Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 52015IR4871

Opinion of the European Committee of the Regions — The integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market

OJ C 120, 5.4.2016, p. 27–39 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

5.4.2016   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 120/27


Opinion of the European Committee of the Regions — The integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market

(2016/C 120/07)

Rapporteur:

Enrico ROSSI (IT/PES), President of the Tuscany Region

Reference document:

Proposal for a Council Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market

COM(2015) 462

I.   RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AMENDMENTS

Amendment 1

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Among the most vulnerable to long-term unemployment are people with low skills or qualifications, third-country nationals, persons with disabilities and disadvantaged minorities such as the Roma. The previous occupation also plays an important role, as in some countries the sectoral and cyclical aspects are key in explaining the persistence of long-term unemployment.

Among the most vulnerable to long-term unemployment are people with low skills or qualifications, women (especially poorly qualified women) and single parents, people close to retirement, third-country nationals, persons with disabilities or who are chronically sick and disadvantaged minorities such as the Roma. Young people also have a particular relevance with regard to long-term unemployment, owing to the implications of risks such as social marginalisation, early school leaving, and the loss to society of productive capacity as a result of their non-participation in the labour market. The previous occupation also plays an important role, as in some countries the sectoral, regional and cyclical aspects are key in explaining the persistence of long-term unemployment.

Amendment 2

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Investment in human capital needs to be improved and made more efficient with the aim of equipping more people with good and relevant competences, addressing skill shortages, laying the foundation for a smooth transition from learning to work and for continued employability. Improving the performance and relevance of education and training systems will help curb the influx of new unemployed. To this end, the modernisation of education and training systems needs to be pursued in line with the European semester, with the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) (15), the recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on key competences for lifelong learning (16) and the Commission recommendation on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market (17).

Investment in human capital needs to be improved and made more efficient with the aim of equipping more people with good and relevant competences, addressing skill shortages, laying the foundation for a smooth transition from learning to work and for continued employability. Improving the performance and relevance of education and training systems, in conjunction with employment services, will help curb the influx of new unemployed. Similarly, tackling early school leaving, one of the Europe 2020 targets, will help to prevent long-term unemployment, of which it is a root cause . To this end, the modernisation of education and training systems needs to be pursued in line with the European semester, with the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) (15), the recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on key competences for lifelong learning (16) and the Commission recommendation on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market (17).

Amendment 3

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

With a view to developing a coordinated strategy for employment, the Guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States (18) call for long-term and structural unemployment to be significantly reduced by means of comprehensive and mutually reinforcing strategies that include individualised active support for a return to the labour market.

With a view to developing a coordinated strategy for employment, the Guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States (18) call for long-term and structural unemployment to be significantly reduced by means of comprehensive and mutually reinforcing strategies that include individualised active and inclusive support for a return to the labour market.

Reason

It is necessary to promote social inclusion.

Amendment 4

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

The guidelines call on Member States to promote employability by investing in human capital, through appropriate education and training systems, that they are effective and efficient to raise the skill level of the workforce. The guidelines further specifically call on Member States to encourage work-based learning systems such as dual learning and upgrade professional training. The guidelines more generally request Member States to take into account flexicurity principles and strengthen active labour market measures by increasing their effectiveness, targeting, outreach, coverage and interplay with income support and social service provision.

The guidelines call on Member States to promote employability by investing in human capital, through appropriate education and training systems, that they are effective and efficient to raise the skill level of the workforce. The guidelines further specifically call on Member States to encourage work-based learning systems such as dual learning and upgrade professional training. The guidelines more generally request Member States to take into account the principles of flexicurity and inclusiveness, and strengthen active labour market measures by increasing their effectiveness, targeting, outreach, coverage and interplay with income support and social service provision.

Amendment 5

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

The actions proposed under this recommendation should be fully compatible with the country-specific recommendations issued in the context of the European semester and their implementation should take place in full compliance with the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact.

