AGE position on the integration of long-term unemployed

This paper follows the publication of the recommendation on the integration of long-term unemployed, initially propsed by the European Commission and adopted by the Council of the European Union in February 2015. AGE followed this process, as older workers (55-65) are most at risk to become long-term unemployed or inactive when their lose their job.

Although we welcomed the Commission initiative, we highlight a lack of ambition in the original Commission proposal, in which services on offer for long-term unemployed were not specified and little reference was made to the availability of training and life-long learning and in-work assistance. These had then been included in the Council's recommendation. The Council has also taken a very wise step to explicitly mention the provision of long-term care and childcare services as part of the integration agreements. 

However, a number of points should still be regarded in the implementation phase:

  • 18 months of unemployment is a very long period, member states should strive to create personalised assessments and service offers even before completing the first year of unemployment.
  • Local and regional authorities should be very pro-active in implementing the recommendation, as they are often responsible for social services – both accompanying social services such as childcare and long-term care, as well as concrete job-integration services
  • The recommendation needs to be underpinned by notable investment into guidance, counselling and assistance services, as well as in the availability of quality life-long learning opportunities. Since the financial crisis in 2008, life-long learning expenses have been dropping, hampering the suitability of the workforce to companies' needs and the employability of older workers especially.
      

Read AGE full position here

This website is developed with the financial support of an operating grant of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission. The contents of the articles are the sole responsibility of AGE Platform Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.