Young People’s Employment Paths and Working Life Guidance in Scope
1Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Finland; 2University of Helsinki
Young people are more likely to find themselves in precarious labor market positions and lower employment security than the older population: adequate income is not guaranteed, even if they have jobs (Eurofound 2013; France 2016, 133–4). Instead of linear progress, young people’s daily life consists often of alternating employment, training and unemployment periods. For policy makers, the biggest concern seems to be persistent share of inactive, NEET young people. The Finnish Governments (2011–2019) have offered multi-agency face-to-face guidance services, One-Stop Guidance Centers, as one solution for this concern.
In our on-going follow-up research among 40 young adults (2018-2020), we ask how they evaluate these services and their own working life prospects. In our presentation, we analyze the first round of interviews and the working life -lines the informants have drawn in the interviews. These illustrate their educational backgrounds, (un)employment histories, and job-seeking and working life experiences. Some of these young adults seem to have found a stable foothold in the job market, some of them are trying to find (new) careers, and some have repeated difficulties in finding their place in working life.
By presenting differing labor market entries we demonstrate what kind of opportunities and challenges do the modern labor markets and working conditions produce. We also analyze what is the significance of the guidance young people receive from One-Stop Guidance Centers. Theoretically, our analysis leans on youth transition and life course studies, and it prepares us for the second round of interviews.
The Micro of Shifting Young Refugees through Castle’s Zones – Labour Market Integration of Young Refugees in Germany
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Crossing boundaries and facing new barriers go hand in hand for refugees. From 2015 to 2017 more than 1,3 million refugees applied for asylum in Germany. The biggest group are youth and young adults. Integration in the labour market is a key source of personal and societal recognition and a non-marginal social status for them. Especially people in vulnerable situations like the aforementioned group have to cope with a variety of barriers, while entering the labour market. Deeper and systematic knowledge about the successful mediation of refugees in work, as well as the conditions of successful, sustainable work income are hardly available for this group. This paper is an attempt to contribute to reducing this gap. By using Castel’s model of social exclusion, we focus on the micro of the statics and dynamics of shifting young refugees from unemployment to employment. In his “Les Métamorphoses de la question sociale” (1995) he divides the social sphere into three zones of integration: the integration zone (secure job, solid social network), the zone of vulnerability (unsecure job, under-employment, unstable relationships) and the exclusion zone (‘shaken off’ from labour market, educational participation). While focusing the micro of the transitions from one zone to another, specific boundaries, barriers and belongings within and between the zones become clear. This contribution is based on data and analysis of the multi-perspective, qualitative IAB (Institute for employment research) study “Integration and Participation of Refugees” conducted in co-operation with the Freie Universität Berlin.
Staying True to the Self: Young Women and Commodification of Personality in New Media Work
University of Turku, Finland
While new media work has long been a focal point for studies of aspirational work culture that emphasizes self-branding and subjective investment in work, less is known about the injuries related to being subjected to these demands. The article addresses this gap by investigating the lived contradictions caused by the demands to demonstrate aspiration through constant self-promotion. By drawing on 20 interviews with young women in higher education attempting to build careers in new media work (e.g. graphic design, journalism, digital communications), the article takes issue with the idea that young women have, in a post-feminist spirit, internalized the meritocratic, individualizing ethos of contemporary capitalism. The study finds that the participants share a sense of injury in a situation where to be rejected as a worker means to be rejected as a person. As a result, they do not only adapt to the normative ethos of commodifying their personalities but rather, struggle to distance themselves from this framework. The participants draw on a range of strategies to ‘stay true’ to themselves and harness their personalities for work that they perceive ethical. By shedding light on the strategies that young women use to keep their selves to themselves and resist what they deemed as an alienating logic of selling one’s soul, the study pushes forward the contemporary debates about aspirations of young women in a postfeminist, neoliberal era.
Keywords: aspirations, gender, subjectivity, new media work
Title Case: Youth unemployment and the crisis in Luxembourg: what social partnership?
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), Luxembourg
Youth unemployment rates in the EU increased dramatically during the international financial crisis. The European Commission proposed in its 2013 recommendation on a European Youth Guarantee a social partnership to combat unemployment, thereby shifting responsibilities downwards to trade unions, employers’ representatives and associations. The dynamics of implementing employment policies were given a European focus in Luxembourg as a result of increasing multilevel governance and top-down pressure from European institutions to achieve EU 2020 targets. The policy area of youth unemployment serves the purpose of analysing how Luxembourg responds to peer pressure at the various interacting levels of governance (EU-government-social).
Due to its peculiar labor market characterised by a large number of cross-border workers, its coordinated market economy and law-embedded neo-corporatist collective bargaining instruments, Luxembourg constitutes a laboratory to study forms of governance, policy management and social appropriation processes. The crisis-related balacing between alloting limited financial resources and achieving common EU objectives through peer pressure raises the question of what scope of action there still is for governments and social partners to comply with a constructed agenda of employment objectives.
By applying a qualitative research framework based on semi-structured interviews, we critically assess if national traditions of policy implementation and collective bargaining processes in Luxembourg are circumvented or reinforced, and what elements of resistance stakeholders mobilise during the implementation process.
Our preliminary results highlight that Europeanisation occurs at all levels of policy implementation, but to varying degrees and with some actors not participating in the partnership.