EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Spain: ERM comparative analytical report on Recent Policy Developments related to those Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET)

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



About
Country:
Spain
Author:
Pablo Sanz De Miguel
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 Spain, the NEET category (“ni-ni” in Spanish) has been mostly used in the media. Consequently, there is no clear definition of this concept, as it is scarcely used by policy makers, social scientists or social partners. Nevertheless, some problems relating to this heterogeneous collective have arisen in the political agenda in the last years, partly influenced by the European Union policies. Similarly, different research studies have shown an interest in the situation of young people who are overqualified, unemployed, early school leavers, and so on. With regard to the overall political approach to tackling the problem, a more holistic approach is currently observed. Now, together with the incentives offered to employers, encouraging them to hire young people, measures embedded in different perspectives (preventive approach, reintegration approach, etc.) can be found. Nevertheless, the persistence of some problems such as early school leaving, together with the lack of skilled labour, calls for an evaluation of the existing policies.

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)

In Spain, the NEET category (“ni-ni” in Spanish) has been widespread in the media since the beginning of the crisis. Nevertheless, social scientists, policy-makers and social partners have not tended to use it to explain the reality of this heterogeneous collective of young people. For this reason, the NEET category has not been clearly defined, as it is generally linked in the media to situations that are synonymous with inactivity. This unfavourable portrayal of the category has contributed to the projection of false stereotypes and a negative image of young people which the unions, through their youth departments, have tried to combat by means of different informative campaigns. Taking this into consideration, it must be borne in mind that youth unemployment and school failure are currently prominent topics in the political and scientific debate.

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

Some concern

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)

Some concern

Some Concern

No concern

Significant concern

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

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Some Concern

Young people with qualifications which do not meet labour market needs

Some concern

Some concern

Significant concern

Some concern

Teenage/ single parents

No concern

No concern

No concern

No concern

Migrants and minority groups

No concern

Some concern

No concern

Some concern

Young people with disabilities

No concern

Some Concern

No concern

Some concern

Young people from workless families

Some concern

Some concern

No concern

Some concern

Young people from disadvantaged areas

Some concern

Concern

No concern

Some 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).

The only measure which is targeted at those NEETs with tertiary education is the Internship Contract, enacted with Royal Decree 1/1995, of 24th of March 1995. This contract is addressed to workers who have obtained an Upper Secondary Vocational diploma or a tertiary education degree in the last four years, or six years in the case of disabled workers. The length of the contract must be between 6 months and 2 years, and the wage is 60% of the salary associated with that job in the first year, and 75% in the second year.

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 2009, 30% of young people between the ages of 20 and 24 years had not completed compulsory education ISCED 2 (Rates of Education in Spain, Ministry of Education 2011). This percentage had remained constant in previous years (28.8% in 2004). The political approach to prevent early school leaving has evolved from a perspective focusing exclusively on pupils with special education needs (dominant in the 1990s) to a more holistic approach. Currently, the existing programmes are more concerned with circumstances associated with the socio-cultural environment of pupils. Furthermore, the Plan for Reducing Early School Leaving (Plan para la Reducción del Abandono Escolar), a holistic plan enacted in 2008 aiming to reduce the early school leaving rate by 50% in 2012, has extended and improved some of the existing measures aiming to reinforce the preventive approach. Finally, it can be argued that although preventive measures play an important role within the Regional Governments, the priority assigned to this issue greatly differs from one region to the next. Moreover, no evaluations have been made regarding these interventions (CES 2011).

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?

Measure 1:

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

The programme is designed for students with “special education needs” over the age of 15 years who have not completed the academic goals or the educational cycle (two courses) in the previous years. The concept “special education needs” does not focus on the causes that may explain their learning difficulties (which may be physical, mental or sensorial deficiencies). In fact, the concept centres on the support the pupil needs and the responses that the school must provide.

