With more than 89,5 million EU inhabitants aged 15-29 years old without a regular job and over 1,3 million people in NEET condition (Eurostat,2014), ECMYNN project, starting from research activities, is focusing on innovative services to help youngsters to go out from this condition.
Who is a NEET?
Thanks to Eurostat definition we can say NEETs are all the people beetwen 15 and 29 years old who are neither in employment nor in education (scholastic , academic ..) and Training .
About training this definition concerns both the formal and the non formal one.
The five countries involved in ECMYNN project, Italy, Spain, Greece, Romania and Poland, altough the efforts for a large implementation of Youth Guarantee Plan in their local contextes, are widely interested from this phenomenon. Italy and Greece, mostly, registered in 2014 NEET rates over 26% of 15-29 y.o. unemployed population, while the closest Country to EU average (15,3%) is Poland (15,5%).
Like Eurofund suggests there are significant differences between different tipologies of NEETs in different national Contextes from EU, paying particolur attention to indicators such as:
· Educational qualification: In Romania, Italy and especially Spain (+70%) the big part of NEETs aged 15-24 y.o. has got low educational qualification, whereas in Greece more than 10% has got a tertiary education degree. The NEETs incidence rate with tertiary education increases compared to the age class 25-29 y.o. In Italy the incidence rate of this class is double than EU average.
· Unemployment Extension: In Italy, Greece and Romania the long term unemployment involves the big part of NEETs (more than 40% of jobless), opposed to scandinavian countries, where the long term unemployment involves less than 10% of NEETs. (Eurostat, 2015)
· Concrete work experiences: In almost half of Member States, the big part of 15-24 y.o NEETs never had work experiences, that’s particularly conspicuous in Greece, Italy and Romania, and involves more than 70% of young NEETs. In Spain, conversely, more than 60% of NEETs had got work experiences in the past. For what concerns 25-29 y.o. group, more than 40% of NEETs never had work experiences in Italy and Greece, while in Romania this incidence rate is over 60%. (Eurostat,2015)
· Inactivity: The incidence rate of inactives or “Discouraged workers” involves more than 40% of italian, spanish and romanian NEET aged 15-24 y.o. Inactives proportion is strictly related to NEETs incidence in the European member states and that suggests the need of policy interventions to re-activate the discouraged workers, as an important stimulus to get a decrease of NEETs incidence rates at national level. Between NEETs aged 25-29 y.o. 55% of them are inactives (EU 28 average), with higher rate (more than 65%) in Italy and Romania. (Eurostat,2015)
The theme of “discouraged workers” is probably the most hard to be faced, due to its many implications, and the one which may have severe consequences on human capital accumulation during the next years.
Togheter with others, the collected best practices all around European context tried to give an answer to this issue, refering mainly to three dimensions of empowerment.
1. Empowerment of Public Employment Services: For European Commission PES are very crucial actors for the delivery of the Youth Guarantee reccomends, and they must be seen as catalyst of all social forces involved in fighting against NEET phenomenon.
2. Involvement of the school system for NEET phenomenon prevention
3. Involvement of local authorities to tackle social barriers and obstacles that very often characterize the NEET condition.
Carrying out face to face interviews to a maximum of 10 NEETs in the partner Countries, ECMYNN project, between other relevant items, tried to deepen the youngsters perception of these three mentioned dimensions as well.
A common opinion in all the Countries is that both Insititutions and School are not able to give a real support to the job search. Especially, Schools is not able to transfer knowledge to be simply spent in the labour market.
In addition, the big part of interviewed guys, also between the experienced ones, thinks that training courses, or post scholastic or post degree courses, would be useful for the job search, but not a crucial factor in this sense.
The interviewed guys are suffering a general “sense of abandonment” from public authorities at all levels that produces a lot of difficulties to design targeted strategies for job search, and so almost all are looking for a job through the unpersonal context of the WEB. Nothing good from PES or Public Institutions in this emotional profiles, even if the young people are hoping and waiting for the presence of an organization able to drive them individually for finding a job and, maybe mainly, for a stronger policy at national level able to improve their current condition of fragility.
Nicola Trinchini - Lynx Territorio Sociale – Italy –Responsible of research activities (IO2)