EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

‘Poland: ERM Comparative Analytical Report on young people Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET)’

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 06 February 2012



About
Country:
Poland
Author:
Marta Trawinska
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

In Poland, the level of interest in the issue of NEETs is relatively low and seems to be insufficient in the context of the problems faced by young people. However, over the last year, an increased interest in some of the NEETs issues has been noticed (particularly in relation to the unemployed higher education graduates). There is a relatively high number of instruments addressed to people who are not in employment and not in education, but they are rather universal (they concern the whole population of the unemployed), and are not designed just for this specific group. Therefore, what needs to be done is to identify the specific problems and needs of the NEETs and to design tools that will address the identified problems and needs. The current discussion about the situation of young people on the labour market may, in future, lead to construction of some specific policy instruments.

1. Introduction

1.1 What is the level of interest among the different stakeholders in your country (policy makers, the media, employers and trade unions) in the issue of NEETs? What are their reasons for having a high/ low level of interest in the topic? (Expected length 100 words)

The greatest interest in the issue of NEETs can be seen in the media and in the mainstream policy. In the case of mainstream policy, there has been some medium level interest in these issues for quite a long time. In the media, a sudden growth of interest has been noticeable for almost a year now and it is related, to a great extent, to the reform of tertiary education planned for 2011 as well as the recent protests of young people in Europe. Growing interest can also be noticed among the trade unions, where, apart from the usual activities under the “young people” heading, new initiatives appear, often implemented in cooperation with local civil society movements (e.g. students’ organisations). The least interest in these issues is revealed by the employers, who mainly emphasise the lack of connection between the school curricula and the labour market needs.

1.2 Using the following table, please identify which sub-groups of NEETs are of particular concern to the different stakeholders in your country. Please indicate the relative importance of each group to the different stakeholders; for each group please state whether they are felt to be of ‘significant concern’, ‘some concern’, or ‘no concern’ to the different stakeholders.

Table 1 – NEETs sub-groups
 

Public/media debate

e.g. the extent to which the issue is discussed within the news media

Mainstream Policy

e.g. the range of policy documents tackling the issue, the amount of investment committed to tackling the problem

Employers

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Trade unions

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Young people who are unemployed

significant concern

some concern

no concern

some concern

Young people who are in ‘precarious’ or unsuitable employment (e.g. temporary contracts, forced self-employment, part-time work, or jobs which are not commensurate with their level of qualifications)

significant concern

some concern

some concern

significant concern

Early school leavers – young people who have dropped out of education before obtaining an upper secondary level qualification

no concern

some concern

no concern

no concern

Young people with qualifications which do not meet labour market needs

significant concern

significant concern

significant concern

some concern

Teenage/ single parents

some concern

some concern

no concern

no concern

Migrants and minority groups

some concern

some concern

no concern

no concern

Young people with disabilities

some concern

some concern

no concern

no concern

Young people from workless families

some concern

some concern

no concern

no concern

Young people from disadvantaged areas

some concern

significant concern

no concern

no concern

Young people with tertiary education who have been unsuccessful in accessing the labour market

significant concern

significant concern

some concern

significant concern

Other (please specify):

.

       

1.3 Are there any policy measures in your country targeted at those NEETs with tertiary education? If yes please describe these briefly (expected length 100 words).

There are several types of tools addressed to NEETs with tertiary education. They focus on:

- vocational (career) guidance and employment agency services addressed to unemployed graduates of tertiary education schools. These activities are coordinated by public institutions such as: Labour Offices, Students’ Career Offices, Vocational Information Centres. All these institutions operate on the basis of the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institution;

- internships and training;

- activities focusing on development of entrepreneurship among the graduates on the labour market, e.g. loans, subsidies, counselling, training, tax relieves. This assistance is granted both by the labour market institutions and by companies and NGOs, funded by national public funds and by the European funds. Academic Business Incubators are good examples of such activities.

Since October 2011, as part of the reform of the tertiary education, the higher education schools will be obliged to monitor the career of their graduates on the labour market. The reform also introduces possibilities for forging stronger links between curricula and the needs of the local/regional labour market.

