EPSCO Council agree new pathways for the long-term unemployed

9 December 2015

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council has agreed to a new agreement with regards to the European Commission’s policy recommendations on long-term unemployment.

The Council, which works to improve employment levels alongside living and working conditions within the EU, announced a strengthening of support in order to create a clearer pathway towards work for the 11 million European citizens who are currently long-term unemployed.

The policy framework, agreed by the Council, shall work to simplify the network of support available by integrating a number of key measures which support those who have been out of work for long periods of time; including active measures, employment services and social support.

Additionally, three key steps were put forward by which to move the unemployed closer to work, with an agreement that intervention will ideally take place no-longer than 18 months into unemployment:
1. The sustained registration of the long-term unemployed with an employment service.
2. In-depth, individual assessments for those registered to an employment service, in order to identify the needs and potential of the unemployed.
3. Providing a job integration agreement to all registered long-term unemployed. This final step will consist of individual, tailor-made plans including mentoring, assisted job search, further education/training and social support including housing, transport, child and care services or rehabilitation.

In addition to providing a more personalised approach whilst further integrating employment, skills and social services, the EPSCO Council committed to enhancing the range of services available to employers alongside improving the financial incentives available for hiring those who have been unemployed for longer than a year.