The main goal of the programme is to give support to those pupils with “special education needs” in order to help them obtain a lower secondary education qualification (ISCED 2) by creating an alternative curriculum adapted to their needs. The programme was introduced by Organic Law 1/1990 of 3rd of October, on the Organization of the General Education System (Ley Orgánica de Ordenación General del Sistema Educativo, LOGSE). Currently, the programme is regulated by the Resolution of 12th of April 1996 and has been implemented in Secondary School Centres (Institutos de Educación Secundaria, IES). The programme must include the following subjects and activities:

Specific subjects determined by the Secondary School Centres: 12 hours a week

Three or four specific subjects of the common curriculum. The centre must choose areas that closely adjust to the specific features and needs of the pupil

Two weekly hours of tutorship

Elective subjects: until 30 weekly hours are completed

Scale of measure

National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Unilateral

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

It is funded by the State and the Autonomous Communities

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure

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

It is targeted at students with special education needs

Measure 2: Educational Action Plan (Plan de Acción Educativa). Andalusia. It was initiated in the 2008/2009 academic year

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

The aim of this plan is to achieve complete formal schooling within the gypsy population and to prevent early school leaving. The plan is designed at a multi-level approach, it is articulated by means of different intervention levels (individual, social and communitarian) and benefits different actors (pupils, teachers and parents). The plan is financed by the Regional Government of Andalusia and is put into effect by a non-profit organisation, the Gypsy Secretariat Foundation (Fundación Secretariado Gitano). The measure is implemented by a worker of the Foundation Gypsy Secretariat, in collaboration with parents and teachers of the education centre. The worker is assigned 20 or 25 students. The phases of the programme are:

1 -Selection of the pupils.

2 - Gathering information by way of interviews with families, teachers, social workers familiar with the area and pupils.

3 - Diagnosis and design of the educational action.

4- Educational intervention: support and monitoring of the education process; intercultural education; formal and informal training offered to teachers; support and monitoring work with the families.

Scale of measure

Regional

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Unilateral

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

It is funded by the Autonomous Community of Andalusia

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure

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

Yes, a minority group: the gypsy population

Measure 3:

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)?

The “reinforcement, guidance and support plan” (Plan de Refuerzo, Orientación y Apoyo, PROA 2005)

The programme was introduced in 2005 and aims to deal with the needs associated with the pupils’ socio-cultural environment in order to prevent early school leaving. It is implemented at national scale and is a unilateral measure.

This mainstream project, launched in 2005, is implemented in primary and secondary schools. It is a territorial cooperation project between the Ministry of Education and the Autonomous Communities and is co-financed by the National Government and the Regional Government, although no information is available regarding how much funding is allocated. In the 2007-2008 academic year (the last evaluation available) 2,353 centres participated in the plan (Ministry of Education, 2009). No information is provided regarding the number of pupils involved.

It is implemented by means of 3 programmes:

Support programme in primary education. It is addressed to pupils studying the 5th (10- and 11–year-old children) and 6th (11- and 12-year-old children) grade of primary education with “problems and learning difficulties made manifest by poor group integration, a lack of working habits, a delayed learning process or a delayed maturing process. It provides support and extracurricular lessons. The main goals are to improve the pupils’ basic competences and their social integration.

Support programme in secondary education. It also provides support and extracurricular lessons to secondary-school pupils with “problems and learning difficulties”, made manifest by poor group integration, a lack of working habits, a delayed learning process or a delayed maturing process, deficiencies in the learning process or a lack of motivation.

Support and reinforcement programme in secondary education. This programme is based on the values of quality and equity. It is designed for educational centres with a higher proportion of “educationally-disadvantaged people” owing to their socio-cultural environment: families with a low cultural level or economic disadvantages, ethnic minorities, immigrants, and so on. The intervention is simultaneously addressed to three recipients: the pupil, the family and the environment.

It is not a NEET-specific measure. It is targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background: young people with “problems and learning difficulties”.

According to the last evaluation made by the Ministry of Education (2009) of the 2007-2008 academic year, a positive assessment can be made, having registered a high percentage of pupils who passed the year. Thus, in the support programme in primary education 88.3% of the pupils passed the year (42.25% of this percentage passed all the subjects) while 11.7% failed and 13% of the pupils who participated dropped out of the course. In the support programme in secondary education, 70% of the pupils passed the year (69.5% of this percentage passed all the subjects) while 30% failed and 23% of the pupils who participated dropped out of the course. Finally, in the support and reinforcement programme in secondary education, 74.3% of the pupils passed the course (41.9% of this percentage passed all the subjects) while 25.7% failed.

