We have already talked a bit about the youth unemployment crisis that engulfs Europe. 5.4 million young Europeans are unemployed and this present a major challenge to both trade unions and public services across the continent.
This is why EPSU commissioned Nick Clark, Senior Research Fellow - Working Lives Research Institute, to carry out a research project investigating public service employers’ arrangements for the recruitment and training of young workers. The aim was to present and discuss the research and draft a series of recommendations for action by EPSU affiliates at national level as well as initiatives to be considered for implementation at European level.
This briefing paper examines the extent to which young workers are employed in three sections of the public services and are affected by precarious employment in these sectors. It seeks to identify any initiatives taken by employers in the public services to improve the recruitment, retention, training and career development of young workers. Finally, we also enquire into approaches adopted by EPSU affiliates to respond to the challenge posed by the treatment of young workers in public services, whether by collective bargaining, campaigns or internal structures.
Precarious employment clearly poses the greatest danger to young people in work, coupled with scare employment opportunities for those out of work. But the report argues that there is also the danger of losing public service skill and ethos in the younger generation due to the lack of young workers being taken on in the public sector. If Europe’s public administrations simply employed the same proportion of under-25 year olds now as they did at the end of 2008 (when it was already low by comparison with the rest of the economy), over 100,000 more of Europe’s young would currently have a job. This illustrates starkly the under-recruitment into the public sector since the crisis.