Describe the specificities

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  • the individual well-being is not considered neither a skill nor a static condition: it is a process in which it is crucial the availability of resources to which access is permitted;
  • the equality consideration has been extended: it is an opportunity that resides in the space of life of individuals and societies;
  • the relationship with a complex vision of development exceeds the economistic size for basing on dimensions related to anthropological values (like feeling good, the development of potential, justice, and equality)

NEET: from dissipation towards enhancement of competences

To the national economic system, correspond an even more serious deficit in the field of school and training with widespread poverty and fragility of technical capacity, knowledge and basic competences within a highly polarized territorial situation especially for gender variable[2].

In the language of narrative economy, we can say that this issues is related to deficit of human capital and capabilities as mentioned by Amartya Sen [3] – which are dangerously low compared with the others European countries, and that this capital requires dynamic increased care in order to avoid the risk of its obsolescence. Take the perspective of somebody that requires, in fact, not as many competences structured in a rigid and functionalist sense, but recovering Sen, a dynamic process of capability: “a person’s capability” refers to the alternative combinations of functioning that are feasible for him/her to achieve. Capability is thus a kind of freedom; the substantive freedom to achieve alternative functioning combinations (or, less formally put, the freedom to achieve various lifestyle)” (Sen, 2000, p. 75)[4].

According to the philosopher Marta Nussbaum (2011), “the capability approach” is an approach to a comparative evaluation of the quality of life, from which springs the theorization of a new social justice. Different sets of motivations allow this theoretical scheme to represent the sustainability and quality of development processes:

  • the individual well-being is not considered neither a skill nor a static condition: it is a process in which it is crucial the availability of resources to which access is permitted;
  • the equality consideration has been extended: it is an opportunity that resides in the space of life of individuals and societies;
  • the relationship with a complex vision of development exceeds the economistic size for basing on dimensions related to anthropological values (like feeling good, the development of potential, justice, and equality).

Another element that affects the quality of human capital, reducing the chances of access to the labour market, is the growing gap between the competences required by companies and those acquired by workers (skills mismatch), particularly by young workers. This phenomenon is due to several factors such as, for example, the mismatch between of fashioned training and new technologies, and frequent situations of over and under-qualification.

This means at individual level:

  • the risk of to work in an environment which is incongruous to the competences possessed;
  • a major risk of long-term unemployment (as happens to over qualified workers

In both cases, we face a vicious circle of knowledge decline and consequent social exclusion.

There is a need to enhance human capital, especially among young people and to address the issue of growth in all its complexity. It makes it necessary to reaffirm the central role of education and training, as several EU documents underline (Europe 2020 Strategy recalling the objectives of the 2000 Lisbon Strategy). Education and training have to create conditions for a sustainable inclusive growth, to foster innovation, knowledge based approaches. One of the five identified objectives concerns, in fact, the need to raise the level of education and training of young people by reducing rates of early dropped out of school below 10% (early dropped out school) and increasing to 40% the 30-34years old peoples with a university education (tertiary education).

Within the 2020 Strategy, we have to mention the initiative Youth on the Move (launched in 2010) that aimed at enhancing the potential of young people by providing them education and training of quality, effective integration in the labour market and greater transnational mobility[5]. This initiative reaffirms the validity of an approach based on active inclusion through the activation of the subject. Young people have to improve constantly their competences and maintain their level of employability and this view should become the core work strategy for social and professional inclusion.

Also the recommendation of the Council of the European Union of 22 April 2013 is very important; it promotes the “Youth Guarantee” to provide young people, under 25, education and work opportunities, a further education, an apprenticeship or internship training or other measure of training within four months after becoming unemployed or from the exit of formal education system. An initiative that, to encourage the authentic activation of different beneficiaries[6], needs services and highly qualified professionals able to integrate and to create dialogue training culture, knowledge of labour market world and personalization/individualization of actions that put the individual and his personal and professional biography in the centre.

Consequently, it becomes clear that in order to address the profound changes occurring in the labour market, as well as in the conception of learning and training, developing new competences, is a crucial factor to face competition, to open the labour market to young people, to implement competences acquired in previous workplaces or training institutions and promote the necessary flexibility.