YOUTHSharing the News
Youth Unemployment Tops Policy Concerns of Southern Europe
Press Release, 30.01.2020
YOUTHShare in the Press
2019 leaves us with a great honour and a significant success!
The historic and influential newspaper Kathimerini features the YOUTHShare project and its preliminary results regarding Greece.
Stavroula Karaiskaki in her long article projects the number of NEETs in Greece upon a regional analysis. She draws conclusions correlating the emergence of high NEET rates to structural characteristics of the local economies such as seasonal jobs and distance from metropolitan areas as well as wider phenomena including the role of early school leaving, gender disparities and the diminished opportunities in gaining valuable job experience.
Interviews with the Principal Investigator, Dr Stelios Gialis, the post-doctoral researcher, Dr Michalis Poulimas, and the doctoral researcher, Effie Emmanouil, shed valuable light on an, otherwise, obscured phenomenon that doesn’t attract any publicity; despite its alarming state, at least in Greece.
Being usually covered within the wider unemployment phenomenon, such feature articles convey the importance of recognising and addressing the NEET phenomenon to lay audience and policy stakeholders alike.
Thank you very much Kathimerini and Stavroula Karaiskaki!
The Project Team is Expanding … Join Us!
An international research project; a transnational team of experts and practitioners; universities, NGOs and public services based in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Norway; a hands-on experience dealing with youth; a work actively related with social issues; a competitive salary; an ideal working environment.
Four Key Account Managers will enjoy all the above while working for the YOUTHShare project.
The Key Account Managers will have a central role in the Transnational Employment/ Placement Centre with branches in Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Spain that is being established. They will
- Identify NEETs willing to acquire new skills in local resilient sectors
- Attract employers willing to offer NEETs on-the-job training
- Organise meetings with local stakeholders
- Suitably match the NEETs to the employers
- Collaborate with other branches for the mobility of NEETs across countries for on-the-job training
Please read carefully the attached announcement and identify the job requirements and deadlines for each country!
- Greece: 19.01.2020 / https://bit.ly/3980DAv
- Cyprus: 17.01.2020 / https://bit.ly/34PyHOg
- Italy: 19.01.2020 / https://bit.ly/2Zk0ohh
- Spain: 17.01.2020 / https://bit.ly/2EOY7RK
The YOUTHShare project awaits your applications!
The YOUTHShare project at ΑΙΓΑΙΟ.edu
ΑΙΓΑΙΟ.edu (Aegean in Greek) is the online magazine of the University of the Aegean. In its latest issue, the YOUTHShare project features amongst the promoted researches of the university. The university of the Aegean caters for 18.100 students spread across 6 campuses established in 6 different islands of the Aegean sea.
In the latest evaluation of the tertiary institutes in Greece (2017) it has been selected as the best university in the country; while, it is every year among the top three universities in the world rankings.
Thank you ΑΙΓΑΙΟ.edu!
NEETs in Mediterranean EEA 2008-2018: A Baseline Study
Crucial part of the YOUTHShare research is the baseline study which has been recently delivered by the researchers of the project.
How many NEETs are there in the focus countries? What is the share of men and women among them? How are they regionally distributed? How is the rate developing between 2008 and 2018? What was the impact of policies designed and applied?
This very useful scientific tool is now available!
NEETs in Mediterranean EEA 2008 – 2018 A Baseline Study
Cyprus to Introduce New Legislation on Social Enterprises
Press Release, 27.09.2019
Cyprus will join the EU country-members that endorse social enterprises. The approval of the new bill, ‘Law for the development and maintenance of a Registry for Social Enterprises’, is expected to boost the third sector of the economy in the Cypriot context.
Read about the importance of the new bill to the YOUTShare project at the Press Release.
It’s high time for the second Newsletter of the YOUTHShare project!
Discover the progress of the research and the NEET situation in MED EEA countries. Read about the Youth Employment Magazine and the Sharing Economy. Get to know the project partners responsible for research. Learn about the communication and dissemination activities of the project.
Let’s stay in touch! Receive the news from the YOUTHShare project, after subsrcibing at: www.youthshare-project.org/#contact
EFTA Communication Unit Visit in Cyprus
Press Release, 09.08.2019
The Sociology Chicken and the Policy Egg: The Case of NEETs
Sometimes it’s difficult to avoid cliches; possibly because they are powerful in describing the context. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have survived as cliches. The recursive dynamicity in the “chicken and egg” metaphor in reality demonstrates our limited analytical capacity in a context in which the cause and the consequence are not yet categorically defined.
Τhe featured book: Agency, Structure and the NEET Policy Problem by Ian Thurlby Campbell and Leslie Bell (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017) offers the opportunity for an interesting insight on the epistemological articulation between sociology and policy analysis.
The authors provide an innovative break on a classic debate between researchers and policymakers. Why one becomes a NEET? Is this development a life-choices (agency) consequence, or the result of external factors (i.e. social, political and economic structures). The centuries-long debate between Agency and Structure is usually resolved today with a mitigated approach. The truth lies in-between the two. The debate, therefore arises on the contribution of Agency or Stucture in the each-case phenomenon and in the present case of the NEETs phenomenon. The book by Cambel and Bell is effectively surpassing that debate by drawing on social cognitive theory. The conduct of empirical research provides a really interesting and fresh perspective on the issue of NEETs in the case of London.
In that framework, the articulation of social research with policy touches an important, yet unduly analysed issue. Sociology and social sciences in their majority are considered descriptive sciences. They aim at positively describing the reality. Wouldn’t be the same with policy analysis? Not exactly! Policy analysis (different from political science) is hardly ever descriptive. A “policy” is considered the result of both political decision making and research. The second might look strange, but in reality the delimitation of a policy, its conceptualisation and internal organisation is the result of external observation; the result of the work of a researcher and more specifically of a researcher coming from the descriptive sciences. In other words, a policymaker applies immediate responses to actual, usually hot, issues. The conceptual organisation of those responses into an organised policy comes from an external observer rather than the policymaker.
This is exactly the case of the NEETs issue. What is an undoubted social phenomenon is the existence of persons that are not employed, in education or training. On the other hand, the decision to call them “NEETs” and examine the phenomenon along with other concepts (life-choices, social factors etc.) is a policy decision that recursively confirms the “NEETs” as a policy issue rather than as a social phenomenon. This is not to say that persons that are not employed, in education or training don’t exist. On the contrary! It is their existence that obliges addressing them exactly as a social phenomenon and therefore free from the limitations in understanding from previous policies.
A Thousand Miles Journey Begins With the First Step
It was 5 months ago, on November 27, 2018, when the first step was made. The kick off event of the YOUTHShare project took place in the iconic “Kostis Palamas” building in Athens, Greece.
Representatives from 12 partners, from 5 countries, from the North and the South of the European Economic Area, came along to organise and plan the next 42 months of the project.
A full, yet productive, day set the pace and the spirit of the project: In-depth research, production of new knowledge, tailored training and capitalisation are instrumental. What stands at the core is the devotion of the YOUTHShare projects people in offering sustainable solutions to local societies and the NEETs of the Mediterranean EEA.
YOUTHShare Newsletter #1
The first Newsletter of the YOUTHShare project is here!
Discover the project and the EEA and Norway Grants. Read about social economy and the University of the Aegean at the dedicated articles. Learn about the communication and thorough dissemination in the news from the project.
Let’s stay in touch! Subscribe to receive the News from the YOUTHShare project at your email!
The Definition of Reality or the Definition in the Reality
NEETs as an epistemological exercise in Statistics
Statistics appears as a clear-cut field of knowledge. The numbers, the percentages, the diagrams, the so much wanted from the administration “hard facts” leave few doubts on what is actually the Statistics. But would we have the same impression if Statistics were viewed under the fundamental schism between Descriptive and Normative sciences? What is the role of Statistics; to describe or to explain?
This is a well known issue for social statistics as it is for any social science that balances between the positivist description of reality and the urge to explain it based on scientifically proven facts. At the same time this is a non issue in the sense that, epistemologically, social sciences have managed to overcome methodological barriers and both describe as well as explain the social reality.
