Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Policy : Unemployment: Meps Sound Alarm

Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Policy : Unemployment: Meps Sound Alarm

Article excerpt

The flagship initiative New skills for new jobs' should be focused more on early school leaving and on work-life balance, say members of the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL). A report by Regina Bastos (EPP, Portugal) was adopted with a large number of amendments, on 26 September, by 30 to 14 and three abstentions.aIt follows on from the European Commission's communication ofa November 2010.

This flagship initiative constitutes the executive's contribution to achieving one of the objectives of the Europe 2020' strategy: 75% employment for women and men aged 20 to 64 by 2020.

For the EMPL committee, the employment situation has deteriorated further with the economic and financial crisis. There are currently 23.051 million jobless in the European Union - 9.5% of the workforce - and since the start of the crisis in 2008, 5.6 million jobs have been lost in Europe. MEPs note that a reduction of only 1% in the number of early school leavers could "bring some 500,000 potential workers to the labour market". They therefore call on member states to implement more effective policies based on a high quality system of education and vocational training. The report also recommends the creation of a "knowledge alliance" that would bring together businesses, the social partners and education institutions. …

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