YOUTHSharing the News
Socio-spatial dimensions of the NEET phenomenon in southern EU countries
The research process presents its own chronicity. One year ago, the YOUTHShare project was delivering three reports, namely its main research outputs. But the research endeavours did not end there!
One year after data collection and report preparation, the research still delivers fruits. Our chapter
‘Dimensions socio-spatiales du phénomène des NEET dans les pays méditerranéens du Sud de l’UE : une dynamique régionale hétérogène dans le sillage de la crise’
was included in the edited volume Populations et Crises en Méditerranée edited by Gil Bellis, Maria Carella, Jean-François Léger, Alain Parant and published by FrancoAngeli.
Effie Emmanouil, Dr Michalis Poulimas, Dr Ioannis Papageorgiou and Assoc. Prof. Stelios Gialis from the University of the Aegean and Dr Anne Hege Strand from FAFO Institute discuss the socio-spatial dynamics of the NEET population in the regional contours of the decade long economic crisis of the southern EU countries.
COVID-19 Regional Labour
In light of the recent developments regarding the discovery, production and distribution of vaccination, we can hope that soon COVID-19 will be history. Nevertheless, the social implications of the pandemic are expected to be much more long lasting.
The tourism-dependent economies presented the highest decrease in the employment rate during the 3rd Quarter of 2020
Employment in Regions with lower GDP or insular / peripheral geography, is considerably more affected in comparison to metropolitan, central or higher GDP Regions
The COVID-19 Regional Labour team will continue working on the social implications of the pandemic and keep you updated.
Soon we will be ready to announce more good news regarding the future of the project.
2nd Interaction with Stakeholders Event
The 2nd Interaction with Stakeholders Event took place in Spain with great success!
Despite the unfavourable conditions and the social distancing measures, the online meeting brought together our Transnational Employment Centre branch in Spain and our local partners, AEII and UCAM, with NEETs, researchers, trainers, managers and representatives of local and regional institutions.
NEET the Documentary
Under the direction of Tom Mamakos, the YOUTHShare expert filming teams interview researchers, Key Account Managers of the Transnational Employment Centre, trainers and former NEETs participating in the training program. Struggles, aspirations, hopes and a lot of work mingle together in a sneak peek of the film under production.
The Social Pandemic
The Baseline Study Updated
Press Release, 15.12.2020
During Summer 2020, the Fund for Youth Employment, based on the contributions of its funded projects, published the Baseline Study for the Youth Employment in EEA.
Inescapably, the available statistical data covered the period until the end of 2019, omitting by that the ‘elephant in the room’, namely the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic upon youth employment and young NEETs. The availability of key statistical data, in the meantime, made the pertinent analysis not only feasible but also crucial.
The EEA Fund for Youth Employment with the contributions from the ‘Active Youth’ Project Partners discuss the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. New problems and already known issues are both seen under a different prism!
The Uneven Impact of Covid-19 upon Employment
Data from Greek Regions
The Covid-19 pandemic is a proven multifaceted health as well as social crisis. The policy responses against the expansion of the novel coronavirus, regardless of their necessity in protecting the public health, have also a bitter consequence.
The national or regional lockdowns, the sectoral risk mitigation measures and the policies regarding movement restriction have triggered an employment crisis too. Enterprises are closing or employment contracts are being suspended across Europe.
The recent research conducted by the ‘Covid-19 Regional Labour’, the YOUTHShare’s spin-off project, on employment data in Greece bring forward two very interesting findings.
On the one hand, unemployment during the 2nd Quarter of 2020 has significantly affected the metropolitan areas in Greece, Attica and Central Macedonia. In comparison to the same rates during the 2nd Quarter of 2019, the pandemic has affected the labour conditions for millions of workers.
On the other hand, significantly affected were the insular regions that depend upon tourism; Crete, South Aegean and Ionian Islands. The tourism monoculture has been the necessary diversification from other economy sector that proved those regions resilient during the 2008 recession and the subsequent crisis. Nevertheless, the lack of substantial diversification in regional level has severely affected the regional economy during the current crisis. “Placing the eggs in one basket” is never a wise move and the Covid-19 crisis has proven its validity.
