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Sva prava pridržana 2007. - 2012. MMH.
Razvoj i održavanje: invento*

25.07.2013.

Press Release: Implementation of Youth Guarantee – Speed should not take precedence over quality.


Croatian Youth Network (MMH) and Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia (UATUC) hereby wish to point to numerous problems in developing and planning of package of measures entitled “Youth Guarantee“ whose  introduction was announced for July 1 by the minister of labour Mirando Mrsić, alongside with Minister of Social Policy and Youth (MSPY) Milanka Opačić.

Although we welcome the desire of Ministry of Labour and Pension System (MLPS) to implement “Youth Guarantee” as soon as possible and intent to expand these measures, regarding specific situation on Croatian labour market, to population of youth up to 29 years of age, we consider that it should not be done at the expense of quality preparation as well as without broad public debate and involvement of all relevant stakeholders. Taking into the account that implementation of these measures will have significant impact on labour market (because of high youth unemployment rate and an increased number of young people using active labour market measures) and will need significant funds (EU as well as national sources), we consider that preparation of this package demands quality dialogue and especially the involvement of civil society organisations that represent youth and social partners (unions and employers).   

In their previous meetings with MLPS regarding this matter MMH and UATUC laid out numerous concrete proposals on how to assure quality in implementing “Youth Guarantee” in Croatia. Considering that MLPS by now mostly failed to take into account our suggestions, we are forced to inform the public about the situation.

We demand that MLPS conducts quality public debate and consultations with youth, youth organisations and youth work organizations, organisations which represent workers and employers, but also other relevant actors.  We also demand from the Ministry to form work groups, as soon as possible, for the period 2014-2020 and to involve all relevant actors into that process.  Herby we seek a meaningful and quality involvement of MSPY into this process, so as to assure these measures will bring maximum benefits to youth, whose interest this Ministry should promote.

Once more we emphasize that it is in the best interest of the Government of Republic of Croatia, youth organizations, social partners and mostly the youth itself to assure these measures meet desired marks through the optimal use of European and national funds

Below, we bring a summary of some of the most important comments and suggestions that we sent to MLSP:

  1. The content of measures that were presented to the public, despite several meaningful interventions, is lacking a systematic elaboration. Moreover, several measures fail to meet basic quality criteria. Among other things, there are no clear objectives (should they insure long term or a short term employment), the status of some especially problematic groups is not resolved (e.g.  people that completed  grammar  schools)  who are catered towards inadequate vacancies  (e.g. work with children with special needs for which they are not qualified for). Also, it is not clear how will these measures cover all of youth that is unemployed  considering that they are predominantly relaying explicitly on the labour market demand,  i.e. the employers. Instead, it is necessary to insure a more balance between demand-driven measures with those that can be directly influenced by the Croatian Employment Service (CES). This is especially important for young people who are registered with CES for more than six months. Short-term and ill-thought solutions will not achieve desired permanent employment for this group. According to the CES data for May 2013 there are 66 423 people who fall into this category.
  2. These measures are not in compliance with social-economic conditions in Croatia because provided remuneration fails to cover basic needs of beneficiaries. For this reason and in order to avoid downward wage-pressure, we consider that remuneration should be set to the amount of the minimum wage (around 2360 HRK net value). Also, when covering travel expenses, realistic coverage should be sought because 400kn in certain measures is simply not enough to meet that end. We consider that by optimal use of EU funds it is possible to address both economic goals of this package (youth employability), but also social dimension as well.  In order to achieve this, clear fiscal plan needs to be developed, outlining funding for individual measure inside the package, including the plan of public spending, but also expected absorption of EU funds.
  3.  Presented measures do not contain systems assuring monitoring and analysis of their implementation, regarding its efficiency to truly reach its intended beneficiaries and improve their situation. It is necessary to set formal indicators which will allow clear insight in efficiency of implementation, so that later on it  could be determined which measures are efficient and which are not , leading either to their adjustment or cancelation. Youth guarantee is considered to be a joint European project which will be developed during a period of time and it should be gradually adapted. While rushing to introduce it, MLPS should not ignore that fact. Moreover, efforts should be made to use the potential of expert public so European and Croatian public money would not be wasted.  
  4. In the subsequent process of implementation and evaluation of measures it is important to involve all relevant social actors.  Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission (EC) has clearly stated that EC fully supports participation of young people, youth and youth work organizations and social partners in all phases of the process; from designing through implementation to monitoring and evaluation. It was especially stressed out that social partners should be involved in monitoring of implementation through participation in supervisory board for the so-called Short Operational Plan by the end of 2013 and later also the Operational Plan 2014-2020. EC considers that responsible Ministries will not fail to achieve cooperation with this extended social partnership.

 

Contact:

Sven Janovski Croatian Youth Network, 099/83 76 805, sven@mmh.hr

Darko Šeperić, Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia, 099/245 94 73, darko.seperic@sssh.hr

 

 

* "Youth Guarantee“ is a package of measures proposed by the European Commission to all EU member states, which should guarantee that every young person within four months of entering unemployment (either for concluding education or for loss of a job) will be offered, a job, further education or quality internship. This package should be implemented on a national level by all member states by the end of 2013. In some form "Youth Guarantee“ is already being implemented in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Austria.




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