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?

Policies aiming to reintegrate early school leavers were scarcely developed until 2006, with the exception of some public programmes of employment and training developed in the 1980s and 1990s (School workshops and Employment workshops). In this sense, it has been pointed out that the previous National Educational Law (LOGSE 1990-2006) failed to resolve the question of how to reintegrate those young people who left school before completing secondary education (Homs 2008). The LOGSE eliminated the so-called “double way” (formal education vs. vocational education and training) by removing the option of gaining admittance to a level-one Upper Secondary Vocational course (ISCED 3) without the compulsory education degree. Despite being a sound measure for increasing the social value of Upper Secondary Vocational studies, it did not provide any other adequate alternative for young people who left school before completing lower secondary education. In 2006, the new Organic Law on Education (LOE) attempted to tackle this problem by reinforcing the reintegration approach by means of the measures explained below.

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

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?

Measure 1: School workshops, trade-learning centres (both created in 1985 but regulated with the Ministry Order of 29th of March 1988) and the Employment workshops (Royal Decree 282/1999 of 22nd February)

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

.

School workshops and trade-learning centres (escuelas taller y casas de oficio): training and employment programmes designed for unemployed persons under the age of 25 in professions relating to economic recovery or patrimonial recovery. The length of school workshops cannot be less than one year or greater than two while the length of courses carried out at trade learning centres must not exceed six months for each stage (of which there are two: training stage and practice stage). It is a NEET-specific measure.

Employment workshops (talleres de empleo): programmes that aim to insert people of 25 years and over with special insertion difficulties and who belong to groups defined as requiring preferential action. In this programme, the pupils receive vocational training combined with professional practise.

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

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Unilateral

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

It is funded by State and the Autonomous Communities

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

School workshops and trade learning centres are NEET-specific measures. Employment workshops do not belong to any NEET-specific programme because they are also aimed at unemployed people of over 29 years of age.

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

No

Measure 2: Offering flexible forms of access for gaining admittance to an Upper Secondary Vocational course Organic Law on Education, 2006

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

The measure offers the following forms of access for gaining admittance to an Upper Secondary Vocational course.

Young people older than 17 years old without a lower secondary education qualification can gain admittance to an Upper Secondary Vocational course (level-one course: ISCED 3) by means of an exam launched annually by the Regional Administrations. Moreover, they can obtain the lower secondary education qualification by means of an exam.

Young people older than 19 years old without a lower secondary education qualification can gain admittance to an Upper Secondary Vocational course (level two course: ISCED 4) by means of an exam launched annually by the Regional Administrations.

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

National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

It is a unilateral measure

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

It is funded by State and the Autonomous Communities

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure because young people in employment are able to participate.

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

No

Measure 3:  

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)?

Initial Vocational Qualification Programmes (Programas de Cualificación Profesional Inicial, PCPI)

This project was enacted in 2006 by the Organic Law on Education (Ley Orgánica de Educación, LOE), still currently in force. It is a mainstream project.

It is a national measure (national scale) implemented by means of the Regional Governments and co-financed by the central administration and the regional administrations. Thus, it is a unilateral measure. No information is available concerning how much funding is allocated. It is implemented in secondary schools.

The measure is aimed at young people over the age of 16 years without a lower secondary education qualification (ISCED 2). No information is provided regarding the number of young people who have participated in the programme.

The goals of the programme are: to provide competences equivalent to the first level of the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications, which is equivalent to ISCED 1 (Catálogo Nacional de Cualifaciones Profesionales, CNCP); to facilitate labour and social integration, and to increase the generic competences in order to encourage reintegration into the Education System.

The measure offers early school leavers the chance to participate in training courses in order to gain a professional skills diploma according to the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications (obligatory courses, ISCED 1) or obtaining a secondary compulsory education qualification ISCED 2 (obligatory courses plus voluntary courses).

On the other hand, it must be pointed out that the Sustainable Economy Law (ES0912039I) has added some modifications to the programme. First, it allows students who are 15 years old to gain admittance to the programme. Second, it allows the pupils who have passed the obligatory courses (ISCED 1) to gain admittance to a First-Level Upper Secondary Vocational Course (ISCED 3).

