“The immediate future of Europe depends upon the 94 million Europeans aged between 15 and 29” writes the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in NEETs Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe. (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor to follow).
Apart from the challenges that young people for generations have faced as they embark up on adult life, this generation will live in an era of full globalisation and will have to cope with the responsibility of an ageing population. So it is a matter of great concern that these young people have been hit so hard by the economic crisis. Only 34% were employed in 2011, the lowest figure ever recorded by Eurostat.
The unemployment figures also testify to an appreciably more difficult labour market for young people; since the start of the recession, youth unemployment has risen by 1.5 million, reaching 5.5 million (or 21%) in 2011.
Serious as these statistics may be, they do not adequately capture the situation of young people, not least because many are students and hence classified as being out of the labour force. For this reason, EU policymakers are increasingly using the concept of NEET – ‘not in employment, education or training’.
The definition is in principle straightforward, referring to those who currently do not have a job, are not enrolled in training or are not classified as a student. It is a measure of disengagement from the labour market and perhaps from society in general.
The report analyses the labour market situation of young people in Europe, with a specific focus on the group categorised as NEET. It examines the determinants of belonging to the NEET group, and measures the economic and social costs of NEETs. In addition, it assesses how policy in Member States has sought to support young people to gain a foothold in the labour market.
According to Eurostat, in 2011, 7.5 million young people aged 15–24 and an additional 6.5 million young people aged 25–29 were excluded from the labour market and education in Europe. This corresponds to a significant increase in the NEETS rate: in 2008, the figure stood at 11% of 15–24-year-olds and 17% of 25–29-year-olds; by 2011 these rates had increased to 13% and 20% respectively. There is huge variation between Member States, with rates varying from below 7% (Luxembourg and the Netherlands) to above 17% (Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and Spain).
NEETs are a very heterogeneous population. The largest subgroup tends to be those who are conventionally unemployed.
Other vulnerable subgroups include the sick and disabled and young carers. Non-vulnerable subgroups include those simply taking time out and those constructively engaged in other activities such as art, music and self-directed learning. What they do have in common is the fact that they are not accumulating human capital through formal channels.
Some young people are at greater risk of being NEET than others. Those with low levels of education are three times more likely to be NEET compared to those with tertiary education, while young people with an immigration background are 70% more likely to become NEET than nationals. Young people suffering from some kind of disability or health issues are 40% more likely to be NEET than those in good health. Family background also has a crucial influence.
Being NEET has severe adverse consequences for the individual, society and the economy. Spending time as NEET may lead to a wide range of social disadvantages, such as disaffection, insecure and poor future employment, youth offending, and mental and physical health problems. In 2011, the economic loss due to the disengagement of young people from the labour market was €153 billion. This is a conservative estimate and corresponds to 1.2% of European GDP. There is great variation between Member States, but some countries are paying an especially high price of 2% or more of their GDP: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Poland.
NEETs are at higher risk of being politically and socially alienated. Compared to their non-NEET counterparts, NEETs have a dramatically lower level of political interest, political and social engagement, and a lower level of trust.
Source and Full Report @ (Click on the image):
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