EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Final questionnaire for Comparative Analytical Report (ERM) on young people Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET)

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



About
Country:
Portugal
Author:
Heloísa Perista and Janine Nunes
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.

The problems affecting NEETs deserve a high level of interest among different stakeholders in Portugal. However, the measures in place are more general, having as main focus the early school leaving, which is still a matter of concern, and, on the other hand, the school to work transitions and the fostering of employability, especially given the high and rising youth unemployment rate. Some progress has been achieved in the last few years, namely regarding compulsory schooling, but the recent crisis has been contributing to a strong increase of unemployment, mainly among young people, even those who have tertiary education.

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 issue of NEETs deserves a high level of interest among the different stakeholders in Portugal.

The main focus is on the school to work transitions, especially given the high and rising youth unemployment rate. Between 2008-2010, the 15-24 years old unemployment rate rose from 16.4% to 22.4% (young men: 13.3% - 21.2%; and young women: 20.2% - 23.7%). Unemployment is particularly high among youngsters with tertiary education: in 2010, 26.1% (young men: 28.3%; and young women: 25.1%).

Another reason of concern relates to early school leaving which, although decreasing, is still in very high rates: 31.2% in 2009.

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

Significant concern

The Portuguese Industrial Association (Associação Industrial Portuguesa - AIP) who runs a employment offices was contacted and agreed to cooperate. However, we are still waiting for their reply. Our contribution to this CAR will be updated as soon as we get the required information.

Significant 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

 

Significant concern

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

Significant concern

Significant concern

 

Some concern

Young people with qualifications which do not meet labour market needs

Significant concern

Some concern

 

Some concern

Teenage/ single parents

Some concern

No concern

 

No concern

Migrants and minority groups

Some concern

Some concern

 

Some concern

Young people with disabilities

Some concern

Some concern

 

Some concern

Young people from workless families

Some concern

Some concern

 

Some concern

Young people from disadvantaged areas

Significant concern

Some concern

 

Some concern

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

Significant concern

Significant

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).

In Portugal several measures targeting young people with tertiary education which also may have an impact on NEETs have been in place:

The Internships Programme for Young Higher Education Students in Businesses (Programa de Estágios de Jovens Estudantes do Ensino Superior nas Empresas- PEJENE), provides two to three months unpaid internships in companies to higher education students in the two last years of their courses.  

The Internships Programme in Public Central Administration (Programa de Estágios Profissionais na Administração Pública Central), a 12 month paid internship addressed to young graduates up to 35 years old (this programme recently came to an end).

And the INOV EXPORT programme, providing occupational internships in SMEs for young graduates up to 35 years old, specialists in international trade.

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?

Several measures have been implemented in Portugal to preventing and reducing early school leaving. Among these, it is important to stress that the scope of compulsory education was recently increased from nine to 12 years. We may also refer the provision of scholarships, aiming namely to compensate for the additional costs due to the extension of compulsory schooling, as well as to the educational supports and supplements available to young people with lower incomes. Territorial approaches to the prevention of early school leaving and school failure in disadvantaged areas have also been in place.

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

Educational supports and supplements ( Apoios e Complementos Educativos )

Description of the measure:

Educational supports and supplements (Apoios e Complementos Educativos) are pedagogical and social measures to support instruction and learning and to ensure equal opportunities in the access to education and school success. These measures include meals, school transport, residences for students studying away from home, teaching aids and educational and vocational guidance; allowance for educational materials; merit scholarships to students with academic success. They are aimed to lower income students in basic and secondary education.

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?

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?

Yes

Extension of compulsory schooling (Extensão da escolaridade obrigatória)

Description of the measure:

This measure aims at extending compulsory education from nine years to 12 years. This change was introduced in August 2009.

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?

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?

No

Scholarships (Bolsas de estudo)

Description of the measure:

The scholarship is paid monthly and aims to combat early school leaving and compensate for the extra charges with the compulsory secondary education or equivalent.

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?

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?

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)?

Education Territories of Priority Intervention of second generation (Territórios Educativos de Intervenção Prioritária de 2ª Geração - TEIP2) is a public initiative launched in the school year 2008/2009 by the Ministry of Education (Ministério da Educação). This measure is co-funded by the European Social Fund.

TEIP2 is based on contract-programmes between the Ministry of Education and schools to support the promotion and development of educational projects that seek to raise the improvement of quality of educational success, the transition to active life as well the integration in society. The schools chosen for these contracts are those that have a high number of students at social risk and who are affected by educational exclusion. Partnerships with other public and private entities, health centres, cultural associations, protection commission of minors are also required. Some of the priorities include facilitating success of children and young people in order to prevent absenteeism and school dropout through a variety of training offers such as curricular alternatives, a recovery plan through vocational education, and training and vocational courses.