2. NEET Policies and Measures

2.1 Measures to tackle early school leaving

Preventive Measures to tackle early school leaving

2.1.1 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to preventing early school leaving. Where does the focus of policies and measures to prevent early school leaving lie?

In Poland, there is a legal obligation to attend school until the age of 18.

Other preventive measures focus mainly on providing financial support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This support may take the form of scholarships, allowances, subsidies, e.g. for the purchase of textbooks. It is granted by welfare institutions and NGOs.

The government strategic documents concerning social development emphasise that the development of modern forms of teaching and basic curricula which are more attractive and better fitted to the needs of young people in education may be effective in preventing them from “dropping out” of the education system too early (these measures are implemented mainly as part of the Operational Programme Human Capital).

2.1.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to prevent early school leaving in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 2 - Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Name of measure

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Government support programme for students “School starter kit”

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: Equalization of education opportunities and support for educational development of students by subsidising the purchase of textbooks.

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local): national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Unilateral

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: More general

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: Yes

Sub-measure 9.1.2 Equalization of educational chances of students from groups with hindered access to education and diminishing the disproportion in the quality of educational services –Operational Programme Human Capital

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: Creation of conditions of equal educational chances through development programmes of schools and educational institutions, including in particular: Additional didactic-compensatory lessons and specialist lessons serving to diminish disproportions in learning performance during educating process; Advisory and pedagogic-psychological care for students showing learning problems or threatened with premature leaving the educational system .

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local): National but regional implementation

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?: unilateral

How is the measure funded: National state and European funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: More general

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: Yes

2.1.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the preventive early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Sub measure 9.1.3 Scholarship assistance for particularly gifted students - Operational Programme Human Capital

The aim is to create conditions of equal educational chances for people facing barriers, which render access to educational services difficult or impossible, by realization of regional programmes of scholarship assistance for particularly gifted students of secondary and upper secondary schools, whose unfavourable financial situation constitutes obstacle in educational development. This measure has been implemented by 16 voivodeship authorities since 2008 and will until for 2013. 31.5 mln EUR has been allocated to the measure. There are no collated reports on the national implementation. In the Lower Silesia voivodeship, in the school year 2010/2011, 331 students received a scholarship, 300 PLN (75 EUR) per month each. The scholarship is paid out from September to August. To compare, during the first year of the implementation 213 students received a scholarship in the amount of 200 PLN (50 EUR).

Reintegration measures to tackle early school leaving

2.1.4 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to the reintegration of early school leavers. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

Reintegration of early school leavers in Poland is mainly the task of Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy - OHP [Voluntary Labour Corps] (a state-run organisation specialising in activities addressed to young people, especially those threatened with social exclusion and the unemployed below 25 years of age). OHP makes it possible to continue education for people who, for some reasons, “dropped out” of the education system (e.g. because of learning difficulties, poor financial situation, etc.). The tool for reintegration with the educational system consists of activities under the Operational Programme Human Capital connected with the promotion of the long life learning system. They are addressed to people above the age of 25.

2.1.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to reintegrate early school leavers in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 2 - Early School Leaving: reintegration measures
Early School Leaving: Reintegration measures
Name of measure

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Scale measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Project „Training – Practical experience - Employment – Development” implemented by Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy (Voluntary Labor Corps)

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: The aim of the project is to facilitate the vocational start of beneficiaries. As a result they should take up employment or start their own business, or acquire qualifications and skills to effectively enter to the labor market.

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local): national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Unilateral

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?: National state and European funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: More general

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: Yes

„Student II – life-long learning for people with disabilities” (scholarships for people with disabilities in tertiary education)

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: the measure aims at equalizing of education opportunities of students with disabilities by providing mainly financial support.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: unilateral

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs: more general

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: No

2.1.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the reintegration early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Project „Our Future” implemented by Voluntary Labour Corps

Voluntary Labour Corps is a state-run organisation implementing tasks related to employment and preventing marginalisation and social exclusion of young people as well as their education and upbringing. The project has been implemented since 2009 in annual editions. It’s objective is to compensate for educational neglect, to facilitate access to labour market services and to improve young people’s competencies. The educational module includes motivation-activation workshops and compensatory classes. The socio-therapeutic module includes workshops aiming at easing the emotional tension and teaching the psycho-social skills. The activation-counselling module consists of activities related to education and career planning. In 2009, 495 people aged 15-18 lat participated in the programme, people coming from dysfunctional families or backgrounds, with court-appointed guardian supervision ordered by the family court. In 2010 540 people participated in the project. It is planned that the 2011 edition will attract 600 participants. The project is funded from the national and the European funds under the Operational Programme Human Capital. In 2009 the project budget amounted to 3.2 million PLN (800 thousand EUR), in 2010 – 4.5 million PLN (1.1 m EUR).

