By Elisa Martellucci
It might take some time after leaving school before you can get a solid position in the labour market in terms of developing skills, competences, networking and employment opportunities. As a young job seeker, facing a long period of unemployment may negatively affect your motivation and career prospects. In addition, employers may negatively perceive long periods of unemployment on a CV, making it even more difficult for a person to be hired.Ai??
By formulating specific labour market policies, governments can play an important role in improving employment opportunities for job seekers.
How do labour market policies and the decisions of institutions influence the early years of labour market entry in terms of security and employment opportunities? A group of researchers from the University of Trento tried to answer these questions.
Research results show that there are huge differences between countries in the degree of insecurity associated with labour market entry. In general, not only is unemployment risk much larger in some countries than in others, but this higher risk is also more likely to be associated with longer periods of unemployment.
In Nordic European Countries (together with Luxembourg) young jobseekers have higher probabilities of getting a good job within six months of leaving education. On the contrary, southern Mediterranean people will most likely experience a different path. There are more instances of long periods of unemployment accompanied by under-qualified and poorly paid jobs in these countries. Eastern Countries are heterogeneous; in Hungary people are more likely to follow a path of continuous unemployment and eventually have to return to education. In the Czech Republic, you can get a solid position in the labour market much faster.
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Researchers point out that increasing expenditure for employment services, training schemes and employment incentives are effective only for high school and university graduates. Passive labour market policies, such as unemployment benefits, have no effects on employment security.
More strict regulations on the use of fixed-term contracts would improve security for both low-educated individuals and women. Encouraging the use of temporary contracts is not an effective policy tool to improve employment outcomes, especially when there are not many jobs on the market.
Researchers suggest that the current mix of labour market policies is not effective. Policy makers should design more effective policies targeted at women and the low-skilled and more stringent regulations on the use of temporary contracts should be encouraged, especially for the more disadvantaged groups.
The University of Trento, along with the European Youth Forum, are involved in a research project, STYLE (Strategic Transition For Youth Labour in Europe). Over three years the project is analyzing the obstacles and opportunities affecting youth employment in Europe.