Most importantly, it needs to be stressed that behind the statistics there are people and in most of the cases, the most vulnerable among our societies. NEETs are among them requiring special attenion in view of their integration in the labour market.
Behind the Scences
Press Release, 30.09.2020
Projects like the YOUTHShare, usually count their impact with numbers; numbers of beneficiaries, number of NEETs received training, number of unemployed people being matched to jobs etc. Behind those numbers, however, there is hard and meticulous but noiseless work being done, without which all of the above would be pointless. Extensive research, detailed studies and long reports are not the protagonists but the essential stepping stones towards the outreaching and “impactful” outputs.
- An Educator’s Manual and a Trainee’s Handbook of Skills in Resilient Sectors of the Mediterranean Economies
- An Educator’s Manual and a Trainee’s Handbook of Skills in IT Skills in Sharing and Web Based Economy
- An Educator’s Manual and a Trainee’s Handbook of Skills in Social Economy
NEET the Documentary Film
A Simple Manual for a not so Simple Job
NEETs in Southern Europe, apart from structural unemployment, also face the persisting consequences of a long economic recession and the social repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this complex weave of phenomena, their re-integration in the job market cannot be a simplistic issue.
The newly established branches of the Transnational Employment Centres in Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Spain are staffed by Key Account Managers, responsible for applying the year-long research in the social reality.
In view of that extremely demanding task, the Manual on NEETs’ Outreaching, Coaching, Utilizing their Skills and Job Matching has been put together. The manual reflects the latest developments in Key Account Management, in social work regarding disengaged youth and the recent experience from the “Ripples in the Water” project in Norway.
The previous research demonstrated that each country under study faces different aspects of the young NEETs phenomenon, leading to different set of recommended policies. Under that light the Manual is not a compilation of prescriptions but rather a set of suggestions and principles that are already under reflection in vew of the compilation of Best Practices that will be drafted during the progress of the YOUTHShare project.
Baseline Study about Youth Employment
What is the youth unemployment rate? How many are the NEETs? What is the rate of young NEETs compared to general unemployment and the general population? What have been the policy responses up to date? What was their impact?
Basic questions need to be answered before the design of any essential intervention in the field.
The Baseline Study about Youth Unemployment in Europe, with the significant contribution of the YOUTHShare project partners and staff, unfolds a weave of information, creating meaning among different statistical methods, data and policies.
Youth Employment Magazine – 7th Issue
COOPs for Climate Action
Press Release, 04.07.2020
The 4th of July is the International Day of Cooperatives. This year’s theme regards the contribution of COOPs against climate action. Over 1 billion COOP members across the globe are already leading the way towards a just transition to more sustainable and more resilient economies.
The Cooperatives’ Office of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has issued the global campaign #coops4climateaction to mark the call for stepping up and scaling up the contribution of the COOPs towards a just transition to low carbon and resilient economies. In the press release of the International Cooperative Alliance, the Director General Bruno Roelants, mentioned that “the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to us that those who have less are the ones who suffer the most. Climate change continues to affect the most vulnerable population on our planet, and we must continue to take action to change this. Cooperatives as a global reality have a fundamental role to play in this endeavour. This year for the International Day of Cooperatives, we seek to highlight the importance of taking action against climate change, and to encourage others to also make a difference – no matter how small.”
The YOUTHShare project already offers to NEETs from Southern Europe the knowledge and the opportunity for quality jobs in COOPs. Our focus on agrifood sector, circular economy and low carbon sharing economy platforms paves the way for social and envrironmental sustainability.
Our Transnational Employment Centre Branches in Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Spain offer a range of services for NEETs; from counselling and mentoring to job matching with local and international employers.
YOUTHShare scientfic reports’ executive summaries published
The meticulous work of the YOUTHShare project researchers has been recorded at the transnational reports already published. The effort of the team has produced extended scientific texts.
Executive Summaries, distilling the key points, are now available for an overview of the same reports:
- The Impact of Employment Policies on Young NEETs: Tackling youth disengagement through understanding the flexibilization – regional resilience nexus
- The Impact of Employment Policies on Social and Sharing Economies draws
- The Impact of Education and Training Initiatives on Young NEETs employs
“One size does not fit all”
YOUTHShare scientific reports point to regionally sensitive solutions for NEETs
Press Release, 24.04.2020
Amidst the present turbulent period, the YOUTHShare project has not ceased its operations and the efforts to provide meaningful solutions to the young NEETs of our society.