The actions proposed under this recommendation should be fully compatible with the country-specific recommendations issued in the context of the European semester and their implementation should take place in full compliance with the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact. However, in the context of the Pact, in order to prevent imbalances between individual countries from getting out of hand and so as to be able to move effectively towards stabilisation of the euro area, extraordinary measures could be identified, based on a consensus and within a set timeframe, in order to help countries whose employment services are further from the standards set by best practice to make the necessary changes.

Reason

Given the current disparities in employment services between Member States, action is needed to improve the standard of intervention in all countries. The recommendation to adapt services must therefore be accompanied by a process of identifying the mechanisms needed to back them up, as employment services are in general weaker in the countries that have the highest rates of long-term unemployment.

Amendment 6

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Intensified labour market integration efforts for those most hard hit by long-term unemployment should be developed. This needs to go hand in hand with improved registration with employment services and other competent agencies in order to tackle the lack of coverage of support measures.

Intensified labour market integration efforts for those most hard hit by long-term unemployment should be developed. This needs to go hand in hand with improved registration with employment services and other competent agencies in order to tackle the lack of coverage of support measures. A specific communications and advice strategy is needed to encourage as many unemployed people as possible to register for employment services. This strategy could be made more effective through the involvement of civil society organisations. However, registration for employment services is not a sufficient measure in itself if the services do not then offer an efficient personalised pathway towards integration into the labour market. The unemployed will not be persuaded to register for the services if they are not seen to be effective. With this in mind, it is necessary to make employment services more proactive towards firms.

Reason

Registration for employment services undoubtedly requires an effective communications strategy, but it depends greatly on the recognised ability of employment services to reintegrate workers. The real ability therefore of States to strengthen existing bodies is also a fundamental condition when it comes to encouraging unemployed people to register.

Amendment 7

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Individualised approaches to support the long-term unemployed need to address the barriers leading to persistent unemployment, updating and complementing the initial assessment made upon registration. This will guide jobseekers towards support services such as debt counselling, rehabilitation, social work, care services, migrant integration, housing and transport support which address barriers to work and empower jobseekers to reach clear goals leading to employment.

Individualised approaches to support the long-term unemployed need to address the barriers leading to persistent unemployment, updating and complementing the initial assessment made upon registration. This will guide jobseekers towards support services such as debt counselling, rehabilitation, social work, care services, migrant integration, housing and transport support which address barriers to work and empower jobseekers to reach clear goals leading to employment. Consideration should be given to whether it should be compulsory for long-term unemployed people who are receiving benefits to register for employment services.

Amendment 8

Proposal for a recommendation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

For the purposes of this recommendation, a job integration agreement is understood to be a written agreement between the jobseeker and single point of contact with the objective of facilitating the transition into employment on the labour market. Drafted to reflect the individual jobseeker’s situation, these agreements detail a package of individualised measures available at national level (labour market, education, training, social services) designed to support and empower jobseekers in overcoming their specific obstacles to employment. They define goals, timelines, mutual responsibilities and review clauses, and indicate both the active and income support measures and social support services available. Job integration agreements link the receipt of benefits to participation in active labour market measures and job search activities, in line with existing national legislation.

For the purposes of this recommendation, a job integration agreement is understood to be a written agreement between the jobseeker and single point of contact with the objective of facilitating the transition into employment on the labour market. Drafted to reflect the individual jobseeker’s situation, these agreements detail a package of individualised measures available at national level (labour market, education, training, social services) designed to support and empower jobseekers in overcoming their specific obstacles to employment. They define goals, timelines, mutual responsibilities and review clauses, and indicate both the active and income support measures and social support services available. Job integration agreements link the receipt of benefits to participation in active labour market measures and job search activities, in line with existing national legislation and with the aim of ensuring effective social inclusion .

Amendment 9

Proposal for a recommendation

First paragraph

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Support registration of jobseekers and a closer labour market orientation of integration measures. Provide the registered long-term unemployed with an individual assessment. Make a specific job integration agreement offer at the latest when they have reached 18 months of unemployment. To that effect:

Support registration of jobseekers and a closer labour market orientation of integration measures. Provide the registered long-term unemployed with an individual assessment. Make a specific job integration agreement offer at the latest when they have reached 18 months of unemployment; provide subsidised employment as a work reintegration measure, so as to tackle poverty and social exclusion. Where integration is not successful, universal income support needs to be provided. To that effect:

To boost existing employment services.

