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STYLE Report Summary

Project ID: 613256
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: United Kingdom

Periodic Report Summary 2 - STYLE (Strategic Transitions for Youth Labour in Europe)

Project Context and Objectives:
The overriding aim of this project is to conduct a comparative EU-wide analysis of youth unemployment sensitive to gender, ethnic and class differences, and historical legacies of multi-level institutions shaping policies.

This aim will be achieved through 11 objectives organised around work packages.

The central concept informing our research is based on a policy learning approach to address youth unemployment actively involving a wide range of stakeholders to inform and disseminate the results.

During the second period we produced

- 32 Deliverables, published as STYLE Working Papers:

- organised Local Advisory Board meetings in 19 countries:

- organised a trip for young people to the European Parliament, Strasbourg;

- published Newsletters: and videos

- drafted and reviewed chapters for the STYLE Handbook.

The main objectives of the project are:

1. To achieve a critical mass of resources in collaboration with stakeholder communities (WP2). We established an interactive web & multimedia presence; and held meetings with Local Advisory Boards (LABS) in 19 countries.

2. To provide a critical evaluation of the performance of countries and regions (WP3). We produced two new deliverables providing a comparative overview of country case studies and Policy Synthesis.

3. To assess the prospects for policy transfer mechanisms (WP4) we produced four new working papers examining i) Policy learning and innovation processes, ii) Vulnerable Youth and Gender Mainstreaming, with iii) a separate Spanish paper, together and iv) a Database of effective youth employment measures in selected Member States and a Policy Synthesis.

4. To provide a critical review of the mismatch in supply and demand (WP5), a final Policy Synthesis report was produced.

5. To examine the consequences of mismatch and migration (WP6) five working papers on: i) Return Migration, ii) Labour Market Intermediaries, iii) Migration Patterns, iv) Integration of youth migrants, and v) a Policy Synthesis report were published.

6. To analyse the nature, rate and success of business start-ups and self-employment for young people (WP7) partners conducted i) quantitative analysis mapping patterns of self-employment and ii) qualitative research with young entrepreneurs and iii) a Policy Synthesis Report.

7. To examine the cultural context of family organisation and pathways to independence (WP8) a number of published deliverables examined i) Family Strategies to cope with poor labour market outcomes, ii) Leaving and returning to the parental home during the economic crisis, iii) The role of parental material resources in adulthood transitions, iv) Family formation strategies, unemployment and precarious employment, and v) a Policy Synthesis report will be available in November 2016.

8. To map out the voices of vulnerable young people and their values and aspirations (WP9). we i) examined the concept of Youth as Outsiders and ii) The impact of youth unemployment on social capital.

9. To analyse the nature and mechanisms of flexicurity regimes and how they contribute to overcoming youth unemployment (WP10). In this second period we examined i) the Impact on Young People’s Insecurity and Subjective Well-being, ii) Flexicurity Policies to integrate youth before and after the crisis and iii) provided a Policy Synthesis report.

10. We started preparing chapters for book publications (WP11) in June 2016.

11. To ensure the efficient management and communication of research from the project through deliverables and working papers, and the delivery of the Periodic Report (WP12).

Project Results:
The work performed since the beginning of the project has involved the successful completion of over 65 working papers from deliverables submitted to the EC since the start of the project; newsletters; videos and Local Advisory Board (LAB) reports that are all available on the project website

The progress of work during this period has gone according to the plan laid out in the Description of Work in line with the structure of Annex I to the Grant Agreement for the second period: M19 to M30 (03. September 2015 - 02. September 2016).

The first Periodic Report was successfully submitted on time and approved by the European Commission (Milestone 5).

The Second General Assembly Project Consortium (GAPC) meeting, Copenhagen January 2016 (Milestone 6). This involved a critical discussion of the next round of deliverables (due at the end of February 2016) with comments provided by CAN members. The book project was discussed and the editorial team agreed. Oxford University Press was approached to publish this book. It was also agreed that an e-book with open access would be published encompassing all of the work on the project. This will be prepared in collaboration with the European Youth Forum. It will provide short summaries of the main findings from the whole project.

A series of 13 new videos interviews of participants from this meeting is available on the project website:

Input from local stakeholders also included the Director of Staffing Industry from the Norwegian Federation of Service Industries commenting on WP6 Migration.

All deliverables submitted in M24 (February 2016) and M30 (August 2016) are available on the project website:

All LAB meetings are reported on the website:

These are all regularly posted on twitter, along with other relevant news @StyleEU.

