4.1 General context
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Main challenges to social inclusion
Young people's overall life situation in Luxembourg is rather favourable. However, some groups of young people are socially excluded or at a high risk of social exclusion.
The social background plays an important role in young people's outlook. Social and economic resources of their family have a very large impact on their further chances in life. In Luxembourg, young people growing up in poor households with low work intensity and/or low income are more likely to become socially excluded than young people from privileged families (MFI, 2010; Caritas, 2016; Guio, 2022).
The current challenges with regard to the social inclusion of young people are manifold. These particularly include young people's difficulties in gaining access to housing, youth unemployment in general, and the under-representation of specific groups in social and political organisations (MENJE & UL, 2015).
Access to housing is a huge challenge for many young people in Luxembourg, since housing costs in Luxembourg have risen significantly in recent years. Young people of foreign nationality, single parents, the unemployed and people at risk of poverty suffer the greatest hardship (MENJE & UL, 2015).
Transition to work is another challenge that has gained importance due to the steady increase of young people's unemployment rates in Luxembourg over the last 15 years.
Although living conditions of young people in Luxembourg are somewhat better than in other European countries (young people are less frequently unemployed, find jobs matching their qualifications more frequently and obtain permanent employment contracts sooner), those groups who face high difficulties with the transition to work are adolescents and young adults with poor school-leaving qualifications (or none at all), young men or specific migrant groups. These persons are more frequently unemployed. They often face worse opportunities on the labour market, are more likely to be in atypical employment situations (part-time employment, temporary employment, short-term work) and are more dependent on state support services.
Research shows that the risk of social exclusion is considerably and particularly higher particularly for young immigrants and young people with low educational attainment (especially early school leavers). In general, it is more difficult for these young people to find a job with a decent income. They also have poor scores on measures assessing health outcomes (e.g. self-rated health, life satisfaction, multiple health complaints), health behaviours (e.g. eating behaviour, oral health) and risk behaviour (e.g. tobacco use, alcohol use), as well as a lower political and social participation (Inchley et al., 2020).
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected social inclusion of young people. Schomaker et al. (2021) highlight, that young people from disadvantaged households (low socioeconomic status) report a negative impact on their family's financial situation (20.2%), whilst people with a high status are more likely to report the pandemic having a positive impact (31.5%) or no impact on their family's financial situation. According to the authors of the study, this observation could indicate further losses for the less financially well-off and more gains for the financially better off during the pandemic.
There are no specific concepts related to social inclusion.