domingo, 14 de outubro de 2012

Youth unemployment in Lithuania: there is no time to ignore this!

     Although indicators of unemployment between young people of Lithuania have been one of the worst in the whole Europe for 4 years, government didn‘t took it like as serious problem. However, European Union intervened and admitted it should be solved sooner. In the end of January 2012, at the European Council meeting of the European Commission (EC), President Jose Manuel Barroso was specific and said that youth unemployment should be reduced. It was enough to do an exhortation and the youth unemployment problem was placed into the first place. After a few weeks, the problem of youth unemployment in Lithuania grew from the local and almost unnoticed to an internationally important subject.
A critical limit has not been reached yet?
     Young people can be divided into three groups: students, college students and non-qualified, who are not studying for this moment because of various reasons.  The government should ensure different types of help for each group. Labour market should be introduced for students as soon as it is possible, for  graduates it is needful to realize their knowledge and entrepreneurship and for youth, who hasn‘t graduated yet,  it should be given some kind of help to gain it.
General Manager of Lithuanian Business Employers' Confederation, Danas Arlauskas,  says that labor market should be transferred to the Ministry of Economy, because it has bigger impact on business environment. Now it belongs to the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, which should pay more attention to social problems of society. It is the reason why in Lithuania doesn‘t exist youth employment policy. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour defined a policy focused on areas, such as safety, maternity benefits, pensions and others with exception of recruitment. Danas Arlauskas also paid attention to the fact that youth in Lithuania is passive. Youth unemployment is high, but no one not makes demonstrations or poses a serious political threat. As a result of it, he thinks that critical limit have not been reached yet. However, there were a lot of demonstrations of teachers, doctors, but they did not achieve the desired results. And maybe it is a reason why the president of Lithuanian Youth Council chose to conduct a negotiation with a government in order to try to solve this problem together.
There are 75 million unemployed youth in the world
     There are 200 million unemployed people in the world. 75million of them are youth (age 16-24).  Although indicators of youth unemployment in Lithuania are among the worst in Europe (4th place), the following countries also do not really have something to boast about. The biggest youth unemployment is in Spain (49.9%) and Greece ( 48.4%) . Lithuania‘s neighbour - countries have similar results: Latvia (29.4 %) , Poland (27.1%) , Estonia (25.6%).   European Union average is 22.4%. It means that Lithuania‘s youth unemployment is 12% above the European Union average. The smallest youth unemployment is in Denmark (14.6%), Austria (8.9%) and Germany (7.8%). It is generally recognized that youth unemployment has reached dangerous levels and has a tendency to increase more and more. Sociologists and psychologists gradually examine the long-term problems and consequences of youth unemployment for individuals and society. Interesting findings were found by United States of America researchers. Their studies have shown that if a young man has a possibility to enter in the labour market, but he is unemployed for one year, after ten years his salary will be a quarter less the one of other endowed with the same education, which is his social and intellectual competitor, who was not unemployed.
How this problem should be solved?
     One of the solutions for this problem might be higher relationship between employers and students. If the employers would be much more pleasant with students and gave them an opportunity to gain an experience, it might be a solution for the high level of youth unemployment. Students would have a possibility to work and employers would have a chance to have young, creative persons in the companies. Although the majority of employers nowadays believe more in older workers, youth is the future of successful business tomorrow.

Eugenijus Polonis

[artigo de opinião produzido no âmbito da unidade curricular “Economia Portuguesa e Europeia” do 3º ano do curso de Economia (1º ciclo) da EEG/UMinho] 

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