After sixteen months of meticulous research design, data collection following various methods and impact assessment, the YOUTHShare research team prepared three elaborate scientific reports that elucidate core issues of the NEETs phenomenon in Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Spain.
All three reports incorporate the transnational effort of the YOUTHShare research team and the support offered by all project partners. Their successful delivery further embeds the cooperation between the project partners and consolidates the YOUTHShare Transnational Research Centre.
The reports confirm that unemployment, and particularly the NEETs phenomenon, present such structural features that cannot be addressed though fragmented or case-specific policies. Contrariwise, unchecked unemployment, precariousness and flexibilisation could be potentially harnessed through skills acquiring in resilient, social and sharing sectors of the economy within a regionally sensitive approach. The three transnational reports of the YOUTHShare project confirm that “One size, doesn’t fit all”.
Read here the press release.
“One size does not fit all”: YOUTHShare scientific reports point to regionally sensitive solutions for NEETs
COVID-19 Regional Labour in the Press
The COVID-19 Regional Labour Dashboard features on today’s issue of the significant Kathimerini newspaper in Greece.
The YOUTHShare project researchers responded immediately to the social pressures exerted by the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic. The innovative regional approach of the COVID-19 Regional Labour Dashboard has been focusing on the most affected by the economic recession regions of the EU South. Understanding that public health, social policy and employment are intrinsically connected, the research team brings forward the COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita, from a regional perspective, coupled with unemployment and NEETs rate, as well as hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants, in Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Spain.
The publication of the upgraded Covid-19 & Labour in Southern EU Regions website encompassing a plethora of information further to the Dashboard, coincides with the article prepared by T. Karaiskaki featuring the voluntary work of the YOUTHShare project researchers. The Principal Investigator, Associate Professor S. Gialis, notes that “it is estimated that the pandemic will have a high negative impact especially on NEETs. The already weak economic situation in the countries of the EU south of the EU is expected to deteriorate, turning thousands of young people into young NEETs within a few months”. Mr Gourzis, accounts the higher impact of the pandemic in Italy and Spain, compared to Greece, to the different level of urbanisation. He notes, however, that “the dependence of most Greek regions upon an extremely limited range of economic activities is expected to multiply the adverse effects of the current crisis”.
The Covid-19 & Labour in Southern EU Regions has been designed to set a baseline for the social impact of the pandemic and monitor on a daily basis its development. To that end, it is regularly updated with data from a variety of sources including the World Health Organisation, Johns Hopkins University, Eurostat, National Authorities, Statista, Wikipedia and others.
As Dr Gialis points “We believe that the extensive documentation of the daily changes is an important contribution before the further expansion of the corona virus crisis. Having documented the starting point and the impact of existing policies in this fluid and volatile period is of great significance”.
COVID-19 Regional Labour
Greek, Italian and Spanish translations follow
Social sciences are not meant to remain apathetic. This is even more so in times of crisis!
The current COVID-19 pandemic requires active contribution from all of us, just by taking self-protection measures. In YOUTHShare project we have taken a step more. We have used the expertise of the research team in order to prepare a dynamic map of the epidemic cases in Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Spain.
The innovation of the ‘COVID-19 Regional Labour‘ dashboard lies with the regional analysis, not found anywhere else. The total confirmed cases, the percentage of deaths per confirmed cases, the case per capita and the deaths per capita are measured in a regional level, allowing for useful conclusions regarding the spread of the epidemic per country.
The same analysis is the base for the estimation of the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon the countries under study. The spread of the virus will be compared to the regional NEETs rate and GDP. In that way, we contribute to an impact assessment tool to measure the expected consequences, especially among the highly vulnerable NEET groups of our society.
The COVID-19 Regional Labour is freely offered for academic, research, informative and educational purposes. Our intention is to inform the wider public and the scientific community alike, and support policy makers with informed decision.
The dashboard is updated regularly with data from Eurostat, Johns Hopkins University (JHU), WHO, Statista and other sources and compiled by the, voluntarily working, ‘COVID-19 Regional Labour’ team. The team is comprised of:
Akis Kanneleas, GIS Developer, MSc in GIS, Leeds University, YOUTHShare project.
