A lifecycle approach to work: fighting long-term youth unemployment through the development of skills, lifelong learning and cross-generation fairness

From October 4 to 6, 2019, in Velehrad, Czech Republic, a seminar took place on "A lifecycle approach to work: fighting long-term youth unemployment through the development of skills, lifelong learning and cross-generation fairness" organized by KAP (Hnutí "Křesťan a práce"), with the support of EZA and the European Union. The seminar was part of the EZA project coordination on youth employment.

84 representatives of workers' organizations from Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Albania, Poland, Switzerland (as guests), the Netherlands and the Czech Republic took part in the event.

The main theme of the seminar was to educate and prepare especially young people for their profession, from different perspectives: the theological, philosophical-economic, pedagogical and legal perspectives, as well as journalists, statisticians and employers. Country reports also gave the participants an idea of ​​the situation in the Czech Republic, Albania, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Poland, Austria and Slovakia.

The seminar also commemorated the 7th of October as the Decent Work Day, a priority supported by the European and World Movement of Christian Workers.

Results of the seminar

In connection with the previous KAP projects, which dealt with digitization and Industry 4.0, the development of skills to better prepare for entry into the world of work was highlighted. Competences have to be developed from childhood, and the school system must play a particularly important role in this. However, participants from different countries have admitted that schools are less able to accomplish this task, and that they are not responding flexibly to the changing world and their needs, with some countries lacking a clear conception of the school system.

It was recognized that the competences (solving problems, dealing with data, presenting one's own opinion, etc.) or lifelong learning will play an increasingly important role in the future. At the same time, it is clear that employers are demanding more and more qualified workers. i.e. in the field of technology and information technologies - especially young people.

Particularly important is the cooperation of schools and companies, because it must be ensured that young people already have the opportunity during their studies to do an internship in companies and to get there a future a job. This process is positive for both the companies and the young people, for whom it is particularly important to gain experience at the beginning of their professional life.

It was emphasized that in developing competencies and striving to assert oneself in life, certain ethical principles must be respected. This also applies to entrepreneurs looking for work and ensuring that the work they offer is truly decent. Man must take precedence over capital, and a balance between work and family life must be ensured.

Greetings from the Archbishop and Moravian Metropolitan Mons. Jan Graubner and the governor of Zlín Jiří Čunek underlined the importance of the seminar. Both expressed their sympathy and appreciation for the work of the KAP, especially for the dissemination of the social doctrine of the Church.