Youth Employment Policy Experimentation in Spain

Saturday, June 25, 2016: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
830 Barrows (Barrows Hall)
Maria C. Gonzalez, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain
Aroa Tejero, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain
The growth of youth unemployment experienced in the crisis in Europe has led to greater emphasis being put in youth unemployment policies and, in particular, on improving youth school-to-work transitions. In Spain, one of the EU countries with higher levels of youth unemployment, a certain degree of innovation can be identified at the national level in the design of the Youth Guarantee (YG) and of Dual VET, reinforcing opposite levels of governance at each (increasing national control on one case, and increasing employers’ participation in the other) in order to increase systemic efficiency. In this national policy-context, experimentation at the regional and local level can be expected to be greater around Dual VET than around the YG.

The paper focuses on analysing the degree of innovation entailed by sub-national level experimentation via the study of a specific region and some of its localities. The region under study is an example of gradual inclusion of social actors in the region’s socio-economic management since the 90s, via increasingly overarching tripartite social pacts; it is also a region with different regional and local experimental programmes oriented to improve youth employment.

We examine the design and implementation of two YG pilot schemes at the local level, and of one Dual Professional Training pilot scheme at the regional level, focusing on the degree of innovation the schemes entailed regarding policies themselves, and as to the actors involved, and trying to establish to what extent policy architecture innovations are derived from region-specific or local-specific institutional logics vs.  wider changes in EU/national policy.