3.1 General context
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The unemployment rate of young people aged 15–24 has decreased in recent years, and it reached 14.9% in 2020 7.1% young people at the age of 15–24 on average were not in education, employment and training (hereinafter referred to as NEETs) in 2020 (EUROSTAT).
One of the main reasons of the high level of unemployment among youth is level of education that is insufficient for the labour market. According to Eurostat data regarding 2014, the difference between the unemployment rate of young people with higher education and young people with general secondary or lower education in Latvia may be up to 200% (15.3% and 29.4% accordingly).
Low level of education contributes to vulnerability of those young people in the labour market and increases the risk of discrimination. Current experience of the Employment State Agency (hereinafter also referred to as the SEA) and the State Labour Inspectorate shows that young people with basic education often are not familiar with aspects of the employment legal relationships, thus they are more exposed to the risk of undeclared employment.
The unemployed young people, who have acquired education or qualification, frequently lack work experience of good quality that is required in the labour market and often also the basic skills required in the labour market (communication, computer literacy, language skills, etc.). Not all young people have job-seeking skills and information about the skills, professions and vacancies required in the labour market.
The following lines of action are developed in the Youth Policy Implementation Plan for 2016 – 2020: environment, participation and personal development.
The following tasks to be performed in the next few years in the field of employment and entrepreneurship have been determined for the line of action “Citizenship Improvement”:
1. to improve and provide for an accessible financial, methodological and informative support mechanism for young people who wish to start commercial activity;
2. to ensure career support for young people, with the help of which it would be possible to determine the future profession most appropriate for the interests and abilities of a child and young person already at an early stage of development. The new youth policy-planning document for the period 2021-2027 is currently under development, but it also will include career support for young people.
The National Development Plan for 2021-2027 sets “Business Competitiveness and Material Well-being” as a priority – development of active labour market policies (programmes for unemployed, persons at risk of unemployment, the economically inactive, and support for regional mobility) and support for disadvantaged groups (including youth, people of pre-retirement age and people with disabilities), taking into account the specific needs of the individual and geographic area.