2.2 Measures to facilitate access to employment

Facilitating the transition from school to work

2.2.1 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to facilitating school to work transitions. Where does the focus of policies and measures to facilitate transitions lie?

Facilitating the transition from school to work is, apart from training, the main area of activity for the policy aiming at fighting unemployment in Poland. This approach is evident in the strategic documents and it translated into practical activities, mainly of the labour market institutions. Since a great amount of funds is allocated under operational programmes, they are also carried out by companies and NGOs. Counselling and guidance as well as assistance in job seeking are addressed primarily to the unemployed, students of vocational schools and higher education graduates.

2.2.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to facilitate school to work transitions in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 4 - Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions
Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions
Name of measure

Description of the measure: aims and objectives:

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 9.2 Improvement of attractiveness and quality of Vocational education of Operational Programme Human Capital

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: Improvement of attractiveness and increasing quality of educational offer of schools and educational institutions providing vocational education (with exception of education of adult persons) serving to enhance students’ capacity for future employment.

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local): national but regional implementation

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Unilateral

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?: National state and European funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: More general

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: No

„Job coach – supported employment of people with disabilities” – pilot programme

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: the aim of the measure is to provide assistance (advising, mentoring) to people with disabilities entering the labour market.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: unilateral

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs: more general

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education: NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group: NO

Students’ Career Offices – pursuant to the Act on employment promotion and labour market institutions, dated 20 April 2004

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: the measure aims at providing assistance to students and university graduates entering the labor market. This tasks include in particular: providing information about labor market and opportunities for trainings of professional skills; collecting, classifying and sharing jobs, internships and apprenticeships; keeping a database of students and graduates interested in finding a job; assisting employers in obtaining suitable candidates; helping students in active job search.

Scale of measure: national but regional implementation

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?: unilateral

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure: YES

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?: YES

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: NO

2.2.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the school-to-work transition measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Project „OHP as a provider of labour market services”.

Voluntary Labour Corps (OHP) is a state-run organisation implementing tasks related to employment and preventing marginalisation and social exclusion of young people as well as their education and upbringing. The project has been implemented as part of Sub-measure 1.3.3. Of the Operational Programme Human Capital since 1 May 2009 and is planned to end by the end of December 2013. A network of career centres, job agencies and occupational training centres for young people will be formed to cover the whole country. It will facilitate the access of young people to career guidance, job agency services and training. The project activities will involve 25 thousand young people between 15-25 years of age, including 600 unemployed and 2440 professionally inactive people. Apart from them, groups using the support include students and graduates preparing for entry on the labour market who need support in the form of career guidance, job agency and occupational training services; people threatened with social exclusion, educationally neglected, coming from socially maladjusted backgrounds. The total value of the project exceeds 99.5 m PLN (almost 25  m EUR) from the state budget and European funds.

Measures to foster employability

2.2.4 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to fostering employability among NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

Measures to foster employability seem to be the most important labour market instruments in Poland. All labour market institutions offer this type of support to the unemployed. Even though the NEETs are not the only target group, as a lot of these activities are addressed to people of working age (15-65), yet, the NEETs are often explicitly mentioned as a separate target group (especially higher education and vocational schools graduates). The main funding for the Measures to foster employability comes from EU funds through operational programmes – both as system projects and competitions.

2.2.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to foster employability of NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 5 - Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships)

Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships).

Sub-measure 7.2.1 „Social and vacational activation of persons threatened by social exlusion” – Operational Programme Human Capital

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: Improving access to employment for persons threatened by social exclusion and developing the social economy sector, i.e. by comprising the following categories of realized operations: support to creating and functioning of social integration entities; courses and trainings; subsidized employment and vocational reintegration lessons at employer’s company; psychological, psychological-social or vocational counselling, leading to social and vocational integration.

