Employment in time of crisis – EU an Opportunity

, by David Muscat, Maria Elena Attard

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Employment in time of crisis – EU an Opportunity

We all have been made conscious in some way or another about the international crisis the vastest part of the world is going through and it seems this is not going to end fast. Thus we are all aware that this will bring about changes in the labour market. As an implication to this we can already see that jobs are being shed all around us.

Then how can we say the EU is an opportunity?

A couple of days ago in the Zlin region during the Czech Republic presidency, the EPSCO (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs) was presented with a document in relation to the afore mentioned crisis from the perspective of youths. This document was finalised by the YFJ with the participation of its member organisations including two JEF representatives.

The document presented contained the main concerns of youths entering the labour market for the first time and tackle the problems of un-employability in youth due to frictions within the same market. In the long term this frictional unemployment must be reduced as much as possible. One answer to this is the promotion of professional guidance: thus offering orientation tools and better interaction between educational institutions and the professional sector. This will in turn ensure that young people make informed choices when deciding upon further education and their specific specialisation areas. Emphasis was also made on the need to give all the necessary support to novel entrepreneurial ideas by providing structures to foster the development of such businesses.

The Czech presidency sent a clear and bold message when choosing “Europe without barriers” as the slogan for these six months. Taking into consideration the timing of this presidency and the general situation as already explained before there was no better route to take then to emphasise the best of European solutions i.e. mobility. Through Mobility we can achieve a better match between the market needs and the market supply. Although member states have already adopted measure to foster this, further steps to encourage this mobility are required. Consequently, recognition of qualifications EU wide and better compatibility in the social security systems around Europe are needed. These should be in conjunction with a slimming of the beurocratic practices and complete lifting of restrictions for workers from other EU countries will give the union the strong position and new economic boost needed to move out of this crisis.

We hope that the Czech presidency keeps up to these expectations and move the block in the right Direction by making full use of this so called ERASMUS generation.

The authors took part in a meeting of the Czech EU Presidency entitled ’Youth Employment: fostering the dialogue between the Council of EU and young Europeans’ organised in the Zlin region in Czech Republic on 20-21 January 2009.

Image: ’Looking for a job?’; source: Google Images

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