Opinions 2013 11 06
“Once again about youth unemployment”
The growing number of youth unemployment continues to be one of the biggest sores of all European Union countries, and Lithuania is not an exception. At present, every fourth young European can not find a job. Though I‘m getting more optimistic as our country is no longer the unemployment records striking country, the youth unemployment is slowly decreasing – from 35% to 23% this summer. What measures would help to solve this painful problem? We have recently discussed this issue with Kristina Miškinienė, the Chair of the Committee on Social Affairs and Labour during the meeting with the Heads of Labour Exchanges and youth labour centers of Alytus, Druskininkai and Lazdijai municipalities.
Under the numbers of unemployment you should always be able to see the person – with his/her own aspirations, opportunities and problems. The specialists of Labour Exchanges underlined, that almost every second young man, who turns for help finding a job, is not ready enough for it. In many cases he does not have proper profession, work skills and motivation. Apparently, the school, the family and the state paid too little attention and effort to bring a child even in an early age to start thinking about their future profession and consistently preparing for it. Therefore, it‘s much harder for the Labour Exchange to motivate a young unemployed to study and positively look for job, as this was not done before. It was strange to hear that the educational institution is often chosen according to the size of scholarship. There are still quite a few things that we need to improve also in professional training system. Vocational training is conducted under the tripartite agreement. Shouldn‘t we look a little further and allow to study such a profession that is viable and the employee may appear later. According to the existing arrangements, when the unemployed is trained only when there‘s a specific employer, a young man while waiting may loose the interests to study at all. In the European Parliament we have repeatedly pointed out the fact, that such social investments always pays off – it increases human capacity to adapt to changes and retains qualification for the rising market demand.
The necessity to improve the youth preparation for the labour market was highlighted also in the recent European Parliament resolution on youth unemployment reduction. Our guidelines state the need to focus on youth careers counselling, getting practical skills, improving training programs correspondence to the needs of labour market. It is important to promote the creation of quality jobs for young people. Especially in the regions. There should be a tax exemptions for the employer that he would be motivated to take the young man. Often the employer is looking for employees who already have practical skills and is not interested to invest in additional training. It is necessary to develop the system of practical preparation for work. It‘s fitted to ensure that young people would not being exploited and forced to work for free, covering it with practice or internships. Socially responsible and purposeful cooperation between employers, educational institutions and labour exchanges should shorten the way from the school desk to the workplace.
What a pity, that young people, being unable to find jobs, emigrate, because they are vital for us! Skeptics would say, that youth unemployment in Lithuania is decreasing, as young people leave, but I‘m sure to say, that young people have become more active and enterprising. Our people‘s desire to work and earn has always been higher than in the southern European Union countries. However, there‘s still much to do to redeem our children to their homeland. I hope, that framers of the Employment Strategy for 2014-2020 in Lithuania will evaluate our recommendations and consider the labour exchange experience.
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament