Integration of long-term unemployed in European countries

The integration of long-term unemployed and hard-to-place individuals is a main European issue. Some European countries have interesting and successful strategies for the activation and integration of labor groups. Some labour market experts from European countries presented their national strategies, programs and practices for integration of long-term unemployed and illustrated concrete examples from practice.

It´s obviously that many countries and regions in Europe have similar problems in many branches wherefore a general solution for this problem such be find.

The importance of motivation and activation of labour forces is one of the most important aspects. Some concepts of different countries will be presented in this essay:

The Netherlands has a leading role in Europe concerning labour cooperation of government and social partners. In the regional employment policy, close cooperation with private employment companies is significant. Especially the high level of responsibility of local authorities will help that a decentralized work is possible in the regional labour market. The 150 local authorities look after some 300,000 people annually. As a key success factor of their labour market the Dutch representatives pointed out a close to the employee behaviour. Need of assistance have to assume an activation offer before unemployed can apply for government support.

The success in the Danish labor market is closely linked to the a flexible model, which offers generous performance bonuses for unemployed people and while providing a low employment protection for workers and flexibility. In close cooperation with employer associations and trade unions which support local Job Centers long-term unemployed should get activated rapidly with trainings to be able to return to the labour market. Difficult-to-place individuals receive either removing offer or training in combination with a supported work.

 Private employment agencies play an important role in the British labour market. They cover the entire service spectrum of active job searching and of course job placement. Long-term unemployed are treated as individuals who should be placed on an individual basis. Therefore motivation courses and trainings are offered. Sometimes in cooperation with interested companies. One of the key success factors is to promote the commitment of these individuals in active job search.

Portugal experienced a lot in labor market reforms in recent years by the process of decentralization. 86 nationwide local Job Center are existing in the country. They are composed of representatives of regional and local administrations, chambers of commerce and employers’ associations. In addition to the nation-state policies on labor market, Portugal has industry-and target-specific work programs, implemented in close consultation with local communities. New employment opportunities can be found in expansion of services in the tourism industry, especially for older workers. In the future, more flexible alternatives in cooperation with social partners in the Portuguese labor market policy will be introduced.

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