Flexicurity, the Crisis & Young

Mark Smith, Janine Leschke, Paola Villa

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    ‘Flexicurity’ is a controversial concept but at the core is the delicate balancing act between matching labourmarket security and flexibility. Labour market flexibility is usually captured by contractual flexibility but canalso relate to internal flexibility through adaptation of working time. On the security side there is i) jobsecurity’ commonly measured through the strictness of employment protection legislation (EPL) ii)employment security provided by active labour market policies or life-long learning and iii) income or socialsecurity. In recent years European countries have seen a trend from job security to employment securitywith limited focus on social security. The challenge of matching security and flexibility is key to youngpeople’s effective and sustainable integration in the labour market. As such policies labelled as ‘flexicurity’have, in principle, much to offer young people. However, the implementation of flexibility and securitypolicies have tilted towards flexibility, with heightened risks for young people starting work on flexiblecontracts.This project conducted a comprehensive exploration of policy and outcomes on the flexibility-securityinterface for young people. Firstly, we identified the institutional configurations and related outcomes foryoung people across EU countries. Secondly, we assessed the early labour market experiences of youthwith a specific focus on the quality of their employment and the impact of the parental household. Thirdly,we analysed the impact of configurations of “flexicurity” policies on young people’s objective andsubjective insecurity and their well-being. Finally, we explored developments in employment policy makingbefore, during and after the crisis with a particular focus on ‘flexicurity’ and youth.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBrighton
    PublisherSTYLE. University of Brighton
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
    SeriesEuropean Policy Brief

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