LIVE 2 WORK


About the project

The LIVE2WORK project will develop tools for teachers, trainers and social workers, involved in assisting low skilled, unemployed young adults, including those with a migrant or refugee background, in becoming able to meet the demands of the 21st century job market.

The partners

Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa: Portugal

Universidad Católica de Lisboa: Portugal

IPAV: Portugal

ALB Conseil: France

Pelican: Chech Republic

Artevio: Chech Republic

MYO (Mind Your Organisation): Denmark

Coneqt: Denmark

Rationale

A report from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training in 2012 foresees that there will be a return to job growth across Europe over the coming years due to improvement in the economic outlook. Furthermore, with a slightly growing population of the EU going from 510 to 517 million in 2060, the population of Europe will also be older. This ageing of the population poses significant challenges for the economy and welfare system of EU countries. Portugal is one of the countries with the lowest fertility rates at 1.21. Czech rep. has a fertility rate at 1.46 and Denmark 1.67. The total number of workers in the EU is projected to decline by 15.7 million over the forecast horizon to 195.6 million in 2060. The decline in the workforce will affect growth and per capita income, with a resulting decline in potential growth. http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/articles/structural_reforms/2012-0515_ageing_report_en.htm

It is important to find ways of finding young adults to replace retiring workers. One of these ways, would be to make use of the unemployed. Currently, there is an unemployment rate of 4.5% in the Czech rep., 11.3% in France, 6% in Denmark, and a staggering 11.8% in Portugal according to Eurostat. At the same time, a record number of refugees are entering the European Union from conflict-ridden states, including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea. EU states can also benefit from the influx of young refugees and families in a pending demographic crisis. According to data compiled by Eurostat, 81% of the 689,000 people who had formally applied for asylum in EU countries 2015 were younger than 35; more than half (55%) were aged 18 to 34.

The disparities of policies trying to tackle unemployment

Policies tackling unemployment and integration have mostly focused on getting adults into work rather than ensuring a good match between labour market needs and the skills available in the person in question. This disparity causes problems, not only does it place the individual in position of not being able to meet the requirements of the company, the company does not acquire the work force that it needs. Hence we do not meet the employment objectives. Reaching employment objectives is important, as we need to create a Europe that makes full use of the skills of its citizens, new and existing. According to “Tackling unemployment while addressing skill mismatch” CEDEFOP 2015, there are various approaches to the problem. The question is, wether we should take a look at unemployment issues from a preventive view point or a curative way directly on the unemployed, already in a situation of exclusion in the labour market.

The 21st century labour market needs and a new generation of workers

In order to fit into a 21st century job market, it is also important for today’s generation of workers to be in possession of 21st century skills, we deem that 2 of those to be important are; adaptability, self efficacy, creative thinking, and problem solving. In order to improve opportunities, we need to ensure that the adult workforce, especially in the group of unemployed young adults and refugees aged 18-30, joins the workforce while being prepared in the best possible way for the work place of the 21st century. If the true goal of the training is to find a relationship between the development of skills and the integration in the labour market, the training should not be limited to the development of specific skills, it should also focus on enabling and empowering the transferable skills.

Our focus is looking at unemployed young adults, including refugees, who, for different reasons, are excluded from the job market. The problem for these groups of people is that when they eventually do enter the work force, they find themselves unemployed shortly after, due to inability of meeting the needs of the company. Several studies point out that the ability to make use of soft skills determines whether or not employment efforts will be successful.

It has become apparent that industry specific training and practical skills development cannot stand alone, thus focus needs to be on both hard and soft skills. In addition to efforts made to develop professional skills, we wish to contribute to the successful integration into the job market by finding a way to develop and acquire soft skills and to aid the unemployed through the process of change, thereby helping the individual deal with and find a way trough the transition phases, from unemployed to employed, and subsequent retention.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.