Dimitris Psarologos, Geographer, MSc student in Political Economy, Univ. of Athens.
Dimitris Voulgaris, Geographer, MSc in Regional & Urban Planning, London School of Econ. & Pol. Sc. (LSE).
Stelios Gialis, Associate Professor, Labour Geography Res. Group, Univ. of Aegean & YOUTHShare project.
Οι κοινωνικές επιστήμες δεν μπορούν να παραμένουν απαθείς. Αυτό ισχύει ακόμη περισσότερο σε περιόδους κρίσης!
Η τρέχουσα πανδημία του COVID-19 απαιτεί ενεργή συμβολή από όλους μας, απλώς με τη λήψη μέτρων αυτοπροστασίας. Στο έργο YOUTHShare πήγαμε ένα βήμα παραπέρα. Ενεργοποιήσαμε την εμπειρία της ερευνητικής ομάδας για την προετοιμασία ενός δυναμικού χάρτη των περιστατικών επιδημίας στην Ελλάδα, την Κύπρο, την Ιταλία και την Ισπανία.
Η καινοτομία του χάρτη ‘COVID-19 Regional Labour’ έγκειται στην περιφερειακή ανάλυση, η οποία δεν εφαρμόζεται σε άλλες προσπάθειες. Τα συνολικά επιβεβαιωμένα κρούσματα, το ποσοστό των θανάτων στα επιβεβαιωμένα κρούσματα, τα κρούσματα και οι θάνατοι ανά 100.000 κατοίκους αναλύονται σε περιφερειακό επίπεδο, επιτρέποντας την εξαγωγή χρήσιμων συμπερασμάτων σχετικά με την εξάπλωση της επιδημίας ανά χώρα.
Η ίδια ανάλυση αποτελεί τη βάση για τον υπολογισμό των κοινωνικών επιπτώσεων της πανδημίας COVID-19 στις υπό μελέτη χώρες. Η εξάπλωση του ιού θα συγκριθεί με το περιφερειακό ποσοστό NEETs και το ΑΕΠ. Με αυτόν τον τρόπο, συμβάλλουμε στην παραγωγή ενός εργαλείου αξιολόγησης των επιπτώσεων για τη μέτρηση των αναμενόμενων συνεπειών, ιδίως μεταξύ των ιδιαίτερα ευάλωτων ομάδων NEETs της κοινωνίας μας.
Ο χάρτης ‘COVID-19 Regional Labour’ προσφέρεται για ακαδημαϊκούς, ερευνητικούς, ενημερωτικούς και εκπαιδευτικούς σκοπούς. Στόχος μας είναι να ενημερώσουμε το ευρύτερο κοινό και την επιστημονική κοινότητα, και να στηρίξουμε τους υπεύθυνους χάραξης πολιτικής στη λήψη τεκμηριωμένων αποφάσεων.
Ο χάρτης ενημερώνεται τακτικά με στοιχεία της Eurostat, του Πανεπιστημίου Johns Hopkins (JHU), του Π.Ο.Υ., του Statista και άλλων πηγών που αναλύονται από την ομάδα εργασίας του COVID-19 Regional Labor, η οποία εργάζεται εθενλοντικά. Η ομάδα αποτελείται από τους:
Άκης Καννελέας, GIS Developer, MSc in GIS, Πανεπιστήμιο του Leeds, YOUTHShare project.
Δημήτρης Ψαρόλογος, Γεωγράφος, φοιτητής MSc στην Πολιτική Οικονομία, Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών.
Δημήτρης Βούλγαρης, Γεωγράφος, MSc in Regional & Urban Planning, London School of Econ. & Pol. Sc. (LSE).
Στέλιος Γιαλής, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής, Ερευνητικλη Ομάδα Γεωγραφίας της Εργασίας, Πανεπιστήμιο Αιγαίου και YOUTHShare project.
Le scienze sociali non sono fatte per essere apatiche. Questo è ancora più vero in tempo di crisi!
L’attuale pandemia COVID-19 richiede un contributo attivo da parte di tutti noi, adottando solo misure di autoprotezione. Ma nel progetto YOUTHShare abbiamo fatto un passo in più, abbiamo impiegato le competenze del team di ricerca per preparare una mappa dinamica dei casi epidemici in Grecia, Cipro, Italia e Spagna.
