How to guarantee decent work for young people and ensure the inclusion of NEETs through the proper elaboration of National Recovery Plans (own-initiative opinion)

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Udvalgets udtalelse: How to guarantee decent work for young people and ensure the inclusion of NEETs through the proper elaboration of National Recovery Plans (own-initiative opinion)

Key points

The EESC:

  • welcomes the NRRPs as an unprecedented opportunity to drive change and trigger investments in sustainable growth and creation of quality jobs that must be seized with inclusive governance, requiring dialogue, openness and transparency;
  • notes with regret the lack of meaningful and targeted consultation with the social partners and stakeholders in some of the Member States during the designing of the NRRPs and urges the Commission to put in place measures that guarantee structured and meaningful involvement of the social partners, organised civil society and youth organisations in the implementation and monitoring of the NRRPs;
  • calls on the Member States to ensure quality and inclusive guidance and counselling for all young people, especially those with disabilities, starting in early school education, in order to provide them with more information on their further education and, subsequently, on career possibilities in the context of the green and digital transition of the labour market;
  • welcomes measures to promote and popularise the role and profile of vocational education and training (VET) as a driver of innovation practices, STEM skills, lifelong learning and effective labour intermediation, as these are key to bridging the existing skills gap;
  • recommends that personalised support be put in place for targeted groups, especially NEETs. This support should make it possible to deal with all issues that are peripheral for integration into the labour market, such as housing, accommodation, transport and health, in a holistic manner;
  • urges the Member States to use the recovery funds in investments for the creation of quality jobs and upskilling of young people, where needed, with a particular focus on open-ended contracts and decent working conditions that limit the risk of precarity;
  • considers it essential, in order not to subsidise job insecurity, to ensure that hiring subsidies are conditioned by open-ended contracts or stabilisation programmes. In addition, hiring incentives can be effective in creating employment opportunities for "disadvantaged" jobseekers as well as in reallocating workers being made redundant, favouring their transition towards new sectors and occupations;
  • believes that close attention should be paid to the issue of mental health and psycho-social disorders, especially among young people, by reducing the stigma around mental health issues through prevention and awareness-raising work, which must start in schools, and be extended to companies, and by providing adequate funding for service and support providers in this field.
  • notes that persistent gender inequalities in the world of work increase young women's vulnerabilities to the economic consequences of COVID-19 and welcomes the measures put in place by some Member States to encourage and promote women's employment and female entrepreneurship, to invest in adequate social infrastructure and to reform childcare systems, particularly early childcare education, and calls for these good practices to be scaled up at the EU level in order to support full employment of women, and young mothers in particular.