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As in many other countries in Europe, the number of young people not in employment, education or training in the UK has risen in recent years. Information collected by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) provides a picture of increasing reliance on benefits by these young people. The number of young people in receipt of any benefit rose from 12.2% to 16.1% between 2002 and 2010. Between 2003 and 2010, the combined number of young people with health problems or disabilities claiming specific disability benefits (Disability Living Allowance, Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance) rose from 21.5% to 33.3% of all benefit claimants. This should be viewed within a context where the absolute number of people with disabilities in the UK did not increase over the same period.
Denmark is a welfare society. The current aspiration of Danish disability policy is equal treatment for all, regardless of physical or mental capacity. This objective is the result of an evolutionary process, the effect of which is that people with disabilities are increasingly integrated into society and into the open labour market. In Denmark, labour market policy is targeted at integration and retention. Based on the principle of compensation, society offers people with disabilities a range of services in order to limit the consequences of impairment as much as possible and also to provide disabled people, as far possible, with equal opportunities on the open labour market. The social system therefore offers a combination of income protection and employment activation.
In Spain disability is officially recognised when the competent evaluation services assess a person as having a minimum 33% disability level. This evaluation is carried out by regional governments and there are differences among regions, which can result in a person obtaining a disability certification in one region when they may not in another. Integration in education and employment remains a challenge for institutions and organisations, as many disabled students and workers are still segregated. Fear of change and also fear of losing benefits if they enter into employment remain big barriers to inclusion. Read more on this topic.
The situation of young people in the labour market in Finland worsened during the recent economic recession. It has subsequently improved, but these positive changes don’t cover all job seekers, for example young people with health problems or disabilities. The employment rate of people with disabilities remains low, and the trend seems to be that the number of subsidised workplaces has decreased, while vocational training and similar activities have increased. There have been some improvements recently, but many young people with health problems or disabilities are still not part of the labour force.
In Poland policy relating to people with disabilities does not differentiate between different groups – all groups are treated equally. There are no policies or programmes that particularly promote the participation of young people with disabilities in the open labour market. As in many other countries, young people face significant challenges entering the job market (especially the open market). Moreover, the Polish labour market still has relatively few jobs for people with disabilities. Most are employed in sheltered workshops. According to the employment records of people with disabilities, almost 93% of those employed in the sheltered labour market have regular employment contracts. Read more on this topic.
In the Netherlands growing numbers of young people and adolescents are in receipt of special education, mental health care services and benefits because of long-term illness, handicap or chronic disease. The most alarming increase is in those covered by the Disablement Assistance Act for Handicapped Young Persons (Wajong). In 2001, 120,000 people received a Wajong benefit. By 2010, this figure had risen to almost 200,000.
European cities are increasingly faced with the challenge of integrating people from very diverse backgrounds. As migrant populations increase, so do the opportunities for new business, job creation and international competitiveness. This report shows that ethnic entrepreneurs, however small their venture, contribute to the economic growth of their local area, often rejuvenate neglected crafts and trades, and participate increasingly in the provision of higher value-added services. They can help to promote stronger trading links with their home countries and foster social cohesion in their host communities. The report examines what city authorities are doing to attract ethnic entrepreneurs into their established business communities, and to facilitate the business environment – from the purely financial to providing training and advice.
A new regulation to protect workers employed in private households was
established by Royal Decree 1620/2011 (in Spanish, 228Kb PDF) , signed in
November 2011. The Decree establishes that there are two issues peculiar to
the sector of household workers which have historically justified specific
and separate regulation.
Social concertation in Portugal has been weak since the centre-right wing
coalition government of the Social Democratic Party (PSD ) and the
People’s Party (CDS-PP ) came into power in June 2011. The government
has used its majority in parliament to push through its decision to go beyond
the agenda set by the Memorandum of Understanding with the Troika in May 2011
(*PT1003039I* ) and has not involved the social partners represented in
the Standing Commission for Social Concertation (CPCS ).
A requirement for temporary employment agencies to hold an operating permit
was scrapped in 1998. In the thirteen years since then, the number of
temporary employment agencies has multiplied, especially those that are
involved with illegal workers. For some time, the social partners have been
calling for stricter supervision and heavier sanctions for illegal practices.