The modification introduced by the Sustainable Economy Law clearly aims to reinforce the reintegration approach, facilitating the transition from the Initial Vocational Qualification Programmes to the First-Level Upper Secondary Vocational Course (ISCED 3). Nevertheless, the measure has received some criticism. In this respect, Blas Aritio (2010) has argued that the reform runs the risk of reverting to the “double way” which the LOGSE attempted to eliminate, thus impairing the quality and social prestige of the Upper Secondary Vocational Education System.

It is a NEET-specific measure. It is not a measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group.

No evaluations have been found.

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?

In Spain, measures for facilitating the transition from school to work have traditionally been scarce. As far as support offered for the transition to employment is concerned, at the beginning of the 1990s, a centralized Public Employment Service (INEM) was in charge of providing assistance to job seekers and offering guidance to unemployed people of all ages. Since the 1990s, the tendency followed by public employment services has been marked by the loss of the monopoly of public employment services as intermediaries, along with the decentralisation of services in 2003 (Law 56/2003). Similarly, since 1995 there has been a greater reinforcement of support actions for job seekers, with a specific focus on targeted groups, such as young people with low qualification levels (Alujas Ruiz, 2003). However, although a change of direction has, in practise, been identified in connection with the referential of activation –focusing on targeted groups with low employability rates (Serrano et al 2008)–, budgetary efforts towards increasing public resources have been insufficient.

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

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 1: Counselling departments in secondary schools

Resolution of 29th of April 1996

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Counselling departments are composed of psychologists or psycho-pedagogues. Guidance counsellors fulfil a variety tasks in Secondary Education Centres, such as participating in the elaboration of Curricular Diversification Programmes, identifying learning difficulties or providing teacher-training courses. With regard to their functions in facilitating the school-to-work transition, the Resolution of 29th of April 1996 establishes that they will collaborate with the course tutors in counselling the pupils about their professional and academic future. This guidance must be provided when the pupils are finishing secondary compulsory 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)?

It is funded by State and the Autonomous Communities

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

No, it is targeted at young people in education

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

.

Measure 2:

New job itineraries which combine guidance and training. Royal decree 1/2011 on urgent measures to promote transition to stable employment and the professional requalification of the unemployed.

2011

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

  • Public Employment Service will develop job ‘itineraries’ which combine guidance services and training, aimed at young people of up to 30 years of age and long-term unemployed people over the age of 45, as well as all workers from the construction sector. Moreover, the Royal Decree establishes that young people with low qualifications levels will be encouraged to be accepted in enterprises in order to facilitate their transition from school to work.

.

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)?

  • State funded

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

It is targeted at NEETs, also including two other collectives

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

Measure 3:  

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)?

The “Programme of Professional Guidance for Employment and Assistance for Self-Employment Actions”.

The “Programme of Professional Guidance for Employment and Assistance for Self-Employment Actions” came into force in 1998. It is a mainstream project, functioning at a national scale. It is a unilateral measure. No information is available regarding how much funding has been allocated.

The measure is currently implemented by the Regional Public Employment Services, local entities and non-profit organisations.

The measure benefits unemployed people. The main aim of the programme is to foster the insertion of the unemployed. The programme encompasses two kinds of actions: professional guidance for employment which aims to favour labour insertion, and assistance for self-employment. The procedures established for each action are summarised below:

Professional guidance for employment actions

  • Individual tutorials. An individualised procedure whereby unemployed persons, with the help of an employment technician, specify the steps that need to be taken in order to prepare a professional insertion plan that is suited to their possibilities and needs.
  • Development of personal traits for employment (DAPO). A group action that promotes skills and resources that will help the unemployed person to overcome obstacles of a personal nature and take on a more positive attitude towards insertion.
  • Active job-seeking groups (BAE-G). A group action designed to help the unemployed person to acquire the necessary techniques, tools and skills to devise an active and well-planned job-seeking strategy (writing a CV and letters of introduction, and so on).
  • Interview workshop (T.E.). A group action aimed towards developing the personal resources and skills of the unemployed, thus guaranteeing the greatest success possible upon facing job interviews.

