EU local and regional authorities contributing to the mid-term review of Europe Assessment of the "Youth on the Move" flagship initiative

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CDR10488-2012_00_00_TRA_TCD 1

EU local and regional authorities contributing to the mid-term review of

Europe 2020

Assessment of the "Youth on the Move" flagship initiative

Over two years after its adoption, the Committee of the Regions will take stock of the Europe

2020 flagship initiative

Youth on the Move

in a conference to be held on 13 December 2012 in

Brussels. This conference will be the first of a series of CoR events and monitoring initiatives

surrounding the mid-term review of Europe 2020 in 2014.

By participating in this survey, you will:

ensure that your views are taken into account in the debate at the conference;

contribute to the fourth CoR Monitoring Report on Europe 2020, to be published in

October 2013;

contribute to CoR consultative activity in this field over the coming months,

particularly in relation to President Barroso's announcement in his State of the Union

address on 12 September 2012 of a Youth Package establishing a youth guarantee

scheme and a quality framework to facilitate vocational training;

contribute to the mid-term review of Europe 2020 in 2014.

IF YOU WISH TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SURVEY,PLEASE FILL IN THIS QUESTIONNAIRE IN ANY EU LANGUAGE, USING THE SPACES PROVIDED, AND RETURN IT IN TEXT FORMAT TO:

europe2020@cor.europa.eu

by 5 November 2012

For more information on this survey and for details of how to join the Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform, go to:

www.cor.europa.eu/europe2020

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Contributor information

1

Name of sender:

Artur Stelmach – Director of the Regional Policy Department

Contact details:

(address, telephone, email)

Marshal's Office in Łódź Regional Policy Department Al. Piłsudskiego 8, 90-051 Łódź Tel. +48 42 663 30 92

Fax + 48 42 663 30 94 e-mail: pr@lodzkie.pl

On behalf of:

(name of local or regional authority)

Marshal's Office in Łódź

Type of organisation

City/Town/Municipality Region

County/Province Association of local and/or regional authorities

Other (please specify)

Country:

Poland

Member of the EUROPE 2020

Monitoring Platform:

Yes

No

Policy challenges and responses at regional and local level

BOX 1 -Youth on the Move: Basic Information

The Europe 2020 flagship initiative Youth on the Move is aimed at

improving young people's education and employability;

reducing youth unemployment;

increasing the youth employment rate.

These aims are in line with the Europe 2020 EU headline targets to be achieved by 2020: • 75% employment rate for the working-age population (20-64 years);

at least 40% of 30-34 years old should have completed tertiary or equivalent education;

reduce early school-leaving to less than 10%.

1Privacy Statement: The follow-up to your contribution requires that your personal data (name, contact details, etc.) be processed in a file. All

the answers to the questions are voluntary. Your replies will be kept for a period of 5 years after the receipt of your questionnaire. Should you require any further information or wish to exercise your rights under Regulation (EC) No. 45/2001 (e.g. to access, rectify, or delete your data), please contact the data controller at europe2020@cor.europa.eu. If necessary, you may also contact the CoR Data Protection Officer (data.protection@cor.europa.eu). You have the right of recourse to the European Data Protection Supervisor at any time (www.edps.europa.eu). Please note that the questionnaire with your contribution and your contact details will be published online. Your questionnaire may be transmitted to CoR Rapporteurs and other EU institutions for information. Should you not agree to this, please inform us accordingly.

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1) What are the main challenges currently facing your region/city in terms of employment, unemployment, education and international mobility of young people?

- making the labour market more attractive, - increasing the number of jobs available,

- tailoring the courses of secondary schools and institutes of higher education to the needs of the local and regional labour market, particularly in rural areas,

- increasing the attractiveness and quality of education provided by schools and centres of learning that organise vocational training to improve students' future employment prospects,

- support to combat the marginalisation of young people in rural areas,

- establishing academic-business links to improve cooperation between local centres of learning and businesses,

- increasing the work activity and employment prospects of people who are out of work, - developing the rail network

The main educational challenges facing the Łódź region include the issues of how to tap into the academic potential of Łódź's institutes of higher education to make them more competitive, how to tailor their courses to the needs of the region's labour market or how to improve cooperation between the research and development sector and the local economy.

Given the difficulties which young people face on the labour market, the following are absolute priorities:

- developing skills that are vital for the labour market;

- support for first work experience and acquisition of on-the-job qualifications and skills;

- help with getting a first job, providing favourable conditions for self-employment to enable young people to start their own business.

 

2) Which of the aims of Youth on the Move (listed in box 1) are most relevant in view of the challenges currently facing your region/city?

