Headline Oct 03, 2014/



A third problem is naivety about interpreting Germany's success. 

Germany has a long-standing system of apprenticeships and vocational training. It also has the lowest   youth-unemployment rate  in Europe.

But it would be a mistake to conclude that the former caused the latter.

Germany had apprentices and vocational training when it was the ''sick man of Europe'' ,  with a youth-jobless rate of over   15%   in 2005. 

Nor is a system so closely tied to Germany's peculiar business structure, with its emphasis on manufacturing, easy to export.

But let me just stop here for a while and take you through one -context riveting- sweep in France. This is how one reader, who is the

Vice-President of the Association for Teachers in Economics and Social Sciences gathered his thoughts and wrote to a highly respected paper: 

''It is hardly surprising that the head of the main employers federation in France and the Institute of Fiscal and Economic research  (IREF)   would criticise an exam paper in sociology where students had to 

'Demonstrate that social conflict can be a factor behind social cohesion'.

But I thought your newspaper supported the idea that struggles against apartheid in South Africa, for civil rights in America and for gay and lesbian rights everywhere have made strides towards social justice.

Neither do I understand why you find it odd that in France the analysis of social structure starts with Karl Marx, as this is widely accepted as academic approach, also used in British textbooks.

And I was stunned that you took for granted the  IREF'S  so called  *study* showing that in one textbook on economics   ~ only 18~   pages were devoted to business.

The author of the study forgot to conclude several chapters on competitive markets and firm's decisions.

Stating that  +globalisation and free trade are treated with distrust-  in French education is simply wrong, as any glance at the economics syllabus, dealing with concepts such as 

Competitive advantage and exchange gains, would show''.

And now read on:    

More focus on vocational training should be part of every country's arsenal against youth unemployment.

But in Southern Europe other policies would yield results more quickly.

Top of the list is more liberalisation of labour rules for permanent workers, so that the gap between them and  (younger)  temporary ones narrows.

Spain and Greece have made some progress, but more is needed: a more flexible and less segmented labour market would encourage firms to hire more workers, and to give young people better opportunities.

Another way to encourage the employment of the young is to cut payroll taxes on them, as Italy has just done.

Europe's strategy for tackling youth unemployment amounts to a series of useful but small initiatives.

Thanks to Mrs Merkel, more is happening. But it is not nearly enough.

Solving Europe's  ''most pressing''   problem demands a bolder approach to boost growth in southern Europe as well as more money to help the southerners revamp their labour markets.

The  euro-zone's  to do list, from milder austerity to faster progress towards banking union, is as familiar as Mrs Merkel's wariness of it.

But it must be done.

Otherwise the  ''youth guarantee''  will be a hollow promise.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of France, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Studying Society '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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