The evaluation of TEIP2 identifies positive outcomes, in terms of the reduction of early school leaving: in the 1st cycle this rate reduced from 1.7% in 2006/2007, to 1.2% in 2007/2008 and to 0.4% in 2008/2009; in the 2nd cycle, this reduced from 2.6% in 2006/2007, to 1.8% in 2007/2008 and to 0.9% in 2008/2009; and in the 3rd cycle, the early school leaving rate reduced from 2.9% in 2006/2007, to 2.3% in 2007/2008 and to 1.6% in 2008/2009.

Positive outcomes were also identified in terms of the reduction of indiscipline and conflicts at school. The quality of learning improved. And the schools were in general able to develop strategies for social and educational inclusion.

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?

The reintegration of early school leavers has been the focus of several measures. This is the case of the promotion of vocational and alternation (combining learning and work) courses; the youngsters’ axis in the New Opportunities’ Initiative (Iniciativa Novas Oportunidades), aiming at the increase of young people in secondary education, namely in technical and vocational areas, and in mandatory professional training or schooling until the age of 18. Specific groups, such as the traveller children and young people have been the target group of the so-called Mobile School (Escola Móvel).

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

New Opportunities’ Initiative – youngsters

(Iniciativa Novas Oportunidades)

The New Opportunities’ Initiative – youngsters aims to: reduce the failure rate in basic and secondary education; place half of all students in secondary education, namely in technical and vocational areas and in mandatory professional training or schooling until the age of 18; increase the number of graduates and advanced training in higher education.

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 funding 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 measure which also has an impact on NEETs

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

No

Mobile School

(Escola Móvel)

Escola Móvel started as a project designed and implemented in 2005/2006. This project aimed at responding to the needs of traveller families regarding their children’s education, since the constant movement between regions, towns and schools, made it extremely difficult for children and teenagers to attend classes regularly or feel motivated to engage in learning, with high rates of dropout and failure.

Scale of measure: National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Unilateral

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

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

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

yes

Apprenticeship courses

(Cursos de aprendizagem)

The apprenticeship courses (Cursos de Aprendizagem) are initial vocational training courses to youngsters, linking work and education and training, in order to retain more youngsters in the educational system

Scale of measure: National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Unilateral

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

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

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?

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)?

The Mobile School is a public initiative co-funded by the European Social Fund. which started, in 2005-2006 as a pilot project of distance learning launched by the Ministry of Education through the Department for Innovation and Curriculum Development, in cooperation with the different Regional Departments of Education and schools across the country. In 2008/2009 the Mobile School started preparing its establishment as a permanent education-training modality, which took place on 31st July 2009. But this programme was extinct at the end of the school year 2009/2010.

This programme aimed at responding to the needs of families of travellers regarding their children’s education, since the constant movement between regions, towns and schools, made it extremely difficult for children and teenagers to attend classes regularly or feel motivated to engage in learning, with high rates of dropout and failure. With the collaboration of a restricted group of teachers and the allocation of technological resources, the Mobile School began to offer traveller children and teenagers the possibility to attend school every day through a virtual environment which provides both learning and socio-affective stability, by allowing them to interact with the same teachers and classmates throughout the year.

The positive results achieved by students soon led to the enlargement of the Mobile School to other age groups and learning needs:

  • Younger students from traveler families attending the 2nd Cycle;
  • Students from traveler families who finished basic education and proceed to upper-secondary level in professional courses;
  • Teenage girls in the situation of early motherhood;
  • Students identified by partner schools as having repeatedly failed to complete basic education.

In fact, the growth in the number of students in a few years, from 13 to about 100, and the almost inexistent dropout and failure rates among these students - including in the national examinations – validate this school as an educational environment which responds to actual needs by giving specific students the opportunity to do or complete their schooling, and thus broadens their future opportunities. In 2009/2010, the Mobile School has kept on improving its response. The enlargement of tutoring periods for individualised support has been one of the most significant changes, with tutors meeting the students three/four hours a week and reinforcing their guidance during the “presential” weeks through face-to-face interaction. The school has already enlarged its offer for upper-secondary students, is currently supporting home-schooling as well as students who are unable to attend their school for more than three months. The teachers have also been developing and improving virtual resources with the support of subject experts.

The evaluation of the Mobile School (May 2011) identifies as positive outcomes the considerable improvement in the educational level of the youngsters who attended the Mobile School comparing with their parents as well as with their older siblings who did not attend it. Therefore, the Mobile School is considered as having reached its purpose of improving the training and qualification levels of its target group.

