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Priority Theme

Increasing labour supply by focusing on people at the margins of the labour market and youth, linked with the development of flexicurity policies

The Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs underlines the need for attracting people into employment and to increase labour supply by:

  • Making it attractive for (older) workers to stay longer in working life
  • Integrate or reintegrate those who are furthest away from the labour market
  • Avoid imbalances in the labour market by anticipating future skills needs and fostering intra-EU mobility and a proper management of third country migration.

As globalisation continues, European labour markets face greater pressure to be more competitive. Technological developments are becoming increasingly rapid and EU enterprises have to focus on innovative products and service development. At the same time Europe is facing an ageing society and low birth rates as a result of which the relative number of those in working age will start to decline. However, by creating real opportunities for groups that are currently outside of the labour market Europe can tap an important labour reserve and provide perspectives for people most in need.

Flexicurity policies can be helpful when addressing challenges for those people who are at the margin of the labour market. They enhance, at the same time, both flexibility and security in the labour market. Flexibility is about successful moves (transitions) during one‚s working life: from school to work, from one job to another, between unemployment or inactivity and work, and from work to retirement. Security on the other hand, is about equipping people with the skills that enable them to progress in their working lives, and helping them find new employment. It is also about adequate unemployment benefits to facilitate transitions. Finally, it encompasses training opportunities for all workers, especially the low skilled and older workers.

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