Greece targets youth and long-term unemployment at Jobs Summit

Download article in original language : GR9711142NEL.DOC

The Greek Government's proposals for the Luxembourg Jobs Summit in November 1997, drawn up following dialogue with the social partners, focused on two groups of the population in need of special protection: young and long-term unemployed people.

According to the Greek Government's proposals to the European Council Jobs Summit, held in Luxembourg on 20-21 November 1997 (EU9711168F), a common policy should be formulated throughout the European Union to lay down the basic principles for joint actions to deal with youth unemployment and long-term unemployment. To aid jobless young people, efforts should be intensified with regard to:

  • vocational training to enable young people to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones;
  • practical training to enable them to gain work experience;
  • subsidised employment to facilitate their integration into working life; and
  • grants to young people starting up business activities.

Since the number of long-term unemployed people is constantly increasing, and integration and reintegration into the labour market become difficult in cases where unemployment lasts for over two years, a joint decision should be taken in the framework of the European Union to reduce the average duration of unemployment. For that reason, endeavours should be directed first at priority placement of long-term unemployed people in jobs, and second at increasing the opportunities for further education and retraining, so as to counterbalance the lack of knowledge and skills associated with prolonged periods of unemployment.

The Greek Government believes that job-creating investments must be supported including:

  • those relating to information and communications technology;
  • those in small and medium-sized enterprises that utilise pioneering methods in the production process and are based on innovation; and
  • those which promote expansion of enterprises which provide reliable employment prospects, aimed at minimising the danger of unemployment owing to accelerating technological change.

As far as underemployment is concerned, the Greek Government believes that it should not lead to the deskilling of workers, as this would result in further growth of structural unemployment, thus not only perpetuating but also exacerbating the problem. In addition, underemployment should not be regarded as a means for expelling large numbers of workers from the social security system.

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