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Negotiating early job-insecurity and labour market exclusion in Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEGOTIATE (Negotiating early job-insecurity and labour market exclusion in Europe)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-02-29

NEGOTIATE is a research project examining the long- and short-term consequences of job insecurity and labour market exclusion of young people. NEGOTIATE moves beyond the state-of-the-art by investigating the linkages between macro and micro levels in shaping the consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion. While overall labour market processes and a severe employment crisis currently define the macro level, the micro level is characterised by young adults who display great variation in terms of opportunities to access public and private support and influence their job prospects. NEGOTIATE examines the relationship between young people’s subjective and objective negotiating positions across economic and social dimensions affecting labour market prospects, integration and social inclusion. It approaches this topic in a trans-disciplinary and comparative manner. The project is informed by the concepts of resilience, capability, active agency and negotiation. These are combined with methodological innovation (life course interviews and vignette experiments) and crosscutting policy analyses. In sum, this will help improve our understanding of existing variations in the consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion within and across countries and across social groups.

The project’s overarching objective is to provide new, gender-sensitive, comparative knowledge about the short and long-term consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion, taking into account how the active agency of young people mediates such consequences.
Through an active involvement of national and European stakeholders, as well as young people themselves, the insights from the project should contribute to evidence-based and effective policies against the adverse effects of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion..

In order to achieve the overarching objective, the proposed project will pursue ten secondary objectives:

1) Reach an improved understanding of the mechanisms behind cross-country variations in the long-term individual consequences of early job insecurity, based on a mix of quantitative (cross-sectional & longitudinal micro-data) and qualitative data (life course interviews), while being sensitive to gender differences as well as the situation of high-risk groups (WP 2).
2) Analyse the general context in which young people in each country and across Europe form their work expectations and face the challenges of labour market integration and transition from youth to adulthood, based on a macro-level comparative analysis of early job insecurity in Europe (WP3).
3) Provide new knowledge about the conditions under which early job insecurity has the least adverse outcomes in terms of subjective and objective well-being, based on a multi-level analysis combining cross-national institutional and individual survey data (WP4).
4) Offer improved understanding of how adverse labour market conditions for young adults affect their scope for exercising active agency on the pathway to adulthood, for instance in terms of the inter-related decisions about education, occupation and type of employment, sources of livelihood or income, housing arrangements or family formation: Is the transition to adulthood “put on hold”? (WP5).
5) Offer an analysis of young adults’ own perceptions of how various factors influence their job prospects and what scope they have for negotiating these factors, and the extent to which they have sought to use this scope for negotiation, based on coordinated & semi-structured life course interviews with three birth cohorts in seven countries (WPs 4 and 5 complemented by deliberation in National Youth Panels and Online Discussion Forums).
6) Analyse high-quality longitudinal data on the life courses of earlier birth cohorts to gain more precise knowledge about the long-term consequences of experiencing job instability and unemployment as a young person, as these vary
During the first period (1 March 2015- 1 March 2016), NEGOTIATE has developed the analytic framework for the empirical work, reviewed international empirical literature, developed methodological tools and concepts for the analytic framework to understand the individual and societal consequences of early job insecurity. The NEGOTIATE team has started to implement the dissemination strategy and involved the International Advisory Committee (IACs), National Stakeholder Committees (NSCs) and National Youth Panels (NYPs) in the work. The committees have been actively involved in discussions of the scientific work.

The scientific work in this reporting period:

- Specified and detailed the ethical requirements, such as the procedures and criteria that will be used to identify/recruit research participants (Data Management Plan D1.2).
- Notified the Data Protection Official at the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) and received ethical authorisation (approval) to undertake life course interviews and store transcripts from these, respectively before and after the end of project (D1.8).

- Developed an original framework that will be used both as a common basis for the empirical work and as a conceptual base for the analysis the results
- Reviewed relevant literature on key concepts and assessed how they contribute to an understanding of the context consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion (13750 words, D2.1).

- Reviewed international empirical literature on labour market integration of young people, and concluded that the application of the theoretical framework and definition of early job insecurity determines the choice of data sources and indicators (D3.1).
- Mapped national diversity in the importance of insecure pathways of labour market entry, and uncovered very strong differences between countries (D3.2).