The Third Steering Group meeting, Turin in June 2016.
The remaining deliverables and first draft chapters for the proposed book in WP11 were presented and discussed with critical input from CAN members. The editorial team provided feedback to all authors within two weeks of the meeting. A further round of revisions are being submitted in the Autumn of 2016 for extended editorial feedback. These drafts will be discussed at the next GAPC meeting (Milestone 7) in Krakow 30th-31st January 2017, before being sent to the publisher.

International conferences and collaborative dissemination events

Several special sessions were held at significant international conferences in collaboration with other Horizon 2020 funded projects. These included the Council of Europeanists Conference in Philadelphia, US (April) in collaboration with NEGOTIATE and LIVEWHAT; the European Social Policy Association Network (ESPANET) Conference in Rotterdam (September 2016) with NEGOTIATE; the Work, Employment and Society Conference in Leeds (September 2016) with EXCEPT and CUPESSE.

In addition we organised for 17 young LAB members from the UK, Spain and Poland to participate at the European Youth Event (EYE 2016) organised by the European Youth Forum, one of our CAN members, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg (May 2016). This group also included four young people with learning difficulties participating in debates in the Parliament. This was a wonderful learning experience for our young advisors:

All deliverables have been submitted to the Commission in accordance with the proposed schedule. See Deliverables and Milestones Tables of this report. The only exception to this was a slight delay in D8.4 expected at the end of June 2016. After discussions the EU Project Officer about workload management issues it was agreed to submit this at the end of October 2016. The extension to this deliverable ensured that it was of good quality.

Overall, the progress of work has gone according to the plan.

Potential Impact:
The final results will be published in two edited books, including an e-handbook with the European Youth Forum (WP11). This meets the expected outcome of advancing the knowledge base and policies to enhance youth employment and transitions to independence. The impact of this evidence will inform policy implementation by engaging with relevant communities. Contributions to this dialogue are on the project website, or twitter @STYLEEU. These impacts will be achieved through an on-going dissemination strategy (WP2).

Key findings
Institutional configurations of STW regimes in Europe are currently ‘in flux’ due to on-going dynamics of regime hybridization. While reducing segmentation, excessive flexibility can lead to low employment quality and high levels of precariousness. This undermines stable and secure transitions and negatively affects attitudes of social trust and a sense of outsiderness. Strict employment protection for regular jobs is associated with lower life satisfaction for young people.

Institutional configurations and macro-economic trends matter: where youth labor demand remains low, policy interventions focused on supply side flexibility have limited effectiveness.

Institutional change remains limited in terms of impact and superficial in terms of implementation. Differentiated performance persists with a progressive deterioration of the quality of youth transitions. This is despite the positive policy intentions to strengthen and improve the efficacy of transition regimes.

Over-qualification of intra-EU migrants and poor matching is a challenge. Tools facilitating the matching of migrants to jobs can be very useful.

Policies to promote self-employment for youth affect a small share of the self-employed. Policy evaluation of the effectiveness of self-employment and the quality of work is essential. Encouraging business incubators, strengthening entrepreneurial education and the portability of EU wide pension and health care benefits are necessary. Balancing flexibility and security is a key challenge.

The employment structure of the family has a decisive influence on the youth employment trajectories. Those living with their parents are earning less than those who live independently. But the at-risk-of poverty rate for youth living independently has increased.

An ethnic and gender-sensitive analysis of the impact of policies with metrics to capture particularities of the youth labour market is key.

Policy pointers
1. Prevention & early intervention at key transition stages over the full cycle of school-to-work transition
2. Policies designed with flexibility to cater for different needs of sub- groups of NEETs
3. Proactive outreach work, including active involvement of NGOs and/or e-outreach
4. Systems for diagnosing vulnerable young people’s needs
5. Early, integrated and person-centred interventions to address complex needs
6. Effective case management and individualised action plans with personalised mentoring, help and follow-up
7. Sufficient PES capacity and resources to properly service youth at risk who require much more intensive and personalised attention
8. Programmes integrating and combining services offering a comprehensive approach tailored to young people’s needs
9. Involvement of all relevant stakeholders
10. Partnership/multi-agency working and co-ordination for an integrated service to youth at risk, especially at local level
11. Individualisation of learning pathways based on good understanding of how young people learn, flexible/modularised curricula and alternative learning environments focusing on attitudes/self-esteem, ‘soft’ and basic skills
12. Programmes combining work and study including quality apprenticeships and work experience placements, pre-vocational/pre- apprenticeship training
13. Financial support as a safety net for vulnerable NEETs taking part in an intervention.

List of Websites:

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United Kingdom
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