Young adults are becoming independent later, due to new laws: SER


Youngsters are being disproportionately affected by government policy and there is a widening gulf between those with the right connections to get on in the world and those without, according to a new report by government policy advisory group SER.

Efforts to improve the government finances, make the jobs market more flexible and stabilise the housing market has led to people in their 20s and 30s delaying taking major decisions and becoming independent at a later age.

They leave home when they are older than their parents did, they don’t get a permanent job straight away and delay buying a house, the report said. They also put off having children.

SER is made up of employer and union representatives and lay members.

‘High student debts make it difficult to get a mortgage and while there is a shortage of labour, the jobs on offer involve flexible contracts,’ the report said. ‘They cannot find the security which young people long for.’


The figures, SER said, speak for themselves. In 2008, 46% of 25-year-olds had bought a home, but that had fallen to 35% by 2017. The total amount owned by students to the government has risen 60% since 2011. In 2004, half of young adults had a permanent job by the time they were 24, but by 2018 the median age had gone up to 27.

Not all young adults have a tough time and SER chairwoman Mariette Hamer said there is an ‘invisible wall’ between those with the right contacts and resources and those without.

‘We were removing that wall throught good education for everyone,’ Hamer told the Financieele Dagblad. ‘But we are now living in a society of networks. Children with successful parents, family members and friends get helped to that job or internship. But children without these advantages find it difficult to break through.’

The report is the first publication by SER’s new youth platform. The organisation wants the government to make sure that the interests of young adults are assessed in all new legislation.

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