Second Research Dimension

The second research dimension is closely related to the first, but concentrates on the evaluation of relevant labour market policies as illustrated by the figure below.

Research Dimension 2: Evaluation and Proposal of Policies

The fourth objective of the CUPESSE project is therefore dedicated to the investigation of the extent to which three typical labour market policies – flexicurity policies, policies supporting business start-ups and self-employment and policies promoting education and training platforms – are embraced by the EU Member States. We moreover seek to assess the impacts of these policies on the employment situation of young people.

According to Eurostat labour market policies are interventions that aim to provide assistance to people who are registered as unemployed or who are currently employed but at risk of involuntary job loss due to economic difficulties experienced by their employer. Labour market policies are usually classified into three types: services, measures and supports. Services refer to labour market interventions where the main activity of participants relates to the job search and where participation generally does not change the labour market status. Measures, by contrast, are usually not directly related to the job search. Participation in measures typically results in a (temporary) change of labour market status. In other words, the unemployed typically cease to be considered as such when participating in a measure because they are temporarily in training or work and therefore are neither actively seeking nor immediately available for other kinds of employment. Measures include training, job rotation/sharing, employment incentives, supported employment and rehabilitation, direct job creation and start-up incentives. Supports refer to interventions that either provide financial assistance to persons for labour market reasons or which compensate persons for disadvantages caused by labour market circumstances.

The first labour market policy refers to flexicurity regimes, which represent an important dimension of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative Agenda for New Skills and Jobs. Flexicurity, as defined by the European Commission, is an integrated strategy to enhance flexibility and security in the labour market. The flexibility component of these policies refers to placing workers into better jobs as well as flexible work organisations. The security component is about equipping people with the skills that enable them to continue the development of their careers.

The second type of labour market policy to be evaluated refers to national policies supporting business start-ups and self-employment. Relevant policies in Germany, for example, support initiatives to launch new businesses by providing low interest rates that are open to new entrepreneurs. The United Kingdom has just launched a € 100 million StartUp Loan scheme for young entrepreneurs. The programme provides 18-24 year-olds with access to finance, support and training to start a business.

The third type of policy relates to the promotion of education and training platforms. In this context, CUPESSE is mainly interested in how such initiatives influence labour market selection and the exclusion of young people as well as their entrance to the labour market or professional occupation.

CUPESSE seeks to understand the effects and effectiveness of these policies in light of the insights obtained in the first research dimension concerning the supply and demand side of unemployment as well as the social and economic impacts. The results of the assessment of the aforementioned policies will serve to identify new policy measures and ways to improve existing approaches in order to uncover more effective and efficient ways to tackle youth unemployment in Europe. Consequently, the fifth objective of the CUPESSE project is to present ideas for new policy measures and policy improvement.