- Measured and assessed the objective consequences of labour market marginalisation of young people to provide new evidence of earnings and labour market volatility of young workers across Europe during the economic crisis/Great Recession (D4.1).

- Assessed and developed further methodological tools to identify and explain potential scarring effects of early job insecurity. Further, addressed the complexity of investigating and explaining the mechanisms underlying potential scarring effects of youth unemployment (D6.1).

- Reviewed the conceptual literature on employers’ risk assessment in the recruitment of young workers and the methodological literature on vignette experiments with a view to designing an innovative experimental design to explore empirically employers’ assessments of young job
applicants (D7.1).

- Created and maintained the NEGOTIATE website, and NEGOTIATE PR material (logo, posters, project leaflet, templates) has been developed (D9.1 D9.2). All scientific NEGOTIATE Deliverables submitted and approved by the Commission, have subsequently been published as Negotiate
Working papers (full open access), downloadable from the NEGOTIATE website ( Project members have submitted manuscripts for scientific journals and magazines, some of which have already been accepted or published. A Policy Brief has been
published and distributed, and the first results from the NEGOTIATE project have been presented at several conferences and seminars in different countries.

Until now, NEGOTIATE has made considerable scientific progress through reviewing existing scientific literature to identify knowledge gap, methodical clarifications, and developed a common understanding of the analytic framework.
NEGOTIATE is providing new knowledge about the short- and long-term consequences of prolonged job insecurity (experiencing uncertain and unstable employment opportunities) and labour market exclusion early in early adulthood, and improving the understanding of how young people’s active agency might mitigate adverse consequences of such insecurity and exclusion. The results from NEGOTIATE are useful to a wide audience, the scientific community, policymakers and stakeholders. By combining historical and forward-looking perspectives, NEGOTIATE will be able to shed new light on both immediate and long-term consequences of youth unemployment.

- The close collaboration and dialog with the International Advisory Committee, National Stakeholder Committees, National Youth Panels and other stakeholders strengthen the impact of the NEGOTIATE project.

- NEGOTIATE`s active collaboration with the scientific community is important and will contribute to securing high quality impact. Publication of working papers, peer-reviewed journals, the NEGOTIATE website and presentations of work in progress at academic conferences, along with
feedback from the scientific experts in the International Advisory Committee, will ensure that the scientific quality of the work is continuously monitored. Social science and humanities scholars and students can benefit from the project, which is relevant for disciplines such as economics,
sociology, industrial relations, business studies, comparative politics, public policy, social policy and economic history. The project’s interdisciplinary orientation will create synergies across traditional thematic divisions and foster novel theoretical and empirical perspectives.

- The presentation of the results from NEGOTIATE about the short- and long-term consequences of prolonged job insecurity and labour market exclusion at several conferences and evens and a number of Policy Briefs will strengthen the knowledge of politicians at both European and
national level. Enhancing the knowledge will contribute to more effective evidence-based economic, social and education policies to reduce and prevent the adverse consequences of job insecurity and labour market exclusion. NEGOTIATE will also contribute to the media and Public
debate on consequences of early job insecurity.

- The results from NEGOTIATE will contribute to impact on the economy, society and policies by focus on the wider societal impact of early job insecurity such as poverty and level of social trust.

- Furthermore, by contributing to the improvement of policies with consequences for individuals, NEGOTIATE will contribute to generate long-term social benefits for young people who struggle to consolidate their position on the labour market.

- NEGOTIATE uses new social media to communicate news and reports to the wider audience, and a final conference will be organised in Brussels to share the result from the project. All these activities will contribute to a better understanding of the long- and short-term consequences of
job insecurity and labour market exclusion of young people, as well as ensuring high impact of the NEGOTIATE project.
First Progress Meeting in Athens
Second Progress Meeting in Brighton
Negotiate - presented at the exhibition HR industry, Bulgaria on 11th February 2016
NSC meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria on 4th december 2015
First Progress Meeting in Athens
Kick-Off Meeting in Oslo
Kick-Off Meeting in Oslo
Second Progress Meeting in Brighton