Educationalisation of youth unemployment through lifelong learning policies in Europe
de Otero, Jan Peter G.
|AGENCY; CRISIS; DEFICIT; DEFINITION; economic crisis; ECONOMY; Education & Educational Research; Education policy; educationalisation; employability; lifelong learning; UK; youth employment
|SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
|EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL
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 ceducationalise' 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.
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