Scale of measure: national but regional implementation

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: unilateral

How is the measure funded: European funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: more general

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?:NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?:YES

Measure 9.3 “Popularization of formal lifelong learning in school formats”- Operational Programme Human Capital

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: Increasing participation of adult persons in lifelong learning in schools forms  through  increasing  its  quality  and  accessibility  and  enhancing importance of lifelong learning as factor influencing situation on the labour market.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: unilateral

How is the measure funded: European funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: more general

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?:NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?:NO

2.2.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country to foster the employability of NEETs (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Sub-measure 6.1.3 “Improvement of employment ability and increase of the level of professional activity of the unemployed” (Operational Programme Human Capital 2007 - 2013)

Sub-measure 6.1.3 is a system tool and supports the implementation of the following instruments included in the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institution: trainings, traineeships, professional preparation of adults, intervention works, providing equipment to and completing equipment of workstations, granting single resources for taking up economic activities. The above listed activities are carried out by Poviat Employment Offices all over the country, and their beneficiaries are the registered unemployed (including a separate target group of unemployed people at the age of 15 - 25). More than 1.4 billion EUR has been allocated for all the projects in the years 2007-2013 included in the Sub-measure 6.1.3. The programme is still under implementation and there is no tool available yet to evaluate its effectiveness and success. There are no comprehensive qualitative or quantitative analyses of the programme implementation, either. According to the programme assumptions, all the activities under Priority VI “The labour market open for all” should contribute to including all the young unemployed(15-24 years of age).

Removing practical and logistical barriers

2.2.7 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to removing practical and logistical barriers for NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

It seems that this category of tools is not treated as crucial, as the mainstream Policy is focused mainly on removing the barriers resulting from the financial and social situation rather than from practical or logistic obstacles. The majority of the instruments is regulated by the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institution and are delivered by labour market institutions. The tools are addressed to the unemployed and are treated as ways to support occupational activation. With regards to these tools, people with disabilities are a very important target group.

2.2.8 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to remove practical and logistical barriers to employment for NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 6 - Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers

Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers

Refund of costs of commuting to work.

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: The measure aims at providing support to people started to work.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: unilateral

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure: NO

or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs? YES

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?: NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group? :NO

Refund of child care costs for a single parent.

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: The measure aims at providing support to single parent started to work.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: unilateral

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure: NO , or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: YES

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?: NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?:NO

Pegaz – support programme for people with disabilities to remove transport barriers (purchase of relevant equipment).

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: Improving access to employment for people with disabilities.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: unilateral

How is the measure funded: national state funding.

Is this a NEET-specific measure:NO or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?: YES

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?: NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: NO

Employer incentives

2.2.9 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to incentivising employers to recruit young people (who are NEET). Where does the focus of policies and measures to incentivise employers lie?

Because of the relatively high level of unemployment in Poland, the necessity for supporting employers and encouraging them to create jobs is often emphasised. So far, the category of NEETs has not been singled out in any particular way from the rest of the unemployed – with the exception of the secondary and higher education graduates. These tools focus on: subsidising the costs of employment (e.g. social security contributions), job creation and subsidising the costs of training for employees. This support comes from national public funds and from European funds.

2.2.10 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to incentivise employers in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 7 - Access to employment: Employer incentives

Access to employment: Employer incentives

Subsidising of training and post-graduate studies and payment of scholarships for employees – under the “Anti-crisis Package” (Act on mitigating the consequences of the economic crisis”

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: The measure aims at providing support to workers in improving their skills and qualifications through trainings or postgraduate studies. The support is addressed to workers in enterprises during “economic stopover” or reduced working time due to the financial crisis.

Scale of measure: national but regional implementation

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: tripartite

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs: more general

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education: NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: NO

Subsidies for social security contributions – under the “Anti-crisis Package” (Act on mitigating the consequences of the economic crisis”

Description of the measure: aims and objectives: The measure addressed to employers facing temporary financial difficulties – the support aims to maintaining workplaces. The support is addressed to workers in enterprises during “economic stopover” or reduced working time due to the financial crisis.

