Summer blues

One in three Europeans is “very concerned” about losing their job in the months ahead.

The findings, from an EU-commissioned survey conducted in June, come as no surprise as Europe is struggling to pull itself out of the deepest recession in the post-war era, with the economy likely to contract four per cent this year.

“Action has been taken at a European level since the very beginning of the crisis to limit its impact on jobs,” said employment commissioner Vladimír Špidla.

He cited the EU’s proposal for a system of microcredit – small loans to help people start their own businesses or expand existing companies.

The commission also wants to make more funding immediately available for job training and expand the scope of a fund for helping workers adjust to changes in global trade.

At least four million people have lost their jobs in the last year, with unemployment rates rising faster among the young. To help young people get a foothold in the job market, the commission is seeking an EU-wide commitment from companies to take on five million more apprentices or trainees.