- improving young people's level of education and employment prospects by tailoring courses to labour market needs. Creation of highly specialised courses; development of work experience and on-the-job learning schemes;

-reducing youth unemployment;

- increasing the employment rate for young people.

3)To help meet these objectives, your country has set its own corresponding targets, which you can find at http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/targets_en.pdf. To what extent are the targets set by your country appropriate to your local situation? Please explain.

Forecasts suggest that local economic activity will gradually relocate from poorly developed areas in the Łódź region to the city of Łódź itself by 2020. The rate of employment among people aged 20-64 rise to the target level of 71%; in 2011, the rate in the Łódź region was 67%. Furthermore, people in

the Łódź region are increasingly well educated. The number of people with a higher education is on

the rise while the number of early school leavers is falling.  

4) Please briefly describe what kind of policy programmes/actions are being implemented in your city/region to tackle the challenges addressed in Youth on the Move.

To tackle the challenges addressed under Priority VI Support for the unemployed on the regional

labour market the region is carrying out a number of projects to reduce unemployment among young

people and increase their level of education by improving access to employment agency services and careers advice on further education. Job start programmes also include training courses to improve, broaden or adapt professional skills and qualifications as well as courses, work placements or work experience schemes. A key element is support for initiatives to improve the geographical mobility of people out of work, particularly in rural areas, and help for people who want to start their own

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business. The projects carried out in the Łódź region under Priority IX of the Human Operational Programme: Development of education and competencies in the regions, address the problem of unequal access to education for children and young people who face social, economic, geographical or health barriers that hinder or prevent their access to education. A special focus was placed in this target group on low-achieving students, students with a disability, students from an ethnic or minority background, students from dysfunctional families, victims of social deprivation as well as young people who have dropped out of school for whatever reason. The projects carried out in the region encompass a variety of measures to reduce differences in the quality of education and training between urban and rural areas through projects to develop schools and centres of learning, introduce new working models at schools and improve the quality of education. The project includes measures to improve the core competences of pupils, especially in mathematics, natural sciences and technical subjects through out-of-class and extracurricular activities. This will reduce the variations which exist in the acquisition of key skills by students within the same school and between different schools – as well as between students in urban and rural schools. This priority also helps combat the marginalisation of rural areas and the young people who live there caused by poor access to education and a low awareness of its benefits. One key problem for the region's education system is that the quality of its schools varies greatly according to their location (urban – rural) and standard of education. The support provided under this action means it is possible to reduce these differences through the implementation of programmes to improve the quality of schooling by introducing innovative teaching methods that are more effective and attractive for young people. To help improve youth employment prospects in the region, a number of projects carried out under Priority IX of the Human Capital Operational Programme not only facilitate the universal access of children and young people to education but also provide an attractive and high quality educational programme via centres of learning. The schools development programmes carried out under these projects help to improve the core competences and key skills needed to enhance students' employment prospects and to continue with their education or start work. Moreover, the project also gives young people educational and careers guidance, information on the benefits of selecting a given educational path, information on further training and educational opportunities in view of local and regional labour market needs as well as schools careers centres. All these measures should help students to plan and follow their own educational and careers path (including helping graduates adapt to labour market requirements). The projects carried out in the regions aim to increase the educational standards and attractiveness of schools and learning centres that organise vocational training to improve their students' employment prospects. These measures will help popularise vocational training as a career path and tailor vocational training to labour market needs (particularly at local and regional level). This will enable the vocational training system to supply the labour market with a greater number of qualified specialists who have the skills that match employers' current requirements. This action also gets employers involved in the vocational training process in a way that goes beyond hands-on teaching of a trade. For instance, this may involve assessing market demand for graduates with a specific skills set. To improve the quality of vocational training, the projects include a number of measures which aim to increase employer involvement in the organisation of work placements and work experience programmes, thereby providing a concrete prospect of employment.

Under Priority VI Labour Market open for all and Priority VII Promoting Social Integration of the Human Capital Operational Programme (whose implementing body is the Regional Employment Office in Łódź) a number of measures are being implemented to provide broad support for people out of work which aim to:

- broaden or adapt professional qualifications (skills)

- help people gain professional work experience through work placements or work experience schemes,

- create new jobs

- support entrepreneurship through funding and training on how to set up and manage your own business.

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Support under this programme specifically targets people experiencing the most difficulties on the labour market – this group includes young people aged under 25/30.

