DME to invest in inclusive management for all
Youth unemployment is a growing concern throughout the European Union and deserves to be high on the political, social and economic agenda. Our society needs to invest in inclusive employment for all, also and especially the most vulnerable: early school leavers and youngsters with low education levels or physical/mental impairments. A common geographical or transnational approach is required to address this economic and social challenge. Traditionally, diversity management propagates an inclusive human resources management, covering the employer-employee relationship.
About the project
Youth unemployment is a growing concern throughout the European Union and deserves to be high on the political, social and economic agenda. Our society needs to invest in inclusive employment for all, also and especially for the most vulnerable: early school leavers and youngsters with low education levels or physical/mental impairments.
A common geographical or transnational approach is required to address this economic and social challenge.
Traditionally, diversity management propagates an inclusive human resources management, covering the employer-employee relationship. “Diversity Management – Extended” broadens this approach by targeting 4 stakeholders:
- Youth: persons with a (considerable) distance to the labor market. To be concentrated on a target group of persons aged from 16 to 30 years;
- Professionals: teachers/schools, employment counselors, social workers, …;
- Employers: increase awareness and willingness to invest in (vulnerable) youth;
- Governments: comparison of legal situations regarding government support and measures in the member states of the project partners. The local legal setting is crucial to correctly apply diversity management on a local level.
In line with the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy and Europe 2020, DME elaborates on the transition process of guiding (vulnerable) students and unemployed young people towards the labor market. Within the context of the EU aims and broader economic and social needs, DME will focus on following topics:
- Within Europe, the prevention and reduction of early dropping out of school, is of a great importance and needs continuous attention. There is a growing need for specialized support to connect the group of “school drop outs” to the labor market.
- For instance, The Netherlands will introduce the Participation Law (start 2015 to facilitate active participation of ALL people in society and on the labor market. However, an important issue is the negative image of vulnerable job applicants in the private employment sector. Employers need to be convinced that corporate social responsibility is due for a change!
- Within the context of an inclusive labor market where jobs are created for all, the VET sector has an important role to play. One of the most crucial elements of VET, namely internships, form the perfect transition between the world of education and the labor market, and function as a great lever for students to find a job. However, in the current economic and social context, internships are increasingly hard to find for school drop-outs, persons with a disability, and so on.
- Due to the economic crisis it is often very difficult for young students to find a good internship, and this is even more difficult for vulnerable students. Internships however are essential for all VET-students and the effects of the impossibility to find a good internship are disastrous. If the student fails to find an internship, or doesn't successfully complete it, it not only hinders his VET-development and leads to higher rates of early school leaving ( so called “drop- outs”),but it also seriously compromises his transition to the labor market. Therefore, a successful internship, carefully monitored by all involved partners (school and employer),is of great importance.
- The current instruments and existing approaches in guiding and supporting (vulnerable) VET-students in the various member countries are inadequate. Due to budget cuts, there are almost no resources left to develop instruments to support internships, neither for schools, nor for employers. Therefore the knowledge level to support vulnerable students in an adequate, qualitative way is very poor. More instruments for personal development and supporting students and (vulnerable) employees need to be developed and made available.
- The actual available instruments focus mainly on one of the target groups (students or the school). So, there is a need to develop a coherent framework to support all parties, student, school and employer.
- The current approach of internship focuses on individual placement of students/ trainees and therefore does not to a structural demand on the employers’ side. Often school and work are seen as two different worlds, but this should be approached in a different way.
The DME Project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.