23/11/2009 - Young Poles have been hit hard by the jobs crisis. To help them, a new OECD report on Poland says that the government should invest more in vocational training schemes, and temporarily cut the cost of employing low-skilled school-leavers.
Jobs for Youth: Poland notes that the jobs crisis has hit young Poles at a time when their situation in the labour market was already difficult. The unemployment rate among young Poles aged 15 to 24 rose from 16.5% in mid-2008 to 19.5% in mid-2009, a level 1.7 percentage points above the corresponding OECD average.
The employment rate for young people in Poland, at 27% in 2008, is one of the lowest in the OECD area, the OECD average being 44%. Furthermore, two-thirds of the few youth employed are on temporary contracts, among the highest shares in the OECD (see table below).
In the short term, the government should focus its efforts on training young people, involving them more in active labour market programmes and making the transition from school to work quicker and more successful. The key priority is to avoid the build up of a large pool of youth who become long-term unemployed or drop out of the labour market, and are unable to find work easily when the recovery gathers pace.
“The economic and financial crisis has now turned into a job’s crisis, hitting the young hardest everywhere. We need to act now, to prevent a lost generation with its dramatic consequences for people, ” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Job-search assistance, training opportunities and targeted programmes are needed to help young workers.”
The OECD recommends that Poland swiftly introduces a raft of measures, including:
Jobs for Youth: Poland is the latest in a series of reports launched by the OECD, covering 16 countries. For more information, journalists are invited to contact Anne Sonnet, Division for Employment Analysis and Policy of the OECD (tel. + 33 1 45 24 91 69). To obtain a copy of the publication or for further information, journalists should contact the OECD Media Division (tel. 33 1 45 24 97 00).
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