The European Commission has published its annual review of Employment and Social Developments which has a focus on intergenerational issues. The review notes the slow decline in unemployment but underlines that there remain major problems in some countries around youth unemployment while young workers in employment are more likely to face precarious employment conditions. At the other end of the age spectrum the Commission continues to focus on trends to higher effective retirement ages and the need, as it sees it, to increase retirement ages.
Youth, Economic Policy, Spain, Europe
The ETUC reports that it has successfully negotiated and lobbied for a Recommendation by the European Council that sets out a number of measures to improve apprenticeships. These include:involving social partners in the design, governance and implementation of apprenticeship systems; a written agreement on learning and working conditions; a call for apprentices to be paid in line with national or sectoral requirements or collective agreements; and that they should be entitled to social protection, including necessary insurance in line with national legislation.
Members of EPSU's young workers' network were active at the federation's Quality Employment conference last week, chairing debates and putting together a panel to discuss the key issues they are trying to address. Zahra Yusifli from Azerbaijan and Sven De Guise from Belgium chaired the discussions on digitalisation and low pay, while Zahra was also involved in the young workers' panel with Joe O'Connor from Ireland and Judit Zsigo from Hungary. They underlined the need for trade unions to look at how they communicated with young workers and what they were doing not just recruit them but also
Latest figures on public sector employment show that the overall level has still not recovered from the impact of austerity with 112100 fewer in public sector employment than in 2011. The data also show the scale of the two major problems facing the sector - a continuing high level of temporary contracts (28.2%) and an ageing workforce. Workers aged under 30 make up only 7% of the workforce with those over 50 accounting for 43.6%. Young workers are also more than three times as likely to be on a temporary contract (78.9%).