest values: Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic The average of ESL is now standing at 14,8% in the EU Employment More difficulties to enter the labour- market for young people Transition from school to work takes place between 18 and 24 • Half of 20 year-old young people were on the EU labour market in 2007 • In 2007, the majority of 15 year olds were in education and economically inactive (exception: Denmark) • Transition time: between 18 and 24 Among 18 year olds, 59% were exclusively in education At the age of 24, the majority were active • In a majority of Member States, 70% of 29 year olds were economically active and no longer in education Employment rate is higher by age group 25-29 than by age group 15-24 Focus on activity Studying while working Precarity of contracts Temporary work: stepping-stone or trap? Precarity of contracts Part-time jobs Young entrepreneurs : being self-sufficient is attractive, but too much administrative barriers remains The higher the level of education, the lower the risk of unemployment Notes : • High educated people: 16% are economically inactive • People with a most secondary lower education : 65% are economically inactive Young people are much more concerned by unemployment than their elders at EU level Unemployment in the Member States: a very large spectrum Unemployment rates, age group 15-24 the lowest : Netherlands and Denmark below 10% : Austria, Ireland and Lithuania above 20% : Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia Raise of 5%: Sweden, Portugal, Hungary and Luxemburg Unemployment rates, age group 25-29 above 10%: Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain, France Raise of 7% in Portugal! Both groups Gender gap: more women than men are unemployed Long-term unemployment and NEET: risk of social exclusion • NEET: Not currently Engaged in Employment, Education or Training In 2007, more than on third of young people aged 15-24 were NEET One in five young people living at risk of poverty (share of persons with an income below 60% of the national median income) Living conditions : difficult to become independent! Thank you for your attention !