The Łódź region organises vocational training in some twenty trades with a regional and pan-regional dimension at post-secondary schools in Łódź, Sieradz, Piotrków Trybunalski and Łowicz. These schools have an extensive educational programme aimed at both young people and adults who wish to acquire or broaden their professional qualifications. The local government monitors the needs of people in the Łódź region and is constantly widening and developing its schools' educational programme. A great deal of emphasis is placed on permanent cooperation with businesses operating in

the Łódzkie Special Economic Zone to help tailor academic courses to employers' needs. Two

Lifelong Learning Centres were set up in 2011; one in Łódź, the other in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, as a direct response to labour market needs. In addition, the Łódź regional government has introduced a number of highly specialised courses. It is the only organisation to provide courses such as: film production technician (in cooperation with Polish State Television Łódź), restorer of architectural monuments (in collaboration with Ispo Sp. z o.o.) gas technician (in cooperation with the Mazowieckie gas company) ceramics technologist (in cooperation with Ceramika Paradyż). To meet the needs of the rapidly developing labour market, Łódź regional government is organising new courses in the following skills: medical IT and electronics technician; medical sterilisation technician; film and television assistant producer. In 2012, Łódź regional government began organising training courses in the new profession of Fashion industry technician. This innovative course has been organised in response to the need among clothing companies for employees with specialist skills and know-how, particularly in the area of modern packaging technologies. A train drivers' course was also launched in cooperation with Polish State Railways S.A. Courses are also organised in the following trades and professions: highway technician – in response to demand due to transport infrastructure development – mechanical technician and mechatronics technician (in cooperation with the company Haering) pharmaceuticals technician (in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies), dental technician (in collaboration with the Medical University's Institute of Dentistry).

Furthermore, Łódź regional government supports and encourages the work of the scientific and academic world through a system of scholarships and competitions. Student scholarships, grants for young scientists and competitions to identify the best university theses, master's theses, doctoral and professorial theses all aim to support the academic work of students and doctoral students, to encourage them to develop their scientific work further and to perform scientific research which is useful for the region's social, economic and cultural development.

5) In the policy programmes/actions mentioned above, have you introduced additional indicators/targets? If so, please explain which ones and why they were necessary.

Most of the measures under Priorities VI and VII of the Human Capital Operational Programme are open to young people. According to data provided by the Łódź regional employment office, approximately 31 000 people under 25 received support under the above priorities in the Łódź region during the period ending 2012, which represents almost 30% of all people participating in the projects. In view of the difficulties facing young people on the labour market – not only people under 25 but also those aged under 30 – the Łódź regional employment office is focusing on getting this group into work by increasing the number of projects that target them. This is why the calls for project funding organised under the Human Capital Operational Programme now include criteria which give additional points to projects aimed at young people and offering comprehensive support tailored to this group's special needs. In 2012, the action plans of Priorities VI and VII identified unemployed young people aged under 25 as the main target group for projects promoting entrepreneurship – it is people in this age group to whom the funding and advice on how to set up their own business is addressed. Two calls for funding were organised for social-professional motivational projects to help young people at risk of social exclusion. A minimum employment success rate of 20% was set for each project. In the case of rolling projects organised by local employment offices, an employment

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success rate of at least 40% has been set for the 15-24 age group.

How is "Youth on the Move" relevant to your city or region?

BOX 2 -Youth on the Move: main lines of action and initiatives

Youth on the Move focuses on four main lines of action:

a. Supporting lifelong learning, to develop key competences and learning outcomes in line with

labour market needs. Actions recommended to Member States include, among others, tackling early school leaving, validating non-formal and informal learning, promoting apprenticeship-type vocational training and high quality traineeships;

 

b. Raising the percentage of young people in higher education or equivalent, by reforming and

modernising higher education in order to make it more attractive and open to the rest of the world. Among other measures, this should be done by benchmarking university performances and by adopting an EU strategy to make European higher education and academic cooperation more attractive worldwide;

 

c. Supporting learning mobility, by removing obstacles that prevent young people from spending

part of their educational career abroad, creating a scoreboard to monitor progress in this regard

and directly supporting young people's access to employment opportunities through the intra-EU initiative Your first EURES Job

d. Improving young people's employment prospects through actions at EU and national level

aimed at facilitating the transition from school to work, reducing labour market segmentation and facilitating self-employment and entrepreneurship by young people. Public Employment Services are to play a key role in this regard, contributing in the form of a Youth Guarantee

ensuring that all young people are in a job, in education or in training within four months of leaving school. Specific actions support young entrepreneurs

Specific initiatives at EU level include:

• The Youth Opportunities Initiative, to fight against early school leaving by getting

young people back into school or training and giving graduates their first work experience;

Your First EURES Job, to help young Europeans find work in other EU countries;

Youth@Work, an awareness-raising campaign involving the EURES network and the

national public employment services, to help young jobseekers find jobs in SMEs or become self-employed or set up their own business.

