Don’t just take the first job of­fer, new grad­u­ates are warned

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

For new grad­u­ates, ac­cept­ing a first job of­fer and en­ter­ing the labour mar­ket might ap­pear to be the best op­tion. But re­search in­di­cates that wait­ing for a job that matches an in­di­vid­ual’s skill level will be a more suc­cess­ful move over time.

This will lead to a more suc­cess­ful out­come, ac­cord­ing to new re­search pub­lished by the EU re­search pro­ject STYLE, Strate­gic Tran­si­tions for Youth Labour Europe.

The re­searchers from STYLE, from univer­si­ties all across Europe, say that young work­ers un­der the age of 25 who wait for the right op­por­tu­nity are less likely to ex­pe­ri­ence fail­ure, such as un­em­ploy­ment, or end­ing up with a low-skilled oc­cu­pa­tion.

STYLE’s re­search was con­ducted in five EU coun­tries: Fin­land, France, Italy, Poland and the UK, both be­fore and dur­ing the re­cent fi­nan­cial cri­sis in Europe.

“There might be some ra­tio­nale for re­cent grad­u­ates not to ac­cept the first job of­fer they get. They shouldn’t be­come part of the labour mar­ket at any cost,” said Gabriella Berloffa, a re­searcher from the Univer­sity of Trento, in Italy. She was speak­ing at a youth un­em­ploy­ment con­fer­ence in Copen­hagen last week.

Be­tween 2007 and 2013, youth un­em­ploy­ment reached record highs across Europe, dra­mat­i­cally in­creas­ing from 15.7% to 23.4%, ac­cord­ing to Euro­stat. In South­ern Europe, in coun­tries such as Spain and Greece, youth un­em­ploy­ment rates are well above 50%.

While it might be dif­fi­cult for young peo­ple in times like th­ese to re­ject low-paid and low-skilled jobs, Berloffa said, young peo­ple should keep in mind that un­em­ploy­ment only af­fects them neg­a­tively if it is for a very long time.

Fam­ily back­ground, of course, plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in young peo­ple’s op­por­tu­ni­ties. STYLE’s re­search data re­veals that across all Euro­pean coun­tries, the like­li­hood of young peo­ple be­ing un­em­ployed was much higher if they came from a low-em­ploy­ment home than from any other house­hold.

Berloffa said that par­ents with jobs are bet­ter able to guide their chil­dren, but they are also able to pro­tect their chil­dren against fail­ure, fos­ter­ing an pro­tected and re­source­ful en­vi­ron­ment, whereas less well-off par­ents are more likely to ad­vise their chil­dren to do a trade-off and take on low-paid jobs that they are overqual­i­fied for.

In Fe­bru­ary 2013, EU heads of state and govern­ment agreed to launch a EUR 6 bln Youth Em­ploy­ment Ini­tia­tive (YEI) to get more young peo­ple into work. Mem­ber states, which have re­gions with youth un­em­ploy­ment rates above 20%, are able to ap­ply for fund­ing to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple who are not in education, em­ploy­ment or train­ing. Some EUR 3.4 bln has been ear­marked for Greece, Spain and Italy. Re­cently, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion an­nounced an­other ini­tia­tive with busi­nesses in or­der to cre­ate ap­pren­tice­ships, trainee­ships and other types of work-based learn­ing for young peo­ple.

In Novem­ber 2015, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion launched the Euro­pean Pact for Youth (EPY), an ini­tia­tive with Euro­pean com­pa­nies which aims at cre­at­ing ap­pren­tice­ships, trainee­ships and other types of work-based learn­ing, in or­der to help young peo­ple tran­si­tion into their first jobs. The EPY is fol­low­ing up on the Youth Em­ploy­ment Ini­tia­tive, launched by the Com­mis­sion in 2012, which is also meant to tackle high rates of youth un­em­ploy­ment in the EU, par­tic­u­larly in Greece and Spain.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion will this year present an EU Skills Ini­tia­tive, fo­cussing on help­ing more peo­ple de­velop and upgrade their skills.

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