Assistance for self-employment actions

  • Information on and motivation for self-employment (INMA). A group action that aims to motivate unemployed persons to undertake a business initiative.
  • Advice on Business Projects (APE). An individual action that involves providing the entrepreneur with a concrete business idea, offering the necessary guidance to elaborate a business plan and get it up and running. The contents include a market study, a marketing plan, a production plan, an economic financial plan and the choice of legal business structure.

It is not a NEET-specific measure. It is not a measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group.

Regarding its evaluation, the main aspect emphasised has been the lack of budgetary investment Furthermore, since the beginning of the crisis, the rise in unemployment has made it necessary to increase unemployment benefits, thus negatively affecting the budget assigned to active labour market policies. According to the Economic and Social Council (2010:367), during the years of economic prosperity with low unemployment rates, the expenditure on active labour market policies per unemployed person reached a maximum of 3,700 euro, i.e., approximately 1,000 euro less than the European average. In 2010 the expenditure on active labour market policies per unemployed person decreased by 2,100 euro, thus falling to 1,600 €. Therefore, attention must be drawn to the fact that the lack of allocated resources negatively affects the success of the programme.

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?

In Spain, few labour policies specifically aiming to improve the employability of NEETs have been launched, especially those relating to early school leaving (CES 2011). Policies for improving employability by means of training are regulated by Royal Decree 395/2007, which has involved constituting the subsystem of vocational training for employment, which integrates the training of the employed and unemployed (of all ages) in a common training context, eliminating the traditional division between vocational training and life-long learning. Young unemployed people –together with other collectives (women, unemployed people over the age of 45 years, and so on.)– are given priority to participate in training schemes. Furthermore, the launch in 2009 of a law intending to recognize skills acquired through work experience can also be considered as a measure aiming to foster employability. On the other hand, some crisis-related measures have been launched to foster the employability of unemployed workers, encouraging their participation in training and jobs or services of collective interest.

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).
Name of measure

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 1:

Internship Contract and Training Contract

Royal Decree 1/1995, of 24th of March 1995

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

  • The Internship Contract, enacted with Royal Decree 1/1995, of 24th of March 1995, is addressed to those workers who have obtained an Upper Secondary Vocational diploma or a tertiary education degree in the previous four years, or six years in case of disabled workers. The length of the contract must be between 6 months and 2 years, and the wage is 60% of the salary associated with that job in the first year, and 75% in the second year. The sectoral multi-employer collective bargaining must determine the professional categories which can be included under this contract, as well as the length of the contract (respecting the legal criteria).
  • Law 35/2010, of 17th September, on urgent measures to reform the labour market has modified the contract, allowing enterprises to hire workers who have obtained their degree 5 years earlier (rather than 4) or 7 years in the case of disabled workers (rather than six) (Article 12).

- The training contract was also enacted under Royal Decree 1/1995, of 24th of March 1995. This contract is addressed to people of between 16 and 21 years of age (or up to 24 in the case of the unemployed who enter a School workshop or an Employment workshop programme) and who do not have the education level necessary to be hired under a Internship Contract. The length of the contract must be between 6 months and 2 years. Article 11 of the Reformed Text of the Worker’s Statute (Texto Reformado del Estatuto de los Trabajadores), allows multi-employer collective bargaining to agree on the following issues: the maximum number of contracts according to the size of enterprises; the occupations which can be developed under this contract, and the length of the contract (respecting the legal minimum).

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

National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

It is regulated by the State. Nevertheless, collective bargaining can regulate concrete issues. Therefore, it can be considered tripartite.

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

It receives national state funding

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

Both contracts are specifically aimed at NEETs.

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

The Internship Contract is specifically targeted at NEETs who have a tertiary education (among others)

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

No

Measure 2: Recognition of competences acquired through work experience.

Royal Decree 1224/2009 of 17 July

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

This measure aims to provide a professional-skills diploma (ISCED 1) according to the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications to experienced workers who have not attained any formal training certificates, encouraging further professionalization of some occupations. The law forces the Regional Governments of the Autonomous Communities to implement an assessment process and to certify skills and proficiency. Therefore, it is expected that all the Autonomous Communities will devise a system for the assessment and recognition of skills based on the national framework of qualifications established in 2002.

