Strategic Transitions For Youth Labour In Europe: The State Of The Debate

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: F205
Distributed Paper
Jacqueline O'REILLY , Business School, University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
We examine how different comparative frameworks for international research have defined the ‘problem’ of youth unemployment. Reviewing national and European policies we argue that increased labour market flexibility in the context of an expansion of higher education and the legacy of long-term unemployment results in increasing polarisation for youth. Understanding youth unemployment cannot be limited only to the sphere of economic production and a narrow focus on skills attainment; it also needs to incorporate the role of families and social reproduction to understand how differential trajectories for young people have been created and are being reproduced. What distinguishes this phase of youth unemployment in comparison to the 1980s are family legacies inherent from previous recessions and the growth of work-poor households, the consequence decline of traditional employment careers as a result of labour market flexibility, and the very significant role of the European Union in funding new policy initiatives. This paper draws on the EUFP7 large scale projects funded by the European Commission on 'Overcoming Youth Unemployment'.