Idea's space

This blog is dedicaded to share ideas coming randomly from my experiences

Posts Tagged ‘unemployment

Reinvent ourselves.

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Confiance et douteRecently, I was listening to the news on the radio, about the employment market. My country like probably others has to face with a lack of talents. Indeed, despite the fact that the unemployment level amounted around 12%, there are available jobs that can be filled due to a mismatching between the requested skills and competences, and the available talent on the market. Mismatching, but also lack of talents on the market. These last decades, the market and the related needs is changing faster, and the talents need to follow the same evolution. But this in theory, but practically, the gap remains.

The economical environment has a huge impact on the work market and on the career evolution.  It was not unusual to have people having the same position during a big part of their career, with an indexed salary each year.  And it was not impossible to see young people starting their career, earning a lower salary to do the same job.  Such situation today is not sustainable anymore for companies.  The competition is always harder and each invested penny has to provide a good return, not only in term of financial return, but also in term of quality, productivity and growth.

Does it mean that for seniors, the chances to find a job are low, because they are too old? I don’t believe so, but it is obvious that today, you cannot just do the same job all your life. There are always possibilities, and the acquired experience is an asset you have to use for future challenges. Such evolution implies an appropriate evolution in your career. Such evolution is an asset for companies and organizations, but is also positive for people.  This career evolution implies a permanent education, a permanent acquisition process of new competences and skills. The combination of new skills and your experience is a useful innovation tool, and innovation is an essential key to develop successful and sustainable organizations. Definitively, these are people who make the organizations.

The development of the organizations and the technologies create specific needs, niches of specific competences. To fill these needs, we need talent. Talent means people with specific and added value skills, but also with strong experiences.  Here is a major point, the specificity of what you can deliver to the organization. What will be your difference criteria, and what will be the factor making that people will work with you and not with another?  To be able to answer to that need, you need to see a matching between the needs and trends of the market, and your acquired skills, but also with complementary skills you could acquire.  For instance, people working in finance and accounting departments offers financial services, but combining this with strong IT skills, they can build powerful tools and deliver added valued solutions for the organization. This combination of skills will make you as unique.  The added value provided by such combination of skills is higher than the sum of each skill.

By growing your skills and capacities, you give you the chance to open new doors to new opportunities.  And each opportunity gives you the chance to learn new things, to live new experiences.  Such process is successful if it is initiated and driven by passion. Passion and talent will make that you will offer the best of yourself, and in the mean time you will convince people to contract your services, your talent.  By subscribing to such process, you will certainly meet success, but it will impact positively your wellness and self confidence. The feeling to be useful and to still have an active place in the society has a positive impact on your physical and psychological health.  All this things will make that you will fill yourself as a creative actor of the society and not to be a slave.

Do what you are passionate by, reinvent yourself each day. It’s good for you, it’s good for your future, it’s good for the community.

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

July 26, 2013 at 07:29

Pension and retirement: finally the paradise?

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During the month of February, the Belgian government published the “green book”, including conclusions about the payment of retirement pension, the challenge for the coming years. The conclusions were not a surprise, but only what everybody already knew, conclusions already done by economists and demographers. The government and some political people begin to admit that if people want to get a decent pension later, they have to save money. The problem of pension payment is due to the pyramid of ages. Indeed, the percentage of retired people is increasing. It means that the weight of pension costs on shoulders of active people will be more important.

An announced conclusion of the study was that people should work 3 years more than the average. It does not mean that the legal pension age would not be 65 years but 68 years. We have to know that in Belgium, only one person over ten who are between 55 and 60 years old is still working. We are one of the European countries where the activity rate of this generation is the lowest.  How to explain such fact? In Belgium the tax level on work is very high. For somebody who spent few years or his full career in the same company, the lay off indemnities are very high. Of course, each employee agrees to have the maximum of indemnities, but should not be better to have less indemnity but to work for a longer time?

In Belgium as in every country, there were several restructuring processes in large companies, creating social disasters. It is always a painful hardship, where people are wondering how they will pay the bills at the end of the month. Most of them, who were more than fifty five years old, were retired anticipatively. By hearing some politicians, I have the feeling they were considering this as a gift, the fact that people who were wrongfully fired, merit to be retired anticipatively. Does it mean that everybody is necessarily happy to stop working when he is fifty five years old? Does it not mean that you are considered as too old, and then useless? Some studies showed that people who were retired anticipatively, by their own or by force, have a lower quality of live after few years. So to be retired anticipatively is not precisely a gift.

It is of course more difficult for people with lower qualifications to find a job when they have a certain age. But on the other side, with such view I explained before, the qualities and knowledge acquired by experience are not valued at all. In a previous posting, I was talking about the employability, meaning that each worker needs to gain in knowledge and expertise in order to move with the environment changes, to acquire tools and develop capabilities in order to face new challenges. The combination of experience and trainings provides added value and know how for each worker and as consequence for the company too.

It has to be remembered that the education is also important, that everybody needs to have enough chances to start in the active life. There is a lot improvement to be done on that level, when we are noting that in a city like Brussels, capital of Europe, there is around 20 percent of workless people, and for young people who are between 15 and 24 years old count around 35 percent of workless people.

Work is a right, and the government should take initiative in order to give chances to everybody to get dignity to have a job, by empowering the education, by promoting entrepreneurship, by encouraging social and economical initiatives. Work is the way to ensure independence to everybody. It is only on this base that we can maintain a sustainable social system.

Work is a right, and should be more considered as this and not as a constraint. It is a constraint if you do not like what you do, or if you are not considered for what you are doing. Confucius said: “Choose a work you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Picture source: http://www.summersdale.com/images

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

February 24, 2010 at 21:31

Statistics, the best way to lie.

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Unemployed people

This week, listening to the news of the French Belgian radio (RTBF), I heard a new about a pessimistic forecast about the unemployment in Belgium for 2010. Following a study led by Philippe Defeyt, economist and member of the board of directors of the IDR – Institut pour un développement durable (Sustainable development institute), the unemployment rate in Belgium should reach a historical level in 2010 compare to 1970, with a rate of 14,6% of the working population, representing a number of 750.000 unemployed people.

The IDR analyzed few macroeconomics variables from 1970 until now. If the number of jobs increased of 17% compared to 1970, the total number of working hours done by this working power is lower compare to the number in 1970 (less 5% in 2010 compare to 1970). During 31 years, the working population increased of 1,3 million of people, but the available jobs increased only of 650.000 units, it means only the mid of what should be necessary to give a job to everybody.

These are few elements included in the study. But what was amazing, is the reaction of the minister of employment, Joëlle Milquet about the figures related to the unemployment forecast. She told that these figures were totally overestimated, giving a worse picture of the situation. Really ?

Here is the question about the definition of an unemployed people. Following the minister of employment, the definition of unemployed people includes the workless people looking for a new job. It means that the unemployed people who are 58 -60 years but not looking for a job because considered as too old, are not taken into account.  Following Philippe Defeyt, the two categories are included in the statistics, as they are facing the same problems when they are looking to their bank account at the end of the month.

It is a bit difficult to understand why a category of unemployed people are not taken into account by the statistics of the government, when such government includes political parties defending social values, and when they are claiming to develop social politics to decrease the poverty. Belgian is one of the countries where the rate of unemployed 50-60 years old people is the lowest. It is totally senseless to ignore such people from official statistics.

By reading this, I remember my studies, where one of my professor of statistics defining statistics as ‘the Best way to lie”.

Institut pour un développement durable – http://www.iddweb.eu

 (Picture source : http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/html-for-food-292×300.jpg)

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

January 6, 2010 at 23:27

Posted in Economy

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