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

National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

It is a unilateral measure. It is regulated by the State but it must be implemented by the Regional Governments of the Autonomous Communities

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

It is funded by State and the Autonomous Communities

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure because uneducated workers in employment are able to participate

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

Measure 3: 2009 Employment plan for community work. Enacted in the Government plan to boost the economy and protect unemployed people (ES0902049I)

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

The objective of this plan was to improve the employability of 100,000 unemployed persons by recruiting them to carry out determined jobs or services of collective interest and to participate in training activities. Priority was given to unemployed applicants of more than 25 years of age.

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

National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

It is a unilateral measure

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

It is funded by the State

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure

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)?

The Royal Decree 1/2011 on ‘urgent measures to promote transition to stable employment and the professional re-qualification of the unemployed’.

It was enacted on 11th of February 2011. It is a pilot project because it is a crisis-related measure. It is adopted at national scale. It is a unilateral measure. The budget assigned is 200,000,000 euro, which is financed at national level. It will be implemented by the Regional Employment Services. The programme is targeted at people of all ages who are not in employment or training.

The activities which the programme includes to foster employability are:

  • Professional re-qualification programme for people whose unemployment benefit ceases as of 16 February 2011: The programme includes an allowance of €400 a month, which will be granted for a maximum of six months. Beneficiaries are obliged to participate in active labour market programmes.
  • Inclusion of unemployed people in training programmes aimed at workers in employment; Public Employment Services will guarantee that between 20% and 40% of people attending these training programmes are unemployed.

It is not a NEET-specific measure.

No evaluations are currently available.

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 Spain, measures to remove practical and logistical barriers have not been the focus of employment policies. Provision of public childcare is very low (the scholarship rate for children of 2 years of age was 43% in the 2008-2009 academic year according to the statistics of the Ministry of Education) while the public provision of services for dependent people has been recently initiated (Law 39/2006, on the Promotion of Personal Autonomy and Care for Dependent Persons). Regarding the support offered to the disabled, the “Global action strategy for the recruitment of disabled persons 2008-2012” combines different actions to encourage the employability of disabled people. Moreover, special employment centres have been set up with the aim of providing employment to disabled workers. Finally, one crisis-related measure to support geographical mobility was enacted in 2008.

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
Name of measure

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 1: Special Employment Centres.

Regulated by different laws (law 13/1982; Royal Decree 2273/1985 of 4th of December; Royal Decree 1368/1985, of 17th of July)

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Special Employment Centres are understood as a national labour integration policy. 70% of the staff working in these centres must be made up of disabled workers. The financing of the centres is achieved by means of their productive activities as well as by state aids and different incentives offered through discounts in the contributions paid by these enterprises to the social security in order to promote stable employment for disabled people of all ages.

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

National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

It is a unilateral measure

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

It receives national State funding

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure

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?

Disabled people of all ages

Measure 2: Global action strategy for the recruitment of disabled persons 2008-2012

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

This law aims to improve labour market access to the disabled by improving their employability and professional integration. This strategy contemplates measures designed to foster their participation in school workshop programmes, trade learning centres and employment workshops, to promote certificates of professionalism for this group and assign a number of jobs in enterprises.

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

National

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Tripartite. The plan requires the participation of the National Administration, Regional Administration and social partners in collective bargaining

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

It is funded by the State and the Autonomous Communities

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure

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?

Disabled people of all ages

Measure 3: Extraordinary Plan of Guidance, Vocational Training and Labour Market Insertion Measures. Royal decree-law 2/2008

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Direct benefits are made available to workers with serious problems of employability to encourage geographical mobility in cases of recruitment that involve mobility.

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)?

It is funded by the State and the Autonomous Communities

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure

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? 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).

ALMP in Spain are characterised by the preponderance of employers’ incentives that intend to promote stable employment. Since the 1990s, there has been a succession of measures aiming to encourage permanent contracts by means of benefits for the permanent recruitment of groups with insertion difficulties. Since the beginning of the crisis, new initiatives have been launched aiming to promote employment for different groups such as workers with family responsibilities (Royal Decree law 1975/2008) or first employees hired by a self-employed (Law 14/2009). Furthermore, Law 35/2010 on the labour market reform has re-allocated the economic incentives provided to enterprises in order to foster the recruitment of individuals pertaining to groups with a high risk of unemployment. Finally, Royal Decree 1/2011 on ‘urgent measures to promote transition to stable employment and the professional re-qualification of the unemployed’, enacted on 11th of February 2011, has introduced new incentives for encouraging the recruitment of young people (up to 30 years of age) and the long-term unemployed.