Amendment 10

Proposal for a recommendation

First paragraph — insert a new point after the first paragraph

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

 

Establish employment services with the resources and qualified staff they need to be able to meet the objectives set out in the recommendation. Standards for defining such services could be taken in part from the results of the work done by the European Public Employment Services Network. It is therefore necessary to outline the resources required to adapt existing structures and work out how and where to acquire them. In this regard, the existing co-financing options should be mentioned, such as the ERDF Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 and the ESF Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013, not ruling out the possibility of examining solutions at European level involving the allocation of European funds exclusively for this purpose, considering that reducing long-term unemployment is a fundamental strategic objective for the whole European Union. Economic support could also be linked to the carrying out of further organisational reforms of employment services systems in those countries where the Commission and the Council deem it necessary, as part of the European semester.

Reason

Given the current disparities in employment services between Member States, action is needed to improve the standard of intervention in all countries. The recommendation to adapt services must therefore be accompanied by a process of identifying the mechanisms needed to back them up, as employment services are in general weaker in the countries that have the highest rates of long-term unemployment. The ERDF and ESF Regulations set out co-financing options for investment in (modernising) labour market institutions.

Amendment 11

Proposal for a recommendation

Third Paragraph

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Individual assessment and approach

Employment services, together with other partners supporting labour market integration, provide personalised guidance to those concerned .

Individual assessment and approach

Employment services, together with other partners supporting labour market integration and with the involvement of private employment service providers and authorised employment agencies , provide personalised guidance to stakeholders .

(2)

Ensure that all long-term unemployed are offered in-depth individual assessments and guidance at the latest when they reach 18 months of unemployment. The assessment should cover their employability prospects, barriers to employment and previous job search efforts.

(2)

Ensure that all long-term unemployed are offered in-depth individual assessments and guidance at the latest when they reach 18 months of unemployment. The assessment should cover their employability prospects, barriers to employment and previous job search efforts.

Reason

Private employment agencies and authorised work agencies also have a role to play.

Amendment 12

Proposal for a recommendation

Sixth Paragraph

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

The registered long-term unemployed not covered by the Youth Guarantee are offered a job integration agreement at the latest when they have reached 18 months of unemployment. This should comprise, as a minimum, an individual service offer aimed at finding a job and the identification of a single point of contact.

The registered long-term unemployed not covered by the Youth Guarantee are offered a job integration agreement at the latest within 18 months of becoming unemployed. This should comprise, as a minimum, an individual service offer aimed at finding a job and the identification of a single point of contact. The job integration agreement should be drawn up by means of proactive interaction with the unemployed person in question, putting them centre stage and making them jointly responsible.

Reason

It would be useful to provide for earlier action for the unemployed, before 12 months (after which they are considered to be long-term unemployed). Moreover, the unemployed should be more involved in defining their profile and potential so as to further compel them to accept potential offers of training or work.

Amendment 13

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 7

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Establish partnerships between employers , social partners, employment services, government authorities and social services to ensure that the offers are targeted to the real needs of enterprises and employees.

Establish partnerships between social partners, employment services, government authorities and social services to ensure that the offers are targeted to the real needs of enterprises and employees.

Amendment 14

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 8

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Develop services for employers such as the screening of job vacancies, placement support, workplace mentoring and training and post-placement support to facilitate the professional reintegration of the long-term unemployed.

Develop services for employers such as the screening of job vacancies, placement support, workplace mentoring and training and post-placement support to facilitate the professional reintegration of the long-term unemployed , making use, whenever necessary, of existing active employment policies aimed at this target group .

Reason

To highlight the importance of active employment policies.