Still, though, this old question is valueable as a caveat. The norms used to prescribe social dynamics in order to measure their extent should not hinder social research from expanding its view. In other words, it’s crucial to understand that Statistics measure an aspect of the social reality, they are not the social reality itself. For that specific reason, that aspect is conditioned upon our reservations, monism and methodological restrictions.
Looking for an example? Well, NEETs constitute the perfect example!
The term NEETs usually refers to young people not in employment, education or training and is calculated by the ratio of NEETs divided by the total number of young people in the corresponding age group, by gender (OECD 2018). According to Eurostat (2019) they are not employed, but according to the International Labour Organisation (2019) they are “inactive”. Moreover, the NEETs have not received any formal or non-formal education or training in the four weeks preceding the survey (Eurostat 2019).
One could ask, what is the difference bewteen unemployment and inactivity or why four weeks without formal or non-formal education/training would suffice but three weeks not? One could also ask who is that young person?
The evolution of answers to the latter question is revealing. When introduced in the United Kingdom at the end of the 1980s the age of NEETs spanned between 16 and 18 years old (Furlong, 2006, Eurofound, 2012:19, Drakaki et al., 2013). In 2008, the term was broadened to include those aged 15–24 and later, those aged between 15–29. (Papadakis et al 2011: 4, Drakaki et al., 2014, Eurofound, 2016:1). Nowadays, the age range has been broadened from 15 to 34 years old because of the social changes; particularly due to the changes concerning the transition from adolescence to early adulthood (Eurostat, 2017, Simões, 2018).
This very evolution of the definition reveals the conditionality of Statistics upon the social reality. At the same time it points to the need of constantly furthering the boundaries of science through research according to the social dynamics.
Drakaki, M., Papadakis, N., Kyridis, A., & Papargyris, A. (2014). Who’s the Greek Neet? Neets’ profile in Greece: parameters, trends and common characteristics of a heterogeneous group. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 4(6), 240-254.
Eurofound (2012). NEETs. Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available online at: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2012/54/en/1/EF1254EN.pdf.
EUROSTAT (2017). Statistics on young people neither in employment, nor education or training. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisticsexplained.
Furlong, A. (2006). Not a very NEET solution: representing problematic labour market transitions among early school-leavers. Work, employment and society, 20(3), 553-569.
OECD (2018), Youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) (indicator).doi: 10.1787/72d1033a-en (Accessed on 05 February 2019)
Eurostat (2019), Glossary:Young people neither in employment nor in education and training (NEET)
Papadakis, N. (in collaboration with Hourdakis, M. and Kamekis, A) (2011). New forms of Social Vulnerability and the Challenges for Social Policy: the NEETs (Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training). Athens: ISTAME, February, 2011 (G).
Simões, F. (2018). How to involve rural NEET youths in agriculture? Highlights of an untold story. Community Development, 1-18.
NEET: The multiple readings of a term
Some thoughts following the publication of a demographics study in Greece.
What is a NEET? The answer is straightforward: A person Not in Employment, Education or Training.
Indeed a clear term. Or not? Who is really a NEET? What is the very essence of being a NEET? How can a NEET be identified? The latter question is the cornerstone of success of any intervention logic, because in our, still modern societies, Job and Education constitute forming concepts of our social identity or the other way around; namely, ways that our society identifies and appoints us in social norms. We are supposed to be students, workers or unemployed and the State approaches us through respective channels. Or not?
Although we can assume that there are persons not in employment, education or training and at the same time not officially registered as unemployed, it is somehow hard to visualise them; exactly because visibility is vested with the official channels of communication between the State and the person.
From the official employment statistics point of view a small percentage in the general population covers a wide array of cases. Who larks behind the term “Not Economically Active” / “NEET” / “NLFET” (Not in Labour Force, Education or Training)?
A recent study of the National Center for Social Research in Greece commissioned by the NGO Dianeosis, touches upon an old question and sheds some light on its recent aspects. Could the alarming state of the population growth in Greece be attributed to the need to increase the family income through the entrance of women in the labour market? Does that mean, consequently, that housewives should be considered among the NEETs? How the current financial crisis affects those trends, questions and answers?
Definitely, a very interesting read!