JOC Belgium: Do new generations really want flexibility?

For FEB, the Belgian employers' federation, there is a new generation that spontaneously wants to become independent and wants flexibility, preferring it to stability. The "Temps presse!" campaign conducted a counter-investigation.

It appeared that the segmented labour market, flexible contracts and the difficulties of being recognised as a jobseeker are seen by a majority of young people interviewed as a brake on their expectations.

In October 2017, the Federation of Belgian Enterprises (FEB) organised its "Young Talent in Action" event to present its solutions to the problem of youth unemployment on the basis of a survey conducted by IVOX, a market research firm specialising in online questionnaires in the form of a competition. FEB concluded that "Tomorrow's young workers are very flexible and expect the same attitude from their future employer". It calls for the control of wage costs, the reintroduction of the trial period or the relaxation of the rules on temporary agency work. What is generally identified as the causes of young people's difficulties (not chosen flexibility, temporary work, self-employment scheme) becomes, after investigation by the FEB, precisely what would free young people from precariousness.

The "Le Temps Presse" campaign conducted a counter-survey with about seventy young people during individual interviews. Perspectives from other data sources and theoretical contributions were also provided to the survey. The main conclusion is that stability, growth and consideration take precedence over total availability to the employer. If we need to find characteristics that make it possible to oppose young people to other generations, it is more in the deterioration of their conditions of employment, professional integration and career that we should look for.

    "Most of the young people we met during the survey already feel that their expectations are coming up against today's world of work. Greater economic insecurity is maintained, especially for the youngest and least qualified. »
    Aurore, JOC activist.

Today's managerial discourse requires competent, motivated, innovative and cooperative young workers, whereas in the reality of management and the labour market, everything seems to favour competition between all against all, discrimination, fear, obedience and lack of ethics.