The Youth Employment Magazine - Issue 14

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Youth Employment Magazine N. 14


Youth Employment Magazine

Contents 03

























Director’s Editorial

Youth and Climate Change: A Time to move from Assertion to Assertiveness

Youth for our cities. Youth for our environment/climate change

We don’t all need to be environmental engineers

Youth’s response to Climate Change – What about Greece?

Volunteer for our world

Youth, the victims and the fighters of the inaction climate crisis.

European Prospects for NEETs through the eyes of the IPS4NEETs Team

Youth for our cities – Youth for our environment/climate change - FOLM Project

Youth for our cities - Youth for our environment/climate change - RAISE Youth

Initiatives to tackle climate change. How Extremadura aims to fight against global warming while empowering youth and developing their own economy

Back to school!

Inner City Blues

NEETS for climate consciousness

News from the Projects

A fruitful spring in Warsaw!

Do young people want to work and are they able to find a good job?

Youth Employment PartnerSHIP creates a network of young researchers

Policy Brief on the use of administrative data for evaluation

Young talents of Summer Creative Academy has successfully completed their final exams

CODE Project Follow-up

Students of Summer Creative Academy elaborated marvelous works of art

CODE Project will cooperate with STEM centers in Ruse city

Great news from Save the Children Iasi

My personal story


Youth Employment Magazine 43

















Seminar and press conference in Riga, Latvia

Project activities with NEETs

The future of work for NEETs in a circular economy

Impact assessment of Youth projects – practical examples of selected Slovak organizations

Youth With Disabilities & Labour Market

Vocational education and training in Poland

Preliminary results of the blended learning course Towards Better Youth Employment Projects

Expert Study about the impact of the Corona pandemic on education and training in Germany from different perspectives.

Let’s talk about employment

SEPAL Success Story

RAISE Youth in Croatia: Exchange of experience in culture, tourism and agriculture

Empowering YOUth through Entrepreneurship! “NEETs in Entrepreneurship” project wraps up with final conference

COVID-19 Regional Labour

Beyond the hands-on experience: International internship as cultural communion

Regional particularities in Potenza: From legal formalism to harsh reality

YOUTHSharing Experiences

Contributors & Credits


Youth Employment Magazine

Director’s Editorial Dear Friends,

Autumn has come and, with it, the September issue. An issue which is like, as I already pre-announced, a new season. New seasons are usually brining changes, positive and/or negative. I challenge anyone who has never thought, at the beginning of a new period, about goals such as "I'll do this, I'll do that"… am I wrong?

I am using these words since I know that some parts of our Family are taking new directions… we already passed from 26 Projects to 25 and we just said goodbye to another one which is ended. It is, in effect, a particular period. Different Projects will come to the end of their contracts and some of them will soon organise their closing events. Some days ago, our “NEETs in entrepreneurship” did their closing ceremony, a pity!

Sorry if I seem too much melodramatic, but this was for me the first final conference. I was used to – and I preferred – welcome conferences or opening activities. I prefer starting than ending. And, as already indicated 8 new projects are soon coming!

It is for this reason that, instead of thinking “they will do this, they will do that…”, I prefer to think about what they did, in terms of efforts and goals achieved during their implementation period, which matches their period within what I like to call Family.

And I prefer the Italian language, which is separating a “real” goodbye (meaning “forever”) than a “ok, goodbye, but this doesn’t mean we won’t meet again”!

And… you know that some Projects will be, someway, promoted. I believe that our Family has some excellent Projects which deserve additional attention!!!

And even if this won’t be the case for everybody, I am still convinced that being part of our Family was worth it. Or better, being part of our process aimed at finding solutions to common challenges, this was worth it.

Hearing, during a final conference, messages like:

• Preventing measures: easier to prevent them becoming NEETs

• Partnering, increasing motivations

• Inspiring effects

• Moving the opportunities near to them

• Leaving no-one behind

• clearly fills me with joy and it is telling me that we are in the good direction!

I am not writing, and telling you, those words just because I know that – for some of you – the implementation period under EEA & Norway Grants is ending. But especially because I can understand how much can be difficult to find the right way if one thinks about making some hypothesis – in terms of goals achievements – concrete. Inspiring effects and good practices is, in itself, not to be taken for granted. Especially in times of a pandemic which has afflicted our countries worldwide. And, to be honest, I do believe that changing status – or helping someone doing it – is not easy. Preventing measures are fundamental in this sense, such as partnering initiatives as the most of you tried to do. But … once one becomes a NEET, it is hard to find the right ways to change his/her status. Once a person is “not in employment, education or training”, the difficult part is to change this categorisation. To demonstrate that there are ways