EU urges jobseekers to be more adventurous

20th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 February 2006, BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Monday urged workers across the European Union to be more adventurous in seeking jobs outside their home countries. The Commission - the EU's executive arm - said only 1.5 per cent of Europeans live and work in a country other than their own, adding that this percentage has remained almost unchanged for 30 years. In addition, some 36 per cent of Europeans have been in their job for more than 10 years, while workers in the United States change employme

20 February 2006

BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Monday urged workers across the European Union to be more adventurous in seeking jobs outside their home countries.

The Commission - the EU's executive arm - said only 1.5 per cent of Europeans live and work in a country other than their own, adding that this percentage has remained almost unchanged for 30 years.

In addition, some 36 per cent of Europeans have been in their job for more than 10 years, while workers in the United States change employment every 6.5 years.

The Commission said around 33 per cent of EU citizens had moved to another region (24 per cent), another EU country (4 per cent) and to a country outside the bloc (3 per cent).

But a massive 70 per cent of Europeans do not think about moving around to seek out jobs, saying they are happy with their situation. Around one third of EU citizens say they expect to have difficulties in finding a job in another country.

Main reasons to stay at home include a lack of language skills and difficulties in adapting to other cultures. Fears of losing national social protection and social service schemes are also quoted as potential barriers for cross-border mobility by less then 15 per cent of EU citizens.

In the EU's new member states, more than 20 per cent of people say they see obtaining a working permit as one of the main potential barriers to move to another EU country.

Almost 59 per cent of people looking for a job outside their home region found work within a year, but 35 per cent of people who stayed did not succeed in their job search, new EU studies found.

EU countries view mobility differently, the Commission said, adding that while 79 per cent of Swedes and 72 per cent of Danes think moving for work to another country is a good thing, only 30 per cent of people in Estonia, Germany and Belgium shared the positive sentiment.

Increasingly, however, Europeans are beginning to see that working abroad can boost personal development, the Commission said.

EU Commissioner Vladimir Spidla said that arrival of workers from new eastern EU member states to western Europe had helped boost the local economy.

He said fears of an influx of "Polish plumbers" was "just an illusion to laugh about."

DPA

Subject: German news

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