It can be done: the problem of youth unemployment can be solved
With a major new programme and the concentrated use of financial resources, Europe is now able to implement an innovative concept and translate it into the languages and cultures of its member states:
Europatriates is a non-profit social franchising network founded by the charitable SHS Foundation. It is a concept ripe for implementation with innovative, field-tested tools and support processes as well as a pioneering funding model.
Europatriates’ mission is to significantly reduce the major problem of youth unemployment in the nations of Europe:
- By creating as many additional professional apprenticeships and as much self-employment coaching as possible in European states
- In countries with a high level of youth unemployment, by temporarily converting it into apprenticeships and employment in European host countries
- Through the structured development of new job prospects for employment and self-employment in trendy and future industries via new methods
As a ‘europatriate’, young unemployed people aged over 18 from all over Europe who are willing and able will receive professional development prospects either in their native country or in a partner country in three different areas:
- Two to three year professional apprenticeship
- Several months of coaching to establish self-employment in their native country
- Placement and preparation for direct career entry
The europatriates concept
1. A personal development plan for every young person with the European mobility programme for employment and professional apprenticeships
New tools: integrated talent diagnostics and polylog process
Every person has talents, strengths, skills and interests. Every person has earned the opportunity to show what makes them special and their willingness to work.
The new, integrated talent diagnostics tool (online) and the interdisciplinary polylog process (offline) have created a scalable procedure which enables young people’s talents to be identified, promoted and developed in a structured way. In addition, professional interests and suitable target occupations are displayed as a ranking for which an apprenticeship and/or employment is then sought. This enables young people to then seek and find suitable job opportunities in their native and host countries. A personal development plan is created for each person.1
The talent diagnostic is also the heart of a European mobility programme. This is based on an innovative support process where ‘A-trainers’ from the native and host countries support the young person throughout the entire apprenticeship period. These are professionally experienced people from various disciplines who want to pass on their knowledge, contacts and life experience to the young generation – an intergenerational European initiative where ‘old aids young’.
Support from A-trainers lasts for the entire apprenticeship period. A mutual assistance network is born of experts in various disciplines, supporters from different sectors and young people as ‘experts in their own situation’. Europatriates uses this ‘dual expertise’ to boost know-how, expert assistance, social support and empathy in order to encourage and enable as many people as possible to actively take their lives into their own hands with legitimate hopes as motivated citizens fit for work.
2. Opening up new job prospects for employment and self-employment in trendy and future sectors
New tool: a job radar which finds new job opportunities
Trends, demographic changes, urbanisation, green technologies, the internet: all of these create new demand or alter existing demand for services.
The job radar is an innovative new tool which creates a 360-degree perspective of previously undiscovered employment prospects in trend-based service markets, anonymised to street level. Big data and social environments are analysed against your needs, and job prospects are displayed for 150 new, trend-based services from seven job families.
This enables demand for services to be calculated in the fields of family services, private tuition, care at home, health and well-being, nature and garden, small businesses and handmade products. Start-up founders, the self-employed and SMEs can use this information to calculate which markets are worthwhile for new services and also the areas, city districts and streets in which they should be active. Public authorities can see where new job prospects are developing and which social groups and areas are newly lacking in opportunities.
The tool forms part of several months of coaching to develop self-employment in the person’s native country or a guest country. It therefore supports the development of employment prospects. A-trainers also provide support.
Companies are a key supporting pillar of the europatriates concept. If the economic situation allows, new jobs can be used to reduce unemployment, and in poorer phases staff capacities can be adjusted via short-time work. Companies can get particularly involved in europatriates by:
- Attending to needs above and beyond young unemployed people in their area and organising opportunities for professional apprenticeships, whether within their own company or in one with available apprenticeship capacity
- Involving staff as voluntary A-trainers and therefore establishing interesting contacts with potential future employees
- Not laying off young staff during difficult economic cycles, but instead keeping them in the company via short-time work. These employees will then remain to support the company once the situation improves
- Placing young staff in other countries in Europe and remaining in contact with them
A funding tool designed to promote the availability of jobs for unemployed young people is ‘job floaters’. This is primarily aimed at small and medium sized companies where a lack of equity is often a barrier to employment.
If a company employs an unemployed person once their probationary period is up, the company will be given the option of a funding package in the form of a loan similar in nature to equity. The ‘job floater’ concept replaces unemployment funding with work funding.
Providing 4.8 million young unemployed people with apprenticeships and employment requires average costs of €30,000 per person for up to three years of a professional apprenticeship. The resources previously supplied by the EU and nation states are not sufficient to cover this. A new, innovative approach is therefore required.
An innovative apprenticeship time asset could make this possible. The European Investment Bank issues a marketable security which is used to fund and provide a kick-start to apprenticeships for young unemployed people.
The ‘apprenticeship time asset’ will work in two ways: by funding additional apprenticeship capacity and apprenticeship pay, and (by virtue of its earmarked and personal nature) by organising and procuring an apprenticeship place. Outstanding apprenticeship enterprises with unexploited capacity can therefore fill their apprenticeship places and also create new capacity.
6. Social franchising network
A European network of existing and new key players on the labour market
Implementing this concept in a European project requires an organisation which is set up as a network and acts as a think tank, platform and implementation partner: the ‘europatriates’ social franchising network (SFN) for transnational solutions on the labour market.
An SFN combines the objectives of common good with the rules and tools of commercial franchising. It enables rapid progress in the multiplication and further development of knowledge, methods and tools, disseminated decentrally by the network, and is based on a sustainable business model rather than a funding structure.
Europatriates is a sustainable, non-profit organisation with the structures of an SFN. It has a consistently European orientation, built on voluntary cooperation, and its strengths will lie in networking European regions within the labour market.
The aim is to link pilot programme target groups in native and host countries (i.e. young people seeking work) with companies offering apprenticeships and/or employment, to gather best practices, new tools, methods and solutions, and to exchange them via the network. The ‘europatriates’ SFN aims to offer EU member states a financial advantage by providing services and tools to which they do not yet have access (or not in the form required) and which would require significant expenditure to develop and operate independently.
Members may be any large, small, private or public organisations, European, national, regional or municipal institutions or regional authorities which are using their own means to help solve youth unemployment in Europe and want to make use of the services, methods and tools of the SFN and/or introduce their own successful tools. The aim is to establish at least one base in every region of Europe. Bases could also be established in states linked with the EU.
The franchisor is the charitable SHS Foundation. Every initiative which joins the ‘europatriates’ SFN as a member represents a network location (franchisee). The franchisees have access to a social business concept and a coordinated service portfolio which they can put to use in their region as a project sponsor or service provider. The SFN as franchisor funds its services via membership fees.
1 The talent diagnostics and polylog process are also suitable for the long-term unemployed, migrants and refugees if translated into the relevant language and culture.