Youth unemployment: Europe’s growing lost generation

In European countries in crisis, the youth is almost no chance of finding a job. Chances are that young minds have to sit at home. A possible solution could be the introduction of the EU guarantee employment for young people, or a move to Germany.

Italian youth have no illusions: Bersani, Berlusconi Grillo, Monty? It does not matter. Sarah (24 years) does not place much hope in the new government. Today, young Italians do not see a future in professional terms, according to the report of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. "This is true of young people in general, especially women," — emphasizes Sarah. Free time between preparation for oral exams last she spends sending out resumes for jobs abroad.

Tanassis (23 years) in March last year lost his job Courier in Athens. During the nine months he received benefits, but the accumulation already come to an end. The last two months he lived with his parents, as his sister Tassullo unemployed (24 years). More and more young Greeks are in a similar position. In the age group under 24 years, more than 6 out of 10 Greeks are unemployed. Every day in Greece are about 900 unemployed people. "My chances of finding a new job are zero," — says Tanassis.

In crisis in Europe appears the so-called "lost generation". According to the European statistical agency Eurostat, Greece and Spain, more than one in two young people are out of work (respectively, 57.6% and 55.6%). In Italy the rate is 36.6%, while in Germany — only 8%.

Economist Ekkehard Ernst (Ekkehard Ernst) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) paints a grim picture in the interview, talking about unemployment rates among young people in crisis across Europe. "Those who are in these countries today do not have a job, and for the next five years of hard-pressed to find a permanent place" — said Ernest. According to the forecast of the organization, youth unemployment in 2017 will be in Spain for more than 50% in Italy and Greece — over 30%.

The expert Holger Schäfer (Holger Schafer) from the Institute of the German Economy (IW) is not as pessimistic in their forecasts. "I do not like the definition of a" lost generation ", because in reality all is not lost," — says Schaefer. Of course, you can not argue with the fact that this generation expects some heavy economically years. "But the crisis countries can deal with that, that there are many examples," — says the expert. "Denmark and the UK have managed to overcome the crisis in the labor market, and Germany for five years has fundamentally changed the situation" — reminds Schaefer.

However, the problem lies in the fact that even a short period of unemployment early in his career a negative impact on professional development, says Ernst. "Career chances fall salary is lower, worse working conditions," — said the expert.

"30 hours a week — an absurd proposition"

There is a psychological problem. According to the study, "We have to stay out in the cold", conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the lack of demand in the labor market at a young age psychologically more poorly tolerated than unemployment in adulthood. "They are going through constant change of lifetimes: education, training, part-time employment, unemployment — it leads to a feeling that life did not begin."

About disappointment at the beginning of a career path writes in his blog, and Julian Sarnes of FutureLab Europe, a project that offers a particularly active young Europeans to participate in the debate on Europe's future. "In most cases, problems with finding work among young people in Europe are not related to the lack of qualifications. Greek and Spanish youth is at risk of social exclusion and poverty, not because it is not too diligent in school or their level of education is insufficient. They remain out of work because of the incredible shortage of jobs across Europe, "- writes Sarnes.

The fact that all these problems are known to politicians, according to the debate last week. On this subject, spoke German Chancellor Angela Merkel's candidate for the post of Chancellor of the SPD Peer Steinbrueck, French President Francois Hollande, President of the EU Council Herman Van Rompuy. The tone of statements one: unemployment among young people — it's awful. Something needs to be done. What kind of measures are needed, just do not specify a slip of the word "growth", "new initiative", "pan-European programs."

"As a result of unemployment, more people just turn away from the labor market and prefers social exclusion" — says Rompuy. This applies to 13% of young people aged 15 to 24 years. It is a human drama and a very dangerous social situation Rompuy said. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker warned that the tragedy of mass unemployment and its risks to the social world underestimated.

The EU must find a way to solve the problem and give young people a future. There are also economic reasons. According to the European Commission, youth unemployment is estimated to cost the EU 150 billion euros, or 1.2% of EU GDP. The solution can be guaranteed employment for young people. Member States shall ensure employment within four months of the citizens under the age of 25 years. The European Commission and the EU Parliament are seriously discussing this initiative.

"Temporary jobs and skills needed so that young people are not lost in the process received training skills" — said Ernest. That is better to have at least a temporary job and the opportunity to expand their own horizons than lying on the couch. "The biggest problem is when young people lose heart and completely out of working-class life." Spain, like job security will cost 0.5% of GDP, according to a study by the International Labour Organisation. "Ideally, the money has to come from the solidarity fund at European level so as not to aggravate the plight of the so-crisis countries", — says Ernst.

Another proposal to solve the problem recently has been the initiative of more than 100 scientists, trade unionists, politicians and religious leaders. This is the introduction of universal 30-hour work week, with full earnings. Germany and the whole of the EU are going through a severe economic and social crisis, said in an open letter to the working group "alternative economic policies." Should be fair distribution of work by the collective reduction of working time.

However, Schaefer said this initiative a bad joke. "The large-scale reduction of working hours at full pay — this absurd proposal — said the expert. — This will greatly enhance the operational costs and in many areas exacerbate the shortage of specialists. "

"Each country must find its own way"

"Unemployment among young people has become a problem of opportunistic nature, so its solutions to overcome the decline of economic growth, which requires time," — says Schaefer. In addition, structural reforms need to be addressed labor market (protection against dismissal) and the education system. "In Spain, young people coming out of school with a level of knowledge, of no interest to employers," — said Ernest.

For many countries, the dual system of education in Germany and Austria is an example. However, Anne Sonnet, an expert on youth unemployment to the OSCE, questioned whether it was appropriate to adopt other countries "as is" this system. "The dual education system is well established in Germany, however, for example, in Spain there are no corresponding culture and understanding, and change is not easy" — says Sonnet. "Eac
h country must find its own way," — said the expert. However, countries in solving problems can take advantage of, the OSCE examination. At 16, the organization reports on individual countries shows the situation on the labor market and the different methods of solving the problem.

In addition, the EU aims to promote mobility of young people. At the time, both in the crisis countries in relation to these programs, there is restraint for fear of losing the best minds, Germany is attracting professionals from abroad.

"In the first half of 2012 to Germany from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain came to 29,900 people, more than in Germany, these countries", — said Dieter Broyinger (Dieter Brauninger) of Deutsche Bank. In Germany, the labor market is "practically devastated", while the number of unemployed people in the southern countries is growing. In this situation, labor migration will be positive for all, says an expert.


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