Friday, March 05, 2010

Young Poles as lazy as Italians?

From: The News
Poles aged between 15 and 24 years are among the least professionally active Europeans, shows a new EU report.

Young Poles have almost caught up with Italians when it comes to economic activity, according to data collated by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. Only 35 percent of Poles aged between 15 and 24 years have a job - in Italy the figure is 30 percent. Three or four years ago the number of working young Poles was almost 50 percent.

The average age of a Pole entering the labour market has gone up to 22 years. Young Dutch and Danish start their first job at the age of 16 or even 15 and Germans at the age of 18. The average age for the whole EU is 20 years.

The reason why young Poles are delaying entering the workplace – some would say adulthood - is partly because most of them are still in education.

“An increasing number of young people continue their studies beyond compulsory schooling in order to have better chances on the labour market or, simply, because they do not want to work yet,” says Aleksandra Strojek from Sedlak&Sedlak, quoted in the Metro newspaper. He adds that in Poland many people still believe that as long as young people are learning, they are not obliged to work.

Young Poles are not eager to start an independent adult life, postponing the decision to leave the parental home as long as they can. Females, on the other had, generally tend to move out earlier - by two or even more years - than young men. Young women usually move out from their parent’s home at the age of 28 and men at the age of 30 – compared to 31 years old in Italy).

By the age of 34 as many as 80 percent of women live independently. For men the number is lower. Meanwhile, women in the EU tend to leave the parental nest at the average age of 22 and for young men, the average age is 26.

The report by Eurostat shows that young people predominantly remain with their parents for material reasons - 44 percent of Europeans aged between 15 and 30 say they cannot afford to move out. The other reason is simply laziness. Some young people admit that remaining with their parents allows them to live more comfortably with fewer responsibilities.

“Young people have no motivation to start independent life. They say that there is no use working for pennies,” says Strojek. Instead, they take money from their parents, live from scholarships or earn money on the black market, usually by giving private lessons.