Amendment 15

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 9 — Add new paragraph:

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

 

Further integrate the use of the Structural Funds, for example by linking training activities financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) with action to support growth and innovation financed by other Structural Funds. In particular, incentives can be offered to companies that hire the long-term unemployed. ESF funding could be used for training such persons. Member States and the regions are asked to examine the possibility of funding authorities that encourage projects that combine the various Structural Funds, including, where relevant, through the resources provided under the Performance Reserve.

Reason

Since integrating the long-term unemployed is in itself more difficult, it is necessary to make the best use of the Structural Funds to support demand by rewarding firms that, when recruiting, look to the long-term unemployed — whose training could be supported with resources from the ESF.

Amendment 16

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 10 — Add new paragraph ‘HEREBY RECOMMENDS THAT THE COMMISSION:’

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

 

Carry out an ex-ante analysis of active employment policies specifically aimed at the long-term unemployed, with a view to introducing specific measures in the Member States. Moreover, enhance the analysis of active policies combined with community service work and income support initiatives, in order to link employment initiatives with the acquisition of skills that can be used in the labour market. Active policy approaches linked with community service work must be managed by public employment services.

Reason

To recommend an ex-ante analysis of active employment policies. To boost active policy measures by linking them with both job integration contracts/agreements and with potential community service initiatives, with a view to ensuring that professional skills that can be used on the labour market are acquired by the end of community service initiatives.

Amendment 17

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 10 — Add new paragraph ‘HEREBY RECOMMENDS THAT THE COMMISSION:’

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

 

Formulate recommendations on qualitative and quantitative standards that employment services in each country must meet on the basis of the proposals made by the European Public Employment Services Network (established by Decision No 573/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014), and provide for the allocation of EU funding for boosting employment services.

Reason

Member States should structure their own employment services to tackle structural unemployment, making the best possible use of ESF resources. Additional unemployment determined by the cycle could be tackled with shared resources that all countries can draw on, irrespective of their level of structural unemployment. This would help to stabilise the cycle, which would benefit all countries in the medium and long term.

Amendment 18

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 10 — Add new paragraph ‘HEREBY RECOMMENDS THAT THE COMMISSION:’

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

 

Distinguish between structural unemployment (for which each country must use its own resources or those granted under the ESF thematic objective ‘strengthening administrative capacity’) and unemployment deriving from more intense and prolonged periods of recession that, by leading to significant increases in unemployment levels, would subject employment services to additional strain.

Encourage Member States to quantify, on the basis of predefined standards, the additional temporary support needed by existing bodies to deal with cyclical shocks.

Assess the possibility of supporting additional costs during the mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework. Identified solutions should be subject to the adoption and implementation of reforms designed to boost the efficiency of public and private employment services in Member States, in the cases and direction set out by the country-specific recommendations issued as part of the European semester.

Amendment 19

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 10 — Add new paragraph ‘HEREBY RECOMMENDS THAT THE COMMISSION:’

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

 

Encourage integration between support activities relating to long-term unemployment and more general support activities relating to poverty, so that when the objective to reintegrate into the labour market is not met and unemployment benefits are reduced, the unemployed person in question is nevertheless given a minimum income (subject to means testing clearly), on the condition that they accept temporary community service work with a training dimension that is designed to help them get back to work and that guarantees social inclusion.

Reason

In cases where the long-term unemployed do not return to work, a solution must be found in order to avoid the risk of them becoming marginalised or falling into poverty — and thus being a cost to society and posing a risk to socioeconomic cohesion — when unemployment benefits end.

Amendment 20

Proposal for a recommendation

Point 15

Text proposed by the Commission

CoR amendment

Evaluate, in cooperation with the Member States and after consulting the stakeholders concerned, the action taken in response to this recommendation, and report to the Council by … (3 years following the adoption of the recommendation) on the lessons learned.

Evaluate, in cooperation with the Member States and after consulting the stakeholders concerned, the action taken in response to this recommendation, in particular:

to support Member States in their efforts to modernise social protection systems, with a view to establishing a European long-term unemployment insurance scheme, on the basis of common economic and financial indicators.

moreover, to evaluate the priorities that are granted EU resources as part of the review of the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020, in order both to continue action under the Youth Guarantee and to take more suitable action against long-term unemployment through extraordinary initiatives such as the creation of an ad hoc fund (an adult guarantee based on the model of the Youth Guarantee) to tackle long-term unemployment;

and report to the Council by … (3 years following the adoption of the recommendation) on the lessons learned.

Reason

Long-term unemployment, which is only one aspect of the wider problem of poverty, has particularly serious economic and social consequences. It is therefore necessary that the action called for by the recommendation also covers support for those in poverty, and it is therefore necessary to call on those countries that perhaps have not yet done so to adopt them.

II.   POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS,

Preliminary remarks

1.

While acknowledging the need for the proposal for a recommendation to respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, welcomes the fact that the text addresses the economic and social consequences of long-term unemployment. According to the report by the five presidents (completing Europe’s economic and monetary union) this ‘is one of the main reasons for inequality and social exclusion. (…) Therefore, efficient labour markets that promote a high level of employment and are able to absorb shocks without generating excessive unemployment are essential (…)’;

2.

notes the importance of the fact that the proposal puts the emphasis on re-integrating unemployed people into the labour market, giving employment services the task of taking charge of the person, and involving all business and social stakeholders and the public sector to support their integration;

3.

highlights the emphasis placed on instruments to govern the system, identifying it as part of the one-stop-shop strategy;

4.

underlines the importance of tackling long-term unemployment so as to ensure the well-functioning of local economies; underlines that long-term unemployment is not sustainable and recalls the importance of forecasting skills needs and matching them with labour market needs. In areas with significant skills mismatches or shortages, training programmes to develop the necessary skills need to be reinforced. A particular focus should be on language skills for unemployed migrants and asylum seekers;

5.

draws attention to the fact that the proposal also has significant implications when it comes to tackling poverty, which is still one of the most difficult Europe 2020 targets to meet owing to the consequences of the economic crisis.

General comments

However, while doing so, the Committee notes that the proposal seems to overlook certain elements, and in particular:

6.

points out the need to boost public employment services and to make them more effective and efficient. The recommendation merely proposes greater coordination between support activities, that are still the responsibility of the various countries, and does not give enough attention to the variation that exists in terms of the scale of the problem and the bodies set up to tackle it, as has been observed with the implementation of the Youth Guarantee. In many countries there is therefore a need to significantly boost employment services. As an example of this variation, the ratio between employment service operators and active population is 1:400 in Germany, 1:600 in France and 1:3 000 in Italy;

7.

recommends therefore to work more closely together with private employment services and involve temporary work agencies in cases where the public employment services are not able to sufficiently advise and help long-term unemployed;

8.

advocates closer cooperation between Member States and the regions in order to reduce the EU unemployment rate as effectively as possible by giving these types of programme more space in the media. For example, the EURES network could be promoted through an advertising campaign involving television, the internet or other mass media in order to enable jobseekers looking for work abroad to get up-to-date information on employment opportunities; therefore recommends establishing international cooperation between employment services and other social services in order to ensure a more efficient and faster exchange of information and data;

9.

stresses the need to identify the resources required to adapt to best practices. This can be done using the results of the work done by the European Public Employment Services Network (Decision 573/2014/EU), to estimate the financial resources needed to bring all countries up to the standards set and to suggest ways to support the efforts that each country must make to tackle deficiencies;

10.

points out the need to distinguish between the structural component of unemployment and the dynamic created by a particular development in the cycle. Employment services (structured to address the first component) should be designed to adapt rapidly to additional needs created by particularly negative economic cycles. The cost of adapting existing bodies to these needs should be borne by the Member States, which can also use the ERDF and the ESF (under the thematic objective that focuses on strengthening administrative capacity). The effect of the measures can be assessed, and any necessary adjustments to EU specifications reviewed, as part of the mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework;

11.

emphasises the importance of investing in human capital; nevertheless points out that, since this is a long-term investment, businesses tend to give preference to young people and recent graduates, which puts mature or middle-aged prospective workers at a disadvantage. Combating unemployment requires incentives that encourage mature and middle-aged jobseekers to retrain and ensure that the private and public sectors are interested in these types of people. In order to prevent long-term unemployment, it is equally important to promote lifelong learning which aims to retrain the existing workforce and unqualified workers;

12.

highlights the fact that as well as helping to tackle long-term unemployment, this modernisation of employment services could also help address short-term unemployment and unemployment among young people;

13.

points out that the proposed modernisation of employment services promises to be a long and difficult process, especially in Member States where the current system is inflexible and bureaucratic. The smooth operation of the one-stop, single points of personal contact will be heavily dependent on the flexibility of the institutions concerned and on appropriate and fast information dissemination. These single points of contact could be responsible for preparing personalised support services, but it must be borne in mind that, depending on the number of jobseekers, this could constitute a substantial administrative burden. These contact points would in any case have to have sufficient and adequately qualified staff, who would not only know how to disseminate existing vacancies but also to assess the personalities and core skills of jobseekers. The Committee therefore calls on Member States to take these factors into consideration when setting up such mechanisms;

14.

points out the need to put greater emphasis on demand-side measures, as when the demand for labour stagnates it is difficult for an unemployed person to find work, even if they have an individualised training programme. In this respect, while appreciating the pointers given in the recommendation with the aim of strengthening relations with employers, the Committee believes that it would be useful to give a greater boost towards integrating Structural Funds initiatives in order to strengthen demand for labour. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which target companies able to put forward innovative projects designed to increase the competitiveness of the system, often provide for the possibility of recruiting appropriately trained people. In these cases the link with training activities financed by the ESF could support reintegration of the unemployed. The Member States should encourage integrated use of the funds, not least by simplifying them for SMEs and using the Performance Reserve;

15.

notes that, as the long-term unemployed risk becoming marginalised if their reintegration is unsuccessful and when their unemployment benefits come to an end, it is essential that every country provide measures to combat poverty in line with the guidelines that the European Commission has already set out in its recommendation of 3 October 2008 on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market (2008/867/EC), referred to in the Commission communication towards social investment for growth and cohesion (COM(2013) 083 final). The CoR hopes that Member States will effectively implement the European Commission’s recommendations;

16.

notes the need, moreover, to make any access to support for those in poverty contingent on accepting community service work, for a limited time-period and as a part of reintegration training pathway;

17.

emphasises that training courses to get people back into work must be organised in close cooperation with the institutions concerned in order to make sure that Member States get the best results at all levels, and to reduce labour market and social isolation and poverty levels. The Committee draws attention to the fact that measures like these have a positive impact because they encourage EU citizens who have gone to work in another Member State for financial reasons or to secure a livelihood to return to their country of origin. Economic migration should decrease as work and subsistence opportunities on the local labour market increase;

18.

highlights the central role of regional and local authorities, as they are the natural key players in this effort to improve employment services and because in most Member States planning and implementing Structural Funds is their responsibility. Furthermore, these authorities can play an important role in organising and developing vocational and adult training programmes since there is a shortage of adult training centres in many regions, and especially in villages. The role of local and regional authorities is particularly important since they know the local labour market and have contacts with local businesses, which can facilitate practical vocational education. Moreover, people wishing to participate in adult or vocational training have to travel back and forth for several months. This incurs additional costs that jobseekers on a small allowance — or no benefits at all — can ill afford;

19.

asks therefore that the Commission’s proposal for a recommendation take greater account of the regional dimension of the problem and calls on the Council to consider the key role that local and regional authorities can play in improving the efficiency of employment services.

Brussels, 10 February 2016.

The President of the European Committee of the Regions

Markku MARKKULA


(15)  Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020).

(16)  Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning.

(17)  C(2008) 5737.

(15)  Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020).

(16)  Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning.

(17)  C(2008) 5737.

(18)  COM(2015) 098.

(18)  COM(2015) 098.


Top