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
Name of measure

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 1: Promoting employment of workers with family responsibilities.

Royal-decree law 1975/2008

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

This Royal Decree proposes a discount of 1,500 euros for quotas pertaining to the Social Security for a period of up to two years for providing permanent contracts to workers with family responsibilities (one or two children to care for).

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)?

It is funded by the State

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure but it may cause an impact on NEETs with family responsibilities

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

Measure 2: Incentives to self-employed workers for hiring their first employee.

Law 14/2009

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Besides other measures intending to increase social protection, this law also includes a new reduction of 50% of employer contribution to the Social Security for the permanent recruitment of the first employee by a self-employed worker.

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)?

It is funded by the State

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

It is not a NEET-specific measure but may have 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

Measure 3: Measures favouring employment for young people and the unemployed.

Law 35/2010 on the labour market reform

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

This law re-allocates reductions in the contributions paid to the social security offered for the recruitment of individuals pertaining to groups with a high risk of unemployment. With regard to NEETs, it offers enterprises which recruit unemployed workers of between 16 and 31 years of age a discount of 800 euro in the contributions paid by to the social security.

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)?

It is funded by the State

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

Yes, unemployed workers of between 16 and 31 years of age

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

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)?

Exceptional plan for the transition to stable recruitment.

It was enacted with Royal Decree 1/2011 on ‘urgent measures to promote transition to stable employment and the professional re-qualification of the unemployed’ of 11th of February 2011.

It is a pilot project because it is a crisis-related measure. It operates at national scale. It is a unilateral measure. It has an assigned budget of 200,000,000 euro, deriving from national state funding. It is aimed at young unemployed persons of up 30 years and the long-term unemployed.

The plan aims to encourage more young people (up to 30 years of age) and the long-term unemployed into work. It will offer enterprises with more than 250 employees a 75% discount in their social security contributions (up to 100% for businesses with fewer than 250 employees) when they hire workers belonging to either group on part-time contracts of between 50% and 75% of the working day. This programme will be implemented for a period of 12 months.

It is not a NEET-specific measure because it is also targeted at the long-term unemployed of all ages.

With regard to its assessment, Homs (2011) maintains that the plan can be positively assessed because it contributes to the share of the few jobs which currently exist by encouraging part-time jobs. Nevertheless, it must be noted that it is a strictly temporary measure which will not solve employment problems in the long term. The Royal Decree establishes that an evaluation must be carried out six months after the measure has been introduced.

3. Conclusion

The NEET concept has not been understood as an analytical category that is able to explain the different problems associated with young people between the ages of 15 and 29 who are not in education, employment or training, regardless of their level of qualification or their labour market status. In this sense, different problems within this heterogeneous collective have been identified. As far as unemployed young people with low education levels are concerned, the problem has been associated first with the lack of skilled jobs, and secondly with the large share of low-skilled jobs in the labour market. As the Ministry of Education (2008) has revealed, before the crisis, people with low-level qualifications encountered more opportunities in the labour market than their European counterparts. Thus, people with pre-primary and primary studies had lower unemployment rates than the European average. According to the Ministry of Education, this feature was an important “appeal factor” for those young people in school. Within this perspective, Rocha et al. (2010) also explain the problem associated with young unemployed people having completed tertiary education. They hold that the over-qualification phenomenon, which particularly affects young workers, shows the weakness of the Spanish productive model, featured by a trend towards specialization in low innovation and productivity activities.

With respect to the early school leaving phenomenon, current research studies, such as the one carried out by Enguita et al. (2010), have emphasized the social reproduction factors behind this problem. The authors show how the education levels of the parents as well as their occupational category strongly influence the likelihood of failing at school. Bearing this in mind, the authors reveal the difficulties that arise when facing these problems only using pedagogic measures such as curricular diversification. The outcomes of this study also show the drawbacks of classifying all the different trajectories within one analytical category.

