Innovating European Labour Markets

Innovating European Labour Markets

Dynamics and Perspectives 

Edited by Peter Ester, Ruud Muffels, Joop Schippers and Ton Wilthagen

This book examines innovative theoretical perspectives and novel labour market policy responses to Europe’s changing work demands, employment careers and life courses. It presents creative ideas and recommendations for flexicurity policies at various levels and in different social and economic contexts. The driving factors determining the performance of dissimilar pathways in Europe are identified in regard to their impact on the flexibility/security nexus. Key issues in the current European policy debate are addressed, including how innovative policies are designed in the areas of working time, education, work–life balance, employment relations, retirement and migration, how they are put into practice and what determines their level of success.

Chapter 13: Conclusions on Innovating European Labour Markets: Dynamics and Perspectives

Ruud Muffels, Joop Schippers, Ton Wilthagen and Peter Ester

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, social policy and sociology, labour policy

Extract

Ruud Muffels, Joop Schippers, Ton Wilthagen and Peter Ester 13.1 MAIN QUESTIONS 13.1.1 Transitional Labour Markets, Flexicurity and the Life Course The questions raised in Chapter 1 of this volume dealt with the way welfare states cope with the ongoing challenges labour markets face with a view to the diversification of employment forms and contracts, resulting in the rise of non-standard labour contracts and part-time work, and the changing needs with respect to the work–life balance associated with the diversification and individualisation of life courses. The increased volatility on the labour market together with the rising shares of non-standard work forms such as part-time work, fixed-term employment contracts and new forms of self-employment such as freelance and telework signal, according to some scholars, a shift from ‘lifetime employment’ to the ‘boundaryless career’ (Stone, 2001, 2005). The backdrop of these changes was formed by a number of economic and social-cultural changes such as the increased international competition, the wake and rise of the ‘knowledge economy’ and demographic changes in the form of rising immigration flows, reduced fertility rates, increased family instability and population ageing. These changes stood also at the basis of the Lisbon strategy formulated in 2000 aimed at making the European Union (EU) the most competitive economy in the world. Since 2001 the Lisbon strategy consists of an economic pillar to boost productivity and employment growth, a social pillar to modernise social protection and to tackle social exclusion and an environmental pillar to decouple economic growth from the...

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