Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


YMOBILITY Report Summary

Project ID: 649491
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - YMOBILITY (Youth mobility: maximising opportunities for individuals, labour markets and regions in Europe)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

YMOBILITY is a cross-disciplinary 3-year project that aims to study youth mobility, considering individuals and regions, causes and effects, and short- and long-term implications, and providing scenarios and policy recommendations.
YMOBILITY’s specific objectives are:
• To establish the extent to which individuals consider international mobility to be a key strategy for mediating significant life course transitions: a) school-to-work, b) unemployed-to-employed and c) youth to independent or ‘full’ adulthood. The project will identify the main determinants (both individual and structural) of who does, versus who does not, migrate as a life course-enhancing strategy.
• To provide a comprehensive overview and quantification of the main types of youth mobility in the EU, focusing particularly on differences between and within three main categories: students, higher-skilled and less-skilled workers.
• To identify the outcomes of youth mobility for individuals in terms of: a) their lifelong portfolio of skills and competences; b) their social welfare and health; c) the formation of more European and/or cosmopolitan identities; and d) the transition from youth to ‘full adulthood’.
• To analyse the short- and long-term regional implications of youth mobility for both sending and destination regions – that is, taking into account not only emigration, but also the extent and the destinations of return migration and circulation, as well as flows of social remittances.
• To understand, and provide typologies of, how individuals would respond to contrasting future migration scenarios, reflecting changing structural and personal circumstances, and the resulting future regional implications.
• To provide evidence-based recommendations for migration and flanking policies that will help to maximise the opportunities, and minimise the costs, associated with youth mobility for individuals, labour markets and regions.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Although youth mobility is not a new phenomenon, the scale and the nature of the migration of young people in Europe, and globally, has changed significantly in recent years, and especially since the 2008+ economic crisis. YMOBILITY’s main aim is to study how intra-EU mobility provides a means to help individuals enact the transition from youth to adulthood, as well as the regional implications of this process. It examines causes and effects, and short- and long-term implications, while also exploring scenarios and providing policy recommendations.
The work carried out in the first reporting period can be summarized as follows:
• A review and finalization of the main questions, definitions, typologies and theoretical approaches concerning international youth mobility and life transitions in Europe;
• The creation of an original dataset with secondary data concerning youth migration in Europe, with special reference to the nine YMOBILITY countries;
• The design and testing of ad hoc methodologies (on-line questionnaires, in-depth interviews, experimental research methods on decision-making about future migration) for collecting primary data and information in the nine YMOBILITY countries;
• The implementation of an on-line panel survey which has provided 30,018 completed on-line questionnaires;
• The implementation (to be finalized by July, 2016) of 840 in-depth interviews;
• The implementation (to be finalized by August, 2016) of experimental research methods on decision-making about future migration.
The objectives reached so far are intermediate objectives, which can be summarized as follow:
• A comprehensive overview and quantification of the main types of youth mobility in the EU has been provided, which has also situated this in relation to the current state of the art in the research literature
• The geography of the flows and the socio-demographic and economic characteristics of the mobile young have been assessed
• The main characteristics of mobile students, mobile skilled workers, and mobile less-skilled workers have been provided
• Appropriate methodologies for exploring aspects of youth mobility and life transitions that cannot be studied through existing secondary data have been defined and designed
• A large-scale panel on-line survey, in-depth interviews in destinations and regions of return, and experimental complex decision-making methods have been managed and have been partially completed. The final results are due, and will be presented, by month 18

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

YMOBILITY tackles the topic of youth mobility and life transitions from both the individual and regional perspectives, aiming to impact on EU and national policies concerning freedom of mobility, labor markets and regional development. Although the project is still in the planned phase of collating an exhaustive secondary and primary database, the following impacts are foreseen.
In particular, YMOBILITY outcomes and results will provide EU institutions, and the community of European citizens, with an original and innovative set of information concerning:
a. Typologies of youth mobilities (students, and highly skilled and unskilled workers);
b. Types of youth mobility (frequency, duration, geography);
c. The causes of and reasons for youth mobility;
d. The socio-economic characteristics of mobile and sedentary young persons, highlighting gender and social background differences;
e. The future significance of youth mobility for central development issues in European sending and receiving countries, and the resulting demographic gaps in both sending and receiving countries.
Moreover, YMOBILITY outcomes and results will provide national and regional/local institutions and governments with new information concerning:
a. The effects of emigration-immigration on the labor markets, and their role in regional development processes, in origin-destination countries and regions;
b. The effects of return and circular migration on labor markets, and their role in regional development processes;
c. The needs felt, and the support required, by young people wishing to enhance their integration in their new communities; and
d. Evidence-based recommendations, and good transferable practices, to maximize the benefits realized from youth mobility at the local and regional levels.
Then, YMOBILITY outcomes and results will provide young European citizens with an original set of information concerning:
a. The useful (and non-useful) sources of information when making migration decisions;
b. The risks related to mobility;
c. The effects of mobility on their careers, on the acquisition of skills and competences, on their economic welfare, social well-being and physical-psychological health, in shaping (and re-shaping) their identities, in favoring the transition from ‘youth’ to ‘adulthood’ and on family formation practices;
d. Evidence-based strategies to maximize opportunities resulting from mobility with respect to human capabilities, and lifelong portfolios of skills and competences.
Eventually, YMOBILITY will:
• Provide original simulations of future individual decision-making (mobility vs. non-mobility) and scenarios for different EU territories and regions, under different economic and migration conditions. These will provide useful tools for EU, national and regional development policies;
• Propose innovative policies for optimizing youth mobility, maximizing its effects for individuals and receiving territories, and minimizing its costs for origin regions;
• Create a substantial new research resource that will be made available to other researchers, including a highly original software package for analyzing future migration intentions using experimental methods.
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