On the other hand, Homs (2008) has criticized the lack of medium-qualified workers compared to other European countries. Along these same lines, he has emphasized the need to tackle early school leaving by encouraging and reinforcing Upper Secondary Vocational studies in order help build up a qualified labour force capable of adapting to different sectors, thus contributing to improve the Spanish productive model.

Regarding the political approach for handling the problems of NEETs, it seems that it has evolved from a perspective focused on the employers’ incentives regarding the labour market and the curricular diversification with respect to the education policies to a more comprehensive approach. The PROA plan is a good example of a policy which, besides adapting the curriculum to the specific needs of the individual, also deals with different elements associated with the socio-cultural environment of the pupil. At the same time, a positive assessment can be made of the efforts of the Organic Law on Education (Ley Orgánica de Educación, LOE) for reinforcing the “reintegration approach” and encouraging Upper Secondary Vocational studies.

With regard to the active labour market policies, the current circumstances leave little leeway for innovation. In this sense, youth activation policies, which may be successful in other contexts, are unlikely to be applied in Spain. Low social protection levels among young people and the lack of opportunities present in the labour market raise doubts concerning its effectiveness and social acceptance. Under these circumstances, some crisis-related measures have been implemented, introducing new elements and goals. The Royal Decree on ‘urgent measures to promote transition to stable employment and the professional re-qualification of the unemployed’ is an example of innovation. It encourages part-time temporary work, whether fix-term or open-ended, as opposed to prior policies, which focused on the promotion of stable employment. Nevertheless it is too early to evaluate its pertinence and efficiency.

References

  • Alujas Ruiz, J.A. (2003) Políticas Activas del mercado de trabajo en España. Situación en el contexto europeo. CES Colección Estudios. Madrid.
  • Blas Aritio , F-(2010). El tratamiento de la FP en el Proyecto de Ley de Economía sostenible: Luces y Sombras. Herramientas nº 105
  • CES (2011). Memoria sobre la situación socioeconómica y laboral 2010. Consulted 15th of June: http://www.ces.es/memorias.jsp
  • CES (2011). Políticas Activas de Empleo: crónica de una reforma anunciada. Cauces, spring 2011
  • CES (2011). Fracaso y abandono escolar temprano en España. Cauces, spring 2011, pp. 20-44
  • Homs, H. (2008). La Formaicón Profesional en España. Hacia la sociedad del conocimiento. Obra Social La Caixa. Colección de Estudios Sociales nº25. Barcelona
  • Homs, H. (2011). El plan de choque. Un paso importante para afrontar la crisis. Herramientas nº 110
  • Enguita, M.; Mena, L.; Riviere, J. (2010). Fracaso y Abandono Escolar en España. Obra Social La Caixa. Colección de Estudios Sociales nº29. Barcelona
  • Ministry of Education (2008). Plan para la reducción del abandono escolar temprano. Consulted the 18th of June: http://www.fapar.org/comunicados_documentos/ABANDONO_ESCOLAR_PREMATURO_Espana_2008.pdf
  • Ministry of Education (2009). Evaluación del Plan de Refuerzo Orientación y Apoyo Curso 2007/2008. Síntesis de conclusiones Consulted the 18th of June: http://www.educacion.gob.es/dctm/ministerio/educacion/cooperacion-territorial/sintesis-de-conclusiones-2.pdf?documentId=0901e72b800c83a9
  • Rocha, F. (coord.); Bermejo, C.; Braña, F.; Cruces, J.; De la Cruz, M.; Doreste, I.; Guisande, P. Holms, O.; Jordanes, J.; Moreno, A.; Otaegui, A.; De la Rosa, B. Llopis, E.S.; Santana, A.; Torres, G.; Urbano, E. (2010) Jóevenes, empleo y formación en España. Informes Fundación 1ª de Mayo. Consulted the 15th of June: http://www.fsc.ccoo.es/comunes/temp/recursos/99922/408843.pdf
  • Serrano, A., Fernández, C., Martín, P., Tovar J.F. (2008) Protección y flexiseguridad: la modernización de los servicios públicos de empleo. Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración. Publicación on line.

Pablo Sanz De Miguel. CIREM Foundation

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