Scale of measure: national but regional implementation

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral: tripartite

How is the measure funded: national state funding

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs: more general

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education: NO

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?: NO

2.2.11 Please provide a more detailed description of the employer incentive which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Sub-measure 6.1.1 Support for the unemployed on the regional labour market – Operational Programme Human Capital 2007-2013.

This tool is not a system tool and it is implemented by entities from the private and public sectors as well as by NGOs, selected in a competition.

Subsidising employment is a type of activity provided under the Sub-measure 6.1.1. It consists in financial assistance to employers in every region/voivodeship who employ unemployed people. The tool has been designed as a form of general support for the unemployed, but the category of people between 15 and 25 years of age is singled out as a separate target group. For all the projects in the years 2007 – 2013 under the Sub-measure 6.1.1 more than 328 million EUR has been allocated, without specifying what part of these funds should be spent directly on subsidised employment. The Programme is still under implementation – competitions for projects are announced in individual voivodeships – and it is impossible to make an evaluation of the effectiveness and the success of the tool. There are no comprehensive qualitative or quantitative analyses of the programme implementation, either. According to the programme assumptions, all the activities under Priority VI “The labour market open for all” should contribute to, among other things, including all the young unemployed (15-24 years of age).

3. Conclusion

Generally speaking, the problem of NEETs in Poland has not been properly examined. It should be noted that since 2010 there has been growing interest in the NEETs at the media level (but mainly with regard to young people with tertiary education), as it is since then that a debate has been in progress concerning the reform of higher education system. In the context of this discussion, the issue of the growing unemployment and the insecure welfare situation of higher education graduates is highlighted. The wave of young people’s protests in Europe in 2011 has influenced the debate.

One of the subjects under discussion is the problem of mismatch between the curricula and the qualifications of vocational schools graduates on the one hand, and the needs of the labour market on the other hand. It is also emphasised that too many young people choose to study general humanities rather than technical or profession-oriented subjects and, as a result, they enter the labour market without proper qualifications. Whereas in the context of vocational education it is stressed that the curricula and the practical training are not properly updated to adjust them to the needs of the labour market.

At the same time, work is in progress on the reform of higher education and on the development of new basic curricula for vocational education, so that they fitted the labour market needs and the vision of the country’s economic development. For instance, as part of the higher education reform, an obligation has been imposed on the schools to monitor the career of their graduates on the labour market; also employers have been given better possibilities to influence the school curricula. It seems, however, that the problem of NEETs requires more attention within the mainstream Policy as well as the development of specific instruments addressed only to this group.

Currently, the policy towards young people is shaped mainly by the strategic documents prepared in the context of the absorption of EU funds, such as: National Cohesion Strategy or the Operational Programme Human Capital. In these documents, the policy addressed to young people treats them generally in a twofold way. On the one hand, they are treated as participants of the formal system of education who should acquire proper qualifications needed on the labour market. On the other hand, they are treated as unemployed people who should be assisted in finding a job, e.g. by improving their skills.

Since most of the instruments are designed and funded within the perspective set by the implementation of the operational programmes in the years 2007-2013, it seems that such instruments are rather “inflexible”, although they may provide some comprehensive solutions. The instruments are diverse and numerous. Yet, the long time-frame of the programme makes it difficult to respond to currently appearing problems. However, at this stage of implementation, it is still difficult to evaluate their effectiveness with any reliability.

The mainstream policy treats young people as a rather homogenous group. Although it does single out, for example, young people threatened with social exclusion or people with disabilities, yet it seems that it should aim at providing a more nuanced definition and developing measures adapted to the needs of the diverse groups of young people.

It is evident that the mainstream policy is not interested in the situation of young people who are in ‘precarious’ or unsuitable employment, especially a substantial group of people working on temporary contracts or in forced self-employment (so far it has been the trade unions that have raised this issue). Some popular forms of employment (e.g. contract for specific work) do not provide the working person with any health or pension insurance, which may significantly affect their social welfare security.

Consultation:

Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk – Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych/ Educational Research Institute,

e-mail: a.dziemianowicz@gmail.com tel.: (48) 500 722 553

Marta Trawinska, Institute of Public Affairs

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