We are now in the phase of making sense of transition and building the Transition Handbook for Policy Makers together, as a community and with the help of a small research team. The outcome of this process should be useful at the level of the individual Edgeryder. If we want the findings to have a chance at having an impact in the policy world we want it to also speak to individuals in institutions charged with addressing specific issues. It is a considerable challenge. So we are breaking it down into a number of steps, clustering the material into edible chunks that a small research team have helped read, analyse and put into context.
This is a summary of Dunja Potocnik’s paper, where she analyses Edgeryders’ innovative ways of making a living and identifies corresponding weak spots in youth policy, making a case for citizens experts as source of inspiration for evidence based policy making. Do you recognise yourself in the description? Are there questions or issues you feel should be included? Any questions of your own you would like help in getting answered? Please leave comments either below or directly on to the google doc: full report available
Making a living reloaded- summary -
1. Changed paradigm of youth values in the times of crisis
- Reducing youth unemployment is critical to ensure young people achieve their professional aspirations, to prevent deterioration of skills acquired through education, to prevent dependence on their families with respect to housing and money
- Part time work and temporary contracts are very popular among youth because they’re easier to access than permanent work, but are not sustainable in the long run and the risk is they will perpetuate a cycle of insecurity and precariousness
- Countries in Mediterranean and Eastern Europe (the latter being less represented in the Edgeryders sample) display higher youth unemployment rates (>30%) and need more elaborated policy solutions
- they speak to a threefold audience: peers, researchers and policy makers
- are in a much better situation than an average young person in danger of social exclusion and adverse economic situation, NEETs or low educated
- a majority live in multiple cities across Europe
- make a case for increased mobility: a 2011 Eurobarometer revealed that 77% of youth have not experienced living in another country, and the implication is they lose an opportunity to gain skills and exposure to ideas, people and goods.
- educational systems are perceived as outdated, theory-focused, and failing to equip young graduates with the skills needed for in the labour market
- Edgeryders place a lot of value in peer to peer learning and opportunity learning, online and through ICT technologies - this may be of value to the extent that labor markets are able to absorb this less specialized and more interdisciplinary oriented individuals
- young people today are adopting an employment model that’s fundamentally different from their parents’; but non-linear, portfolio careers may result in precarious jobs, difficulties in changing jobs due to high unemployment, sectorial and geographical (im)mobility, hierarchies that make it difficult to advance in one’s career.
- meaningful work is a priority for Edgeryders, and it often trumps paid work; in the case of unpaid internships, they are inadequate because interns seem to be extensions or replacements for regular staff (European Youth Forum 2011)
- recruitment processes are most often deemed to be ill-suited in matching skills with needs, often idiosyncratic, and those in the community having experience with applications aren’t seeing any value in the process.
- family is one traditional structure that’s perceived by Edgeryders to be an ally, in line with studies showing that young people nowadays leave parental homes later than before; a 2007 Eurobarometer cited 44% of young adults saying it’s because they couldn’t afford to move out, while 28% believed there wasn’t enough affordable housing
- peer networks are valuable for mutual understanding and learning, moral and even financial support
- government is not perceived as supportive when it comes to funding innovation or offering incentives to pursue funding: the backdrop here is that encouraging entrepreneurship has been a target of the European Commission, for its potential to foster economic growth; In the “Youth on the move” Eurobarometer, 43% of young respondents stated they would like to set up their own business, but there is a widespread perception of financial and administrative barriers, and risks associated with them.
- the Eurobarometer data present “an average” European, but in the Edgeryders community there’s much more interest (a “nerve” for innovation), and entrepreneurship is a way to find meaning in one’s work
- Policy 2.0 (coined by Emiliano Fatello): requires a bridging of local, regional, national and international scale issues through the digital tools Edgeryders are already adept at employing.
- an additional aim of Council of Europe’s project: to restore trust of young European citizens in their institutions
- the Edgeryders model: citizens are no longer objects of policy, rather they are citizen experts actively engaged in policy-making
- lessons for policy-makers: looking at Edgeryders approaches they should take next steps towards real “evidence based policy”
Edgeryders related posts on MAKING A LIVING:
Quest for paid work
Jonathan Sundqvist, Finding a job is hard work
*** Making a living on the edge series of posts by Cataspanglish:
Razi Masri, Skills beyond what we were looking for
Bring on the allies
Razi Masri, Accepting non-employment
neodynos, To EXIST or not to exist…