6) Which of the lines of actions shown in Box 2 are most relevant to you, in the sense that they have encouraged you to set more ambitious policy goals at regional/local level? Please explain your answers.

- Improving the job prospects of young people through action to facilitate their transition from the world of education to employment. Promoting self-employment and entrepreneurship among young people,

- Supporting lifelong learning with a view to developing the skills and qualifications needed on the labour market,

- Increasing the opportunities which young people have to spend part of their education abroad; facilitating their transition from the world of education to employment.

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7) Overall, what are the points of strength and the points of weakness of "Youth on the Move", as

seen from your regional/local standpoint?

The initiative's strong point is that it comprises one strategic document which outlines all the key objectives and proposals for how to give young people comprehensive support based on both existing and new instruments for education and employment. In addition:

- this initiative makes it possible to find work or spend part of one's education in another EU country, - it gets a wide variety of social groups involved in implementing action for young people and aims to provide the comprehensive support needed to get them into work,

-tailors support to the actual needs of the youth target group, job start and educational mobility programmes for young people,

- focused on lifelong learning and the development of courses that match labour market needs. Its weaknesses are:

- higher risk of young people in Poland emigrating to other EU countries and resultant increase in the depopulation rate.

- in a period of crisis – and given the reality of the situation in the Łódź region – it seems unlikely that all people entering the labour market can be guaranteed a job.

 

8) Would you recommend any specific changes to the "Youth on the Move" flagship following

Europe 2020's mid-term review in 2014? No 

Are your country's policies relevant to your city or region?

9) Does your country's 2012 (current) National Reform Programme2 (NRP) for Europe 2020 adequately respond to your regional/local needs in the following areas: improving youth education

and employability, increasing the youth employment rate, and reducing youth unemployment? The action to be carried under the National Reform Programmes to establish a modern labour market, including measures to improve young people's situation on the labour market and action to combat the social exclusion of the 15-24 age group, are in line with the region's labour market needs in terms of youth support.

10) Did you have an opportunity to contribute to the drafting of your NRP in this specific policy

field, even if only indirectly by way of the organisations representing cities and regions in your country? If yes, please state briefly how.

... 

11) Looking forward to next year, would you suggest any changes in your country's NRP for 2013?

If yes, please state briefly which changes. No 

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Managing and funding Youth on the Move

12) Are any of the actions you have taken to implement Youth on the Move (stated in response to

question 4) being carried out in partnership by different tiers of government? If yes, please explain

briefly. No 

13) Was any multilevel-governance agreement adopted? If yes, please describe briefly.

No 

14) With respect to your actions on Youth on the Move (stated under question 4), how are they funded?

Łódź regional budget and educational grants.

The projects carried out under the Human Capital Operational Programme are co-financed by EFS funding, national public funding as well as by funding from the project organisers, at the amount stipulated in the call documentation.  

15) Are you experiencing difficulties in funding these actions due to fiscal consolidation policies?

 

16) What is the role of the EU Structural Funds in funding actions related to Youth on the Move objectives?

EU Structural Funds are the main instrument used to fund action in the area of youth employment, entrepreneurship, educational mobility for young people, improving skills and qualifications. The projects under the Human Capital Operational Programme are implemented thanks to co-financing from EFS funds, national public funding and as well as by funding from the project organisers, at the amount stipulated in the call documentation. The projects carried out under the Human Capital Operational Programme have given a strong impetus for positive change in areas such as regional education, adaptability, social integration and employment and led to a veritable step change in terms of the quality of the approach taken to tackle existing problems in these areas.

Without the support of the European Social Fund it would not have been possible to implement the actions supporting people on the labour market on such a large scale or to such a wide extent.

17) How should education and youth employment issues be addressed in the forthcoming Partnership Contract to be signed between your national government and the European Commission

for the management of the Structural Funds under a Common Strategic Framework 2014-2020?

... 

18) Please make here any further comments you might wish on the matters dealt with in this

questionnaire.

... 

SHARE YOUR GOOD PRACTICE

With a view to the CoR Conference to be held on 13 December 2012, you may wish to submit an example of good practice in the fields covered by Youth on the Move. To do so, please fill in the form available on our website:

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JOIN THE EUROPE 2020 MONITORING PLATFORM

To help carry the voice of EU cities and regions in implementation of Europe

2020 at EU level and in your country, join us. For details on how, see:

http://portal.cor.europa.eu/europe2020/Knowledge/Pages/BecomeaMember.aspx

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