11 Dec
labour market

The European Council adopts conclusions on inclusive labour markets

The Council yesterday (10 December) adopted conclusions on inclusive labour markets.

The conclusions highlight the economic value of providing better employment opportunities to persons with disabilities, older workers, low-skilled and long-term unemployed people, to young people, especially including those not in employment, education or training (NEETs), to people with caring responsibilities and to people with a migrant background.

Key points

These are some of the conclusions:

Access to quality lifelong learning is particularly important in the continuously changing world of work, including in areas in which there is potential for job growth. Employers have
an important role in upskilling and reskilling their employees, including those individuals who are in a vulnerable position.

Effective measures to help people in a vulnerable position in the labour market to access employment could include assessing existing skills, identifying upskilling and reskilling needs, enhancing recognition and validation of existing knowledge and skills, providing career guidance and counselling and providing professional rehabilitation and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.

In addition, targeted entrepreneurship training and start-up support can be effective for some people who are in a vulnerable position. It is also worth considering financial incentives to take up work and the removal of benefit traps.

Employers may benefit from help and support to employ people in a vulnerable position in the labour market through, for example, awareness-raising, identification of workplace adjustment needs, advice on ensuring accessibility and reasonable accommodation, and postplacement support services.

Particular attention should be paid to the availability of and access to assistive technologies and IT solutions. It is worth considering fiscal and tax incentives including hiring subsidies. The promotion of a positive workplace culture that favours inclusive practices, including non-discriminatory and inclusive recruitment processes, and that offers support and training in diversity skills can improve the chances of people in a disadvantageous position.

Public authorities can enhance the employment of different groups of people in a vulnerable position in the labour market by implementing social considerations and in particular
employment criteria in public procurement processes.

EU funds, in particular the European Social Fund, are of key importance to reach and help those in a vulnerable position with a view to their inclusion both in the labour market and in
society, for example through the promotion of social innovations and through the implementation of multi-sectoral initiatives.

By: Estela Martín

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