Wednesday, 26 January, 2022

Youth unemployment, time bomb of the post-covid crisis


An explosion: during confinement, the number of job seekers increased by more than one million – 843,000 for the month of April alone (category A, which concerns those who did not work during the month). A record never reached since 1996, which cancels the government’s good results – the measures taken had succeeded in reducing this figure by 300,000 since 2017. First victims, young people, who bear the brunt of the economic impact of the pandemic of Covid-19. The number of job seekers under 25 has thus jumped by 29% compared to the end of February, reaching the record of 659,000. A dramatic turnaround: since December 2014, the former historic high with 583,400, the number of unemployed young people had continuously declined, reaching 472,220 at the end of February, a decrease of 19% over the period.

France is no exception: according to the International Labor Organization, one in six young Europeans has lost their job since the start of the epidemic and those who have kept their jobs have seen their working hours drop by around 23%. “In an economic crisis, young people are always the first to be affected,” explains Bertrand.

Martinot, labor market specialist, former general delegate for employment. Because the rise in unemployment is not due to massive layoffs but to the non-creation of jobs. And first-time buyers in the labor market are suffering the full brunt of the stop or freeze of hiring. In addition, for the few positions created, they find themselves in competition with people with more experience. “

Learning in danger

Even felt for Philippe Dialynas, deputy general manager of Apec, who nevertheless remains optimistic: “The crisis will certainly generate more precariousness of contracts, he affirms. We will rather offer a young person a fixed-term contract than an indefinite one. But there are reasons to be hopeful: companies are still calling on our services to prepare for the recovery, a good sign. And the fundamentals are solid in certain sectors such as engineering, business consulting and management or IT. Clearly, the demand for executive skills will restart. “

Sad observation: the coronavirus has reduced to ashes the efforts of François Hollande and then Emmanuel Macron to reduce youth unemployment, one of the plagues of the French labor market. Starting with the radical reform of apprenticeship by the current government, a law passed in 2018, which dynamited the old system considered archaic and inefficient. And which boosted the sector: in 2019, the number of apprenticeship contracts jumped by more than 16% to exceed the 350,000 mark, according to the Ministry of Labor. An encouraging boom due in large part to the removal of the veto rights of the regions on the opening of apprenticeship training centers (CFA), which allowed companies to open their own structure. Accor, Korian, Sodexo, Schneider Electric, Safran, Nicollin Group, Arc international… Many large groups have taken the plunge.

But this very good dynamic could be stalled: “Of course, the ecosystem is now favorable, analyzes Christophe Catoir, CEO of Adecco Europe, juggernaut of the interim who recently launched two CFAs in the recruitment professions – a in Paris, the other in Lyon. But the effects of the coronavirus are seizing a machine that was starting to work well. This is not surprising: in all recent crises such as 2008, there has been a very sharp drop in apprenticeship. Indeed, companies’ need for labor is decreasing and there may be a strong temptation to reduce the number of apprentices. “

Aid for companies and CFA

Christophe Catoir deplores this behavior: “For us, this is a bad calculation, because we are experiencing a crisis due to the shutdown for two months of the economy. But the need for skills will be strong during the recovery in twelve to eighteen months. This is why the State must financially support companies to encourage them not to give up on apprenticeship. “Same tone at Medef, the first French employers’ organization, which asks” for the establishment of a single aid of 10,000 euros for all companies that recruit an apprentice before December 31, 2020, regardless of its size and level of diploma prepared by the apprentice, ”according to a spokesperson.

For its part, the U2P, the Union of local businesses, whose members are fond of apprentices, fears the bankruptcy of a number of apprenticeship training centers (CFA): “With the reform of the government, these organizations are now funded up to the number of young people they train, says Alain Griset, the president of the U2P. However, if their number drops drastically, the CFAs will no longer have funding to operate. Suddenly, the most fragile will have the knife under their throat and risk disappearing, which would be dramatic for the industry. This is why we are proposing to temporarily increase the amount of the contract cost in 2021, the benchmark value used to finance CFAs. “

Extension of RSA

The government will sort through these multiple proposals before presenting, in the coming days, a major job recovery plan, which includes a specific component for young people. Many suggest, like The Republicans who presented their “alternative plan” on June 2, to exempt from charges the hiring of a young person for a certain period (two years for LR). The party chaired by Christian Jacob also recommends taking charge of the employment of a young person leaving school via the partial unemployment scheme and making the internship scheme more flexible with a “CDD at the end of study”.

Finally, the CFDT is concerned about the decline in resources for young people. The union proposes to extend the active solidarity income (RSA) to at least 25 years: “Each year, some 700,000 young people enter the labor market, details Inès Minin, national secretary of the central. However, with the sharp rise in unemployment, many will be left behind and without resources. We cannot leave them by the wayside while waiting for the resumption. “The government, which planked on a big plan against exclusion before the crisis, will he resume the demand for cédétiste? A very expensive measure but at the height of the disaster for those under 25.

A generation of high school students sacrificed

Manifestation of joy among high school students, this May 28, at the announcement of the “reopening” of their schools … as it is partial. If the pupils of the green zones can welcome from June 2 the groups of 15 pupils of the same level, the others in the orange zone will indeed have to be satisfied with an “individual educational interview” … In Ile-de-France, where one in five high school students is educated, it’s already the holidays! Because the attendance obligation displayed until July 4 does not hold water: the class councils must decide on orientations and assignments before June 15. “This end of the year in fishtail is not very satisfactory, it is sure”, sighs Philippe Vincent, who chairs the union of principals, the SNPDEN. Especially since it ends an eventful year for this “Covid generation”. A year ago and in the fall, the reform of the bac had given rise to real fights around the old and new tests. As of December 5, the pension reform had taken over, with a record strike, reducing the schedules of distressed students. And since March 16, it is the coronavirus that has been right in the school program. To the point of canceling the sacrosanct final exams of the baccalaureate, obtained on the basis of continuous assessment alone. Spared until then, the French Orals in Première have been canceled in turn. For this well-shaken generation, the 2020 bac is increasingly seen as a virtual diploma.

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