Writing at a time of ongoing Brexit negotiations, we cannot understate what an enormous privilege it has been to work with so many intelligent, diligent, and good-humored people on this project from across Europe. From Ireland to Turkey and from Greece to Estonia, we have had the pleasure and intellectual stimulation of discussing this work with research organizations from 19 countries and 25 research partners, alongside external academic reviewers and policy stakeholders. The chapters in this book are only a small part of the vast quantity of work produced during the course of the project. An extensive round of working papers, policy briefs, and videos are available on the project website, Strategic Transitions for Youth Labour in Europe (STYLE; http://www.style-research.eu), via EurActiv, and in contributions to the STYLE e-handbook (http://www.style-handbook.eu). Thank you to all of you who have made this such a vibrant and productive project.
This book would not have been possible without the generous investment provided by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development, and demonstration under grant agreement No. 613256. We are very grateful for the careful guidance and support provided by our project officers at the European Commission, Dr. Georgios Papanagnou and Marc Goffart. Their support was excellent on many dimensions, ensuring not only that we achieved our contractual and administrative obligations but also that our endeavors contributed to a high-quality international academic debate. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of the European Union. Neither the European Union (p.x) institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained therein.
We extend a massively warm thank-you to the people who kept the big administrative and financial wheels on this project turning, allowing us to roll on with the heart of the academic endeavor. You really have been a great team to work with. Providing good-humored and outstanding professional support, that so often went well beyond the call of duty, and your job descriptions, thank you: John Clinton, Francesca Anderson, Chris Matthews, Alison Gray, Rosie Mulgrue, Andrea Mckoy, and Prof. Aidan Berry from the University of Brighton Business School.
The editors are grateful to the contributors for their patience in responding to our numerous requests for revisions to their original manuscripts. All the contributors have expressed their gratitude to us for the excellent English language editing provided by Niamh Warde. She was always meticulously constructive and good humored in helping transform our (at times impenetrable) academic prose into readable English, together with the careful support of Daniela Benati in preparing the manuscript.
The editors and authors also thank the following individuals for participating in STYLE project meetings and providing critically constructive feedback on draft chapters: Brendan Burchell (University of Cambridge, UK), Günther Schmid (Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Germany), Colette Fagan (University of Manchester, UK), Maria Jepsen (ETUI, Belgium), Glenda Quintini (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, France), Jochen Clasen (University of Edinburgh, UK), Mark Stuart (University of Leeds, UK), Bent Greve (University of Roskilde, Denmark), Marge Unt (Coordinator of EXCEPT, Tallinn University, Estonia), Chiara Saraceno (Collegio Carlo Alberto, Italy), Paweł Kaczmarczyk (University of Warsaw, Poland), Jan Brzozowski (Krakow University of Economics, Poland), Claire Wallace (University of Aberdeen, UK), Traute Meyer (University of Southampton, UK), Nigel Meager (IES, UK), Marc Cowling (University of Brighton, UK), Fatoş Gökşen (Koç University, Turkey), Niall O’Higgins (ILO, Switzerland), Ruud Muffels (University of Tilburg, the Netherlands), Marc van der Meer (University of Tilburg, the Netherlands), Eskil Wadensjö (SOFI, Stockholm University, Sweden), Ute Klammer (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany), Jale Tosun (Coordinator of CUPESSE, University of Heidelberg, Germany), Katarina Lindahl (European Commission, DG EMPLOY), Thomas Biegert (Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Germany), Zeynep Cemalcilar (Koç University, Turkey), Torild Hammer (Norwegian Social Research, Norway), Agata Patecka (SOLIDAR), Ramon Pena-Casas (OSE, Belgium), Karen Roiy (Business Europe), and Giorgio Zecca and Clementine Moyart (European Youth Forum). We thank our commissioning editor at Oxford University Press, Dana Bliss; the series editor, Neil Gilbert; and particularly Doug Besharov, who provided very valuable advice when he attended our meeting in Krakow in January 2017.
