Job insecurity is our big challenge - President
Job insecurity is one of the biggest issues citizens in Europe are facing, according to President Michael D Higgins.
Speaking as part of the Edward Phelan lecture in Dublin last night, President Higgins said that "large swaths of the active population" from across the continent are now finding themselves "trapped in chronic job insecurity".
He described this "new class" as 'precariats', as one of their defining characteristics is their "partial involvement in labour combined with extensive 'work for labour', that is, a growing array of unremunerated activities - often internships of various sorts - that are required to get access to remunerated jobs." He believes that job insecurity is no longer confined to workers in low-skilled positions, as he referred to a recent paper that highlighted a "considerable volume of teaching and research work" is being carried out by staff who are working on temporary contracts and who are being offered "no job security at all".
"The aspirations of those citizens among us who do not enjoy security of employment is a defining challenge for our times," Mr Higgins added.