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Accelerating Change for Social Inclusion project. Call for Proven Innovations addressed to Long-term Unemployed. Definition of the key elements of the social problem and the solutions.

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  1. 1. Challenge Brief Generating opportunities for the long-term unemployed October 2016 ATHENS BARCELONA LISBON ROTTERDAM STOCKHOLM ACCELERATING CHANGE FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION
  2. 2. ACCELERATING CHANGE FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION / ACSI ATHENS / BARCELONA / LISBON / ROTTERDAM / STOCKHOLM October 2016 Challenge Brief Generating opportunities for the long-term unemployed 1. Description According to the OCED, long-term unemployment refers to people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more. There is extensive evidence on its far-reaching negative consequences it causes: from losses of income in the short-run, to lesser opportunities to access a decent job and a decent wage; to worsen mental and physical health and higher mortality rates. Further, parental long term unemployment it also hampers children educational progress and lowers their future earnings. 2. Key data about long-term unemployment Long-term unemployed rate EU28: 4,5% Number of long-term unemployed aged 15-74 as a percentage of the active population of the same age Greece 18.2 % Spain 11.4 % Portugal 7.2 % Netherlands 3.0 % Sweden 1.5 % 1 Eurostat 2016 Considerations2 § Long-term unemployment affected in 2014 more than 12 million workers, or 5% of the active EU population, 62% of whom have been jobless for at least two consecutive years. A low proportion of the long-term unemployed (on average 24%) are covered by unemployment benefits. § Every year, close to a fifth of the long-term unemployed become discouraged and fall to inactivity as a result of unsuccessful job search efforts. As barriers to labour market integration are diverse and often cumulate, labour market integration requires a tailor-made, individualised approach. Evidence also shows that the longer people are unemployed, the harder it is for them to return to the labour market. § Most of the long-term unemployed live in Europe in cities. Cities are also the level of government closest to them and have substantial knowledge of the local economy, the labour market and in integrating services targeted to the diverse needs of their citizens. 3. Target groups 1 Eurostat (2016) 2 Council recommendation: On the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market (EU, 2015)
  3. 3. ACCELERATING CHANGE FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION / ACSI ATHENS / BARCELONA / LISBON / ROTTERDAM / STOCKHOLM The crisis has brought a very large diversity of people and groups into long-term unemployment. For the purpose of focusing on some specific groups that are particularly affected in the five participating cities, the search for proven innovations will be centred around three specific groups. This does not undermine the ability of some innovations to tackle the challenge for different groups. The three groups of focus are: a) People out of a job for more than 12 months Older unemployed have more difficulties adjusting to the conditions and requirements on an increasingly flexible labour market. Their skills often are in contradiction to the requirements and needs of employers. Employers often choose younger employees and ignore the level of competence that older people often have. b) People with disabilities People with disabilities, particularly women, face enormous attitudinal, physical and informational barriers to opportunities in the world of work. Current efforts to stimulate their employment in a “normal” workplace, and not only in the protected labour market, are still far from providing sufficient opportunities and usually fail at capitalising on their abilities and skills. c) Refugees and migrants Over 80% of all non-EU nationals between 15 and 64 years of age residing in the EU are working as (or are profiled as) low-skilled or unskilled. Immigrant workers in general are perceived as less well- educated than native workers and often have to accept worse working conditions. There is little attention paid to their particular skills they might bring in. Unemployment is a major cause of social exclusion while employment is a catalyser for social integration for people coming from abroad. Education levels and language problems form the main reason unemployment apart from discrimination issues. 4. Levers of change and Action Areas of investigation Proactiveness and responsibility Instead of the paternalistic approaches, the project will search for initiatives that face the stigma of unemployment and frame it as an opportunity to strengthen people’s skills and develop an entrepreneurial and proactive mindset. Collective empowerment Isolation has harmful consequences for long-term unemployed people, as it undermines their drive and creativity. The project will look into initiatives that free the unemployed from isolation, loneliness, discouragement and invisibility through collaborative dynamics that generate empowerment and opportunities. Closing the skills gap in local labour markets The mismatch between supply and demand of skills keeps growing as unemployment becomes chronic in many people. Enhancing the links between local businesses and employers, and formal and informal education providers offers powerful responses to bridge the gap. Long-term and integrated tailored services and responses Silver bullets rarely exist in the fight against long-term unemployment. But evidence suggests that long-
  4. 4. ACCELERATING CHANGE FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION / ACSI ATHENS / BARCELONA / LISBON / ROTTERDAM / STOCKHOLM term approaches that integrate services that respond to the specific needs of the affected people deliver solid outcomes. Long-term mentoring and assistance seem to offer good solutions but it faces bottlenecks and might be relatively expensive. Technology approach The ICT opens up interesting possibilities in the provision of social services, the use of idle or latent resources in the cities, and in the prevention and mitigation of impacts of unemployment. Also helps to scale up initiatives that operate in a short range. 5. Research criteria of innovative solutions § Evidence of impact: Innovations that provide a model that positively affects the expected results, which have generated sufficient evidence of results and are minimally evaluated. § Scale: Innovations that have been implemented in more than one location or are prepared for replication in new contexts because they have a projection model or transfer to other agents. § Sustainability model: Innovations with diversified revenue model, optimization of resources or use of community resources, so that they cannot depend on regular subsidies to sustain their operations available. § Adaptability: Innovations that are not context-specific, but adaptable to different cultural, social and economic backgrounds. Ideally, these innovations might have been packaged and implemented outside its original location. § ROI: Innovations that generate social impact and a good return of the investment. § Worldwide research: Innovations from all over the world, since our proper context (Europe and North America) until very different context (as Africa, Latin America or Asia). ACCELERATING CHANGE FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION / ACSI Catalysing the transfer of successful innovations among European cities. Project implemented by UpSocial in collaboration with Partner Cities, and with the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and “la Caixa” Foundation. PARTNER CITIES Athens, Barcelona, Lisbon, Rotterdam, Stockholm. More information: