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Europe - Transitions and work mobility are key in modern labour markets

23 November 2011

The European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett) addressed the European Employment Forum on the emerging trends, which are changing the classic employment relationship. Denis Pennel, Managing Director of Eurociett, noted that today's volatile and fast-changing global economy is having a significant impact on labour markets ,which will require a fundamental rethink of labour market organisation.

Pennel commented "destandardisation, Individualism and Intermediation are converging to create a new reality that will have fundamental impact on labour markets and workers as the century progresses. As a consequence, there is a need to place the employee at the heart of the employment relationship."

There is a growing diversity of work situations across Europe, with more than 30 different employment contracts in Belgium, France and Italy alone. In Europe 40% of contracts are not permanent including some 33 million self employed workers. Many different forms of work now co-exist, from tele-working and network companies to increased flexibility and part-time work as people strive for greater work/life balance and personalised working conditions.

The rise in individualism is impacting the employment market too. Individuals have very different expectations of work depending on their age, and as baby boomers work alongside Generation X, Y and Z, the workforce has never been so diverse.

Today's labour markets are in perpetual motion. Every year in Europe some 20% of jobs are created and destroyed each year and up to 30% of all workers are hired or leave their employers.

Pennel continued "transitions and work mobility are key in modern labour markets where careers are no longer linear and secure, and there is an increasing role for labour market intermediaries to match skills with vacancies, people's personality with organisations and people's individual constraints with work."

Pennel explained how organisations taking on a 'life maintenance' role are likely to emerge and provide the career guidance, training, social networking and reputation building formerly provided by employers. He also asserted that the new reality requires a fresh approach to social security and pensions with portability and transferability of rights to cope with multiplicity of jobs and employment status.
Pennel concluded "a diversity of contracts and employment status will be needed to increase labour market participation and ensure better functioning labour markets in the future. Active labour market policies, lifelong learning and modern social security schemes are essential if Europe is to cope and flourish in this more volatile, complex and diverse world of work."


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