(p.xi) We are also grateful for the further comments on earlier drafts provided remotely by Jose Luis Arco-Tirado (University of Granada, Spain), Jason Heyes (University of Sheffield, UK), Anne Horvath (European Commission), Maria Iacovou (University of Cambridge, UK), Russell King (University of Sussex, UK), Bernhard Kittel (University of Vienna, Austria), Martin Lukes (University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic), William Maloney (Newcastle University, UK), Emily Rainsford (Newcastle University, UK), Bettina Schuck (University of Heidelberg, Germany), Peter Sloane (Swansea University, UK), Nadia Steiber (University of Vienna, Austria), Robert Strohmeyer (University of Mannheim, Germany), Mihaela Vancea (Pompeu Fabra University, Spain), Jonas Felbo-Kolding (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Mihails Hazans (University of Latvia, Latvia), Felix Hörisch (University of Heidelberg, Germany), Øystein Takle Lindholm (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway), Tiiu Paas and Andres Võrk (University of Tartu, Estonia), Magnus Paulsen Hansen (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark), and the Q-Step Team (University of Kent, UK).
Earlier versions of the chapters were presented and discussed at project meetings kindly hosted by the following partner organizations: CROME, University of Brighton (UK), Koç University (Turkey), Grenoble École de Management (France), Institute for Employment Studies (UK), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), University of Turin (Italy), and the Krakow University of Economics (Poland). Thank you for making our serious discussions so convivial.
Some of the chapters have been presented at numerous international conferences, including the International Sociological Association in Yokohama, 2014; a mini-conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics held at the London School of Economics, July 2015, held in conjunction with the EU-funded cupesse.eu project; a special session at the Council for European Studies meeting in Philadelphia with former EU Commissioner László Andor, 2016, and held in conjunction with the EU-funded negotiate-research.eu and Livewhat projects; a special session at the Work, Employment and Society conference at the University of Leeds, 2016, held in conjunction with the EU-funded except-project.eu and cupesse.eu; and a special stream at the European Social Policy Association conference (ESPAnet) at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 2016, held in conjunction with the EU-funded negotiate-research.eu.
In addition to the expert academic advice, authors also benefited from discussing their early findings with local advisory boards across Europe; these boards were composed of a number of non-governmental organizations, charities, public policymakers, and trade union and employers’ organizations. In particular, we are grateful for the regular participation and discussions with Christine Lewis (UNISON), Katerina Rudiger (CIPD), Edward Badu (North London Citizens, UK), Menno Bart and Even Hagelien (EUROCIETT), Alvin Carpio (Young Fabians, UK), Abi Levitt and Ronan McDonald (Tomorrow’s (p.xii) People, UK), Liina Eamets (Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board), Tomáš Janotík and Mária Mišečková (Profesia, Slovakia), Aime Lauk (Statistics Estonia), Anne Lauringson and Mari Väli (Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund), Martin Mýtny (Oracle, Slovakia), and Tony Mernagh (Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership). Supporting this communications platform, Natalie Sarkic-Todd and Irene Marchi have been wonderful partners in helping promote the results of this research through EurActiv. We thank you all very much for your participation in this project; it has really enriched our discussions.
Last but not least, the fecundity of our research team was evidenced not only in their numerous publications but also in the arrival of 11 babies born to researchers on this project (2013–2017)—a vibrant testament to the youthfulness of our researchers and their ability to combine academic careers alongside making transitions to having families of one, two, and, in some cases, three children. I hope the parents look back on the time spent on this project as a good investment, and that when their own children grow up, they can see what their mums and dads were up to late at night.
We hope that some of the findings from this research will be of benefit to young people making their way through the challenging transitions from youth to adulthood in Europe and further afield. All royalties from the printed version of this book will be donated to the Child Development Fund (www.childfund-stiftung.de) to support the educational needs of disadvantaged children in East Africa through school and vocational school fellowships that are particularly focused on supporting young girls.
This has been an enormously rewarding project, and we feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to contribute some of our energy to understanding and explaining the problems that need to be addressed concerning youth labor in transition.
Jacqueline O’Reilly, Janine Leschke, Renate Ortlieb,
Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, and Paola Villa
Brighton, Copenhagen, Graz, Tübingen, and Trento, July 2017