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?

The approach to facilitating school to work transitions in Portugal has been focusing, on the one hand, in the vocational guidance of students along their schooling path, and, on the other hand, on some experiences of mentoring at the workplace, as it is the case in Inov Export, a programme in which young graduates experiencing an internship in SMEs are assigned a supervising professional person.

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

Inov Export:

Internships in SMEs for youngsters up to 35 years old with tertiary education and specialised in international trading. It aims at stimulating exports, internationalisation strategies, and the hiring of new specialists in SMEs. A supervising professional person, preferably with a management position, will be responsible for the mentoring of the trainees.

Scale of measure: National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Tripartite

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)? National state funding 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 measure which also has an impact on NEETs

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)?

Educational guidance started as a project designed and implemented in 1991 by the Portuguese Ministry of Education. It aims at accompanying the student along his/hers schooling path, providing support in the identification of interests and skills, intervening in case of difficulties in the instruction/learning situation, facilitating the development of personal identity and the building-up of a life project.

The psychology and guidance services are differently organised according to the education level: at pre-school and 1st and 2nd cycles of basic education the focus is on a psycho-pedagogical intervention, while at the 3rd cycle of basic education and in secondary education the intervention of these services also include educational and professional guidance.

Among the activities developed by the psychology and guidance services, it deserves particular mention: the organisation of information activities, on the opportunities available at the educational and training as well as at the occupations level, favouring the articulation between school and the labour market; and the development of vocational guidance sessions, supporting students’ choices and career planning.

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?

Fostering employability, namely among NEETs, has been the main aim of several policies and measures in Portugal.

Among these, some focus on the diversification of vocational and education courses, facilitating access to employment. Some others are based on internships for youngsters with tertiary education either in public or private bodies.

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).

Education and training courses for youngsters

(Cursos de Educação e formação para jovens)

Education and training courses for youngsters (Cursos de Educação e Formação para Jovens) are addressed to young people who left school early and are in transition to the active life. These courses aim at compensating for the educational and professional deficits of these youngsters, through the provision of educational, technical, social and relational skills which favour their integration in the labour market.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Tripartite.

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

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

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

Professional Internships Programme in Central Government (Programa de Estágios Profissionais na Administração Pública Central)

This programme allows young graduates up to 35 years old to have paid internships with a duration of 12 months in public services and public administration bodies.

Scale of measure: national

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Tripartite.

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

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

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

2.2.6 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)?

The Internships Programme for Young Students of Higher Education in Businesses (Programa de Estágios de Jovens Estudantes do Ensino Superior nas Empresas - PEJENE) is a public initiative to promote access to the 1st job. It takes place in partnership with the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, IP - IEFP), the Institute of Support to Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation (Instituto de Apoio às Pequenas e Médias Empresas e à Inovação - IAPMEI), the Portuguese Youth Institute (Instituto Português da Juventude, I.P - IPJ) and the Company Insurance Tranquillity (Companhia de Seguros Tranquilidade, S.A.) since 1993.

This project aims to create a direct relationship between the school and the company, through the development of training projects in the workplace, even during the period of study. It is designed for young students in the two last years of public, private, and cooperative higher education courses.

The PEJENE has already achieved 18 editions, having provided training to 4,628 higher education students, conducted in 1,937 companies.

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?

In Portugal some general measures which aim at the removal of practical and logistical barriers may also have an impact on NEETs.

These relate, for instance, to: the provision of childcare and other services for dependent adult persons, due to age or disability; measures tailored at children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and who experience particular difficulties at school; and to language courses to facilitate the integration of immigrants in employment.

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

PARES Programme

(Programa Pares)

The PARES Programme has the main aim to enlarge the scope of the Social Equipment Network (mainly nurseries and services and facilities to older people and persons with a disability), in order to widen the coverage rate in the different areas of the country and to correct regional unbalances in this domain. This is ensured through the incentive to private investments and local partnerships.

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 funding

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

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

Choices Programme

(Programa Escolhas)

The Choices Programme (Programa Escolhas) intends to promote the social inclusion of children and youngsters from a disadvantaged and vulnerable background, namely of young people with a migration background or who belong to ethnic minorities, aiming at equal opportunities and social cohesion.

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 funding and European funding

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

General measure which also has an impact on NEETs

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

Ppt – Portuguese for all programme

(Ppt - Programa Português Para Todos)

The Portuguese for All programme (Programa Português Para Todos - Ppt), in place since 2008, includes basic Portuguese courses, a diploma which is required for the acquisition of nationality, permanent residency permit, and long-term resident status. It also includes technical Portuguese courses, specifically addressed to the access to the labour market, in areas such as commerce, hotels, beauty care, construction and civil engineering.

