Employment opportunities for economically inactive people (own-initiative opinion)

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Tuairim ó CESE: Employment opportunities for economically inactive people (own-initiative opinion)

Key points

The EESC

  • notes that a substantial part of the population is still neither working nor included in unemployment statistics, yet carries significant potential for employment and wealth creation, and urges the Commission and the Member States to place a strategy for dealing with the significant number of economically inactive people.
  • believes that the Commission and the Member States must also focus their efforts on reactivation policies and policies to create job opportunities for all, in particular those who are most excluded from the labour market and who want and are able to work.
  • recommends that the Commission assess the progress made and, if needed, adopt a new, comprehensive strategy, accompanied by action plans and objectives assigned to the Member States for each sub-group of economically inactive people.
  • recommends that the European Commission encourage Member States to make their active labour market policies more effective and to ensure that their public employment services are able to provide more targeted assistance for people willing to  be included in the labour market, by taking into account their abilities and ambitions.
  • believes that it is crucial for policy-makers in each Member State to fully know and understand these barriers and the specific nature of each sub-group, while at the same time taking into consideration the issue of gender balance when designing public policies and/or other initiatives.
  • believes that concerted efforts are needed in order to boost employment opportunities for disabled people with a low level of education. Furthermore, the EESC urges the EU Member States to establish an employment quota system for persons with disabilities.
  • recommends that Member States create specific activities, if necessary within local public services (municipalities), that are appropriate to upgrade and update the skills and competences of the economically inactive population and other excluded groups.
  • urges the Commission and the Member States to create specific and favourable incentives for companies to employ such economically inactive people. At the same time, it is also crucial for the European Union to encourage Member States to promote attractive working conditions, decent wages and social security systems to motivate the inactive population to participate in the labour market and in the creation of wealth and economic, social and environmental well-being.
  • proposes reducing the number of weekly working hours, starting with public services, thus creating more employment opportunities for everyone.