Educationalisation of youth unemployment through lifelong learning policies in Europe

Valiente, O. , Capsada-Munsech, Q. and de Otero, J. P. G. (2020) Educationalisation of youth unemployment through lifelong learning policies in Europe. European Educational Research Journal, 19(6), pp. 525-543. (doi: 10.1177/1474904120908751)

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In the aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, European authorities reinforced the economic objectives of European lifelong learning policy, promoting employability solutions to address youth unemployment, and increasing their political influence on the implementation of national lifelong learning reforms. This article investigates to what extent these supranational policy orientations have been translated into concrete national lifelong learning initiatives. Although European countries were not equally affected in terms of time and intensity by the rise in youth unemployment rates, the political responses from their governments shared a central focus on employability solutions to youth unemployment in lifelong learning policy reforms. Our comparative analysis shows how different lifelong learning policy initiatives managed to ‘educationalise’ a structural economic problem (i.e. youth unemployment) into an individual educational concern (i.e. lack of education and skills). We argue that the ‘educationalisation’ of youth unemployment through lifelong learning policies is a crisis management strategy, which has allowed governments to focus on the individual symptoms of the problem while avoiding offering solutions to the underlying structural causes of young people’s poor labour market prospects.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Valiente, Professor Oscar and Capsada-Munsech, Dr Queralt
Authors: Valiente, O., Capsada-Munsech, Q., and de Otero, J. P. G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Professional Learning and Leadership
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Educational Leadership & Policy
Journal Name:European Educational Research Journal
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1474-9041
Published Online:23 February 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in European Educational Research Journal 19(6):525-543
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172500YOUNG ADULLLTOscar ValienteEuropean Commission (EC)693167ED - The Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change