.

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 funding and European funding

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

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

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? 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).

The increase of the youth unemployment rate and the precariousness of youth employment have contributed to the launching of incentives to employers to hire under a permanent contract young people looking for a first job, who are unemployed or recently finished and internship.

2.2.10 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to incentivise employers in your country.

Table 7 - Access to employment: Employer incentives

Access to employment: Employer incentives

Incentives to the hiring of former-trainees under a permanent contract

(Apoios à contratação sem termo de ex –estagiários)

Programme to support the hiring of young people up to 35 years old who finished their professional internships, mainly in technological areas.

A direct support of 2,500€, in accumulation with the exemption of social security contributions due by the employer during a 24 months period is given to the employers which celebrate a permanent contract with these youngsters. As an alternative, these employers may get an exemption of their social security contributions during a 36 months period.

Scale of measure: National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral? Unilateral

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

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

General measure which also has an impact on NEETs.

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)?

The Incentives to the Hiring of Young People, Unemployed and Specific Groups (Apoios à contratação de jovens, desempregados e públicos específicos) were launched in the frame of the Employment Initiative 2010 (Iniciativa Emprego 2010), approved by the Council of Ministers in March 2010.

These incentives are available to private employers and include those who celebrate a permanent contract with young people up to 35 years old looking for a first job.. They include, in alternative: a direct support of 2,500€, in accumulation with the exemption of social security contributions due by the employer during a 24 months period; or the exemption of the employer social security contributions during a 36 months period.

The granting of these incentives depends on the maintenance of the net employment created for a three years period and of the job created for a 36 months period. From the legislation regulating these incentives net creation of employment refers to the hiring of a worker with a permanent contract which exceeds in at least 1 the total number of workers in that employer in a certain period of time. During 2010 the growing pressure for austerity obliged the government to suspend several short term measures for employment. Following the strict rules of austerity, in December 2010, the government presented the Initiative for Competitiveness and Employment (Iniciativa para a Competitividade e o Emprego). The initiative is structured in fifty items, 16 of them dedicated to employment. In the sub-section “active employment policy” some measures for young workers are presented, amongst them the launching of 50,000 occupational traineeships for young people, the reinforcement of the support for companies hiring young workers, and a broad set of vocational education and training measures for all workers and unemployed.

3. Conclusion

The problems affecting NEETs deserve a high level of interest among the different stakeholders in Portugal. Several policy measures tackling the issue of NEETs have been in place, although having a more general scope.

Many of these public programmes and policy measures, often with the social partners’ support, have been implemented with European co-funding, through the European Social Fund, being included in the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013 (Quadro de Referência Estratégica Nacional 2007-2013).

One of the main focus is on the facilitation of school to work transitions and on fostering employability, especially given the high and rising youth unemployment rate. The 15-24 years old unemployment rate rose from 16.4% to 22.4%, between 2008 and 2010. Unemployment is particularly high among youngsters with tertiary education: in 2010, 26.1%. A significant percentage of young graduates (about 11%) are thus going abroad, constituting a new migration flow, in order to try to get a job.

Another reason of concern relates to early school leaving. According to a recent European Commission report (April 2011), in spite of the progress made (this rate was 43.6% in 2000), Portugal still shows a very high rate of early school leaving – 31.2% in 2009.

On the other hand, there was an increase of the completion rate of secondary education, mostly due to the growing number of students attending vocational courses, and of higher education as well.

However, namely as a consequence of the recession, a large share of those young adults with tertiary education is also at an increasing risk of becoming NEET (as mentioned above).

The current crisis has also led to the extinction of several public policy measures with a clear impact on the issue of NEETs.

This is the case of the Professional Internships Programme in the Central Government, which ended on the 30th June 2011; about 3,000 young graduates then became unemployed.

Also other initiatives, such as the Mobile School, in spite of having deserved a very positive evaluation of its outcomes in terms of tackling early school leaving among disadvantaged children and young people, came to an end.

A downward trend also exists regarding the educational supports and supplements, addressed to students with lower incomes with the aim of compensating for school costs: according to provisional data (not yet including the 1st cycle) recently released by the National Education Council (Conselho Nacional de Educação), less 17,958 students (attending the 2nd cycle, the 3rd cycle or secondary education) received any form of support in the school year 2010/2011 (compared with the previous school year).

The problems affecting NEETs are thus at increased risk, in the current context of crisis and of budget constraints.

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