Mobility and mentoring programs needed in Europe

To successfully combat unemployment of young people in Europe increased mobility throughout the EU and the creation of professional mentoring programs must be promoted. This is one of the demands of the CEC sectoral federation FECCIA(European Federation of Managerial Staff in the Chemical and Allied Industries) formulated at the EU-funded “Mobility and Mentoring” conference in Vienna this week.

Unemployment rates of young workers have been at alarmingly high levels for years, especially in some of the Southern member states of the European Union. As FECCIA President Dr. Roland Leroux emphasised at the “Mobility and Mentoring” conference: “Large numbers of highly qualified graduates, among them many engineers and natural scientists, fail to find employment, and if so often only in low-skilled jobs. This crisis has the potential to put the social cohesion in Europe into jeopardy.” How to face these challenges was the subject of the EU-funded event organised by the European Federation of Managerial Staff in the Chemical and Allied Industries (FECCIA) in collaboration with the European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) and the industriAll European Trade Union Confederation.

“We have to do everything to activate the mobility potential of young skilled workers and managerial staff in order to help improve the current situation,” said Leroux. This would allow for demand gaps in the labour market across the EU to be filled while combatting unemployment at the same time. “In order to boost mobility, effective and well-managed mentoring programs are needed.” To meet this demand, the European social partners in the Chemical industry have developed a new web-based Mobility
and Mentoring Portal (MMP) to bring young people who want to be mobile in direct contact with experienced mentors.

“We have to muster the courage and strength to take action against the misery of unemployment of young people,” ECEG President Stephen Elliott emphasized in his
opening speech at the three-day event. Deputy Secretary General of industriAll Europe, Sylvain Lefebvre, added: “We must find new strategies for young people in Europe; the chemical sector is an important axis in these efforts.”

Managers and executives in the European chemical industry are adamant in their view,that a modern, globalised society cannot afford to lose an entire generation of young
skilled workers and managerial staff. FECCIA President Leroux: “We must dare to do something new – nothing is more important than that. As managers in the chemical
and pharmaceutical sectors, we will contribute to these efforts as best we can in order to make this entire project a success.”

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