L’innovazione della dashboard “COVID-19 Regional Labour (Lavoro Regionale)” risiede nell’analisi di tipo regionale, che non si trova da nessun’altra parte. Il totale dei casi confermati, la percentuale di decessi per casi confermati, il numero di casi e di decessi pro capite sono misurati a livello regionale, consentendo di trarre utili conclusioni sulla diffusione dell’epidemia in ciascun paese.
La stessa analisi costituisce una base per la stima dell’impatto sociale della pandemia COVID-19 sui paesi oggetto di studio. La diffusione del virus sarà confrontata con il tasso regionale di NEET e il PIL. In questo modo contribuiamo a creare uno strumento di valutazione dell’impatto per misurare le conseguenze prevedibili, soprattutto tra i gruppi di NEET altamente vulnerabili della nostra società.
Il COVID-19 Regional Labour è offerto gratuitamente per scopi accademici, di ricerca, informativi ed educativi. La nostra intenzione è quella di informare il pubblico in generale e la comunità scientifica e di sostenere i responsabili politici con decisioni adeguate.
La dashboard viene aggiornato regolarmente con i dati di Eurostat, della Johns Hopkins University (JHU), dell’OMS, di Statista e di altre fonti e compilato dal team di volontari “COVID-19 Regional Labour”.
Il gruppo di lavoro è composto da:
Akis Kanneleas, Sviluppatore GIS, Master in GIS, Università di Leeds, progetto YOUTHShare.
Dimitris Psarologos, Geografo, Master in Economia Politica, Università di Atene.
Dimitris Voulgaris, Geografo, Master in Pianificazione Regionale e Urbana, London School of Econ. & Pol. Sc. (LSE).
Stelios Gialis, Professore Associato, Gruppo di Ricerca sulla Geografia del Lavoro, Università dell’Egeo e progetto YOUTHShare.
Las Ciencias Sociales no permanecen indiferentes, y menos aun en tiempos de crisis.
La actual pandemia del COVID-19 requiere que todos nosotros la afrontemos desde una contribución activa y se tomen medidas de autoprotección. En el proyecto YOUTHShare hemos dado un paso más, donde hemos movilizado la experiencia del equipo de investigación para preparar un mapa dinámico de los casos de epidemia en los países de: Grecia, Chipre, Italia y España.
Este mapa dinámoco innovador del “COVID-19 Empleo por País” radica en su análisis local, y no se encuentra en ningún otro lugar. Ofrece el total de casos confirmados, el porcentaje de muertes por casos confirmados, el caso per cápita y las muertes per cápita se miden a nivel regional; lo que permite conclusiones útiles con respecto a la propagación de la epidemia por país.
Este mismo análisis es la base para la estimación del impacto social de la pandemia de COVID-19 en los países estudiados.
La propagación del virus se comparará con la Tasa Regional de jóvenes ‘Ninis’ y el PIB. De esta manera, contribuimos a una herramienta de evaluación de impacto para medir las consecuencias esperadas, especialmente entre los grupos jóvenes ‘Ninis’ altamente vulnerables de nuestra sociedad.
Este mapa ‘COVID-19 Regional por País’ se ofrece gratuitamente con fines académicos, de investigación, informativos y educativos. Nuestra intención es informar al público en general y a la comunidad científica por igual, y apoyar a los responsables políticos con una información contrastada.
Este tablero es actualizado regularmente con datos de Eurostat, la Universidad Johns Hopkins (JHU), la O.M.S., Statista y otras fuentes, y es recopilado por el equipo “COVID-19 Regional Labour” que trabaja voluntariamente. El equipo está compuesto por:
Akis Kanneleas, GIS Developer, MSc in GIS, Leeds University, proyecto YOUTHShare.
Dimitris Psarologos, Geógrafo, estudiante de maestría en Economía Política, Univ. de Atenas
Dimitris Voulgaris, Geógrafo, MSc en Planificación Regional y Urbana, London School of Econ. & Pol. Carolina del Sur. (LSE)
Stelios Gialis, Profesor Asociado, Geografía Laboral Res. Grupo, Univ. del proyecto Aegean & YOUTHShare.
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!