In light of the impact of the recent negative developments in the labour market on young people, EU Member States have in recent years been actively engaged in designing and implementing policy measures targeted at young people. In the context of its 2011 work programme, Eurofound carried out an evaluation of the effectiveness of selected policy measures introduced by Member States to improve the employability of young people. The full results of this study will be published later in the year. This short document summarises the strengths and weaknesses of youth guarantee schemes identified in the research. Given that Scandinavian countries are pioneers of this type of policy, this paper focuses in particular on youth guarantee initiatives which have been introduced in Finland and Sweden.
In the face of recession, falling demand and the consequent slowing of production, short-time working and temporary layoff schemes have been extended (or introduced) in many Member States. These schemes, often with the aid of public funds, reduce working time, while protecting workers’ incomes and company solvency; frequently, the time spent not working is used for training instead. This report examines the practice of reduced working time across Europe, and looks in detail at how it is implemented in 10 Member States, with a view to determining the contribution that such schemes can make in implementing the common principles of flexicurity, especially in light of the broad-based consensus they enjoy among the social partners.