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Eurofound News July/August 2016 - In Brief

News   •   Aug 02, 2016 11:48 BST

From Eurofound News July/August 2016

Taking action to make work sustainable

For Europe to achieve its goals for growth, workers will have to work for longer and more people will have to work. This requires new thinking to make work sustainable over the life course. In other words, it means achieving living and working conditions that enable workers to retain their physical and mental health, motivation and productivity throughout an extended working life. It also requires that the broader social infrastructure supports employment – through provision of childcare and training services, for instance. Eurofound has found that most Member States have yet to adopt an all-encompassing approach to sustainable work in policies, but many do have policies that focus on key features of the concept. Read more at

Latest EU-level working life developments

An up-to-date profile of the structures, regulations and specific developments at EU level that affect the working life of employees across the EU Member States is now available in Eurofound’s EurWORK observatory. The key features covered include working time, health and well-being, pay, equality and non-discrimination, and skills, learning and employability. It presents an in-depth description of collective and individual employment relations at EU level and an overview of two financial instruments that support workers and employment across the EU – the European Social Fund and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. The profile complements the national-level working life profiles of the EU Member States as well as other EurWORK research on EU-level developments and reference tools. Read the profile at

NEET – One label, many lives

Coined in the 1990s, the term NEET – young people not in education, employment or training – has since become a key tool in framing the question of how to enable young Europeans to take their place in society. The term covers unemployed and inactive young people who are not enrolled in formal or non-formal education. It encompasses a huge variety of people with very diverse lives and very diverse needs. This has important consequences for policy responses: without some understanding of this diversity, interventions by governments and social partners may fall short. A new report from Eurofound, Exploring the diversity of NEETs, breaks the NEET population down into seven subgroups. By grouping people together by their key characteristics – such as being in long-term unemployment, having an illness or disability, or being NEET due to family responsibilities – it becomes possible to identify the most relevant issues to address in each group. Read more at

Diversity of the NEET population

The diagram above shows the seven subgroups of NEETs identified in Eurofound’s latest study of this population group. The largest subgroup is the short-term unemployed, who make up 30% of NEETs, followed by the long-term unemployed, who account for 22%. The smallest subgroup is the discouraged young people – those who have stopped looking for work as they believe there are no job opportunities for them; 6% of NEETs are in this group. A further 8% are classified as re-entrants – young people who will soon re-enter employment, education or training.The young people in these four groups are NEET due to factors related to the labour market. Members of the three groups are NEET mostly for social reasons such as family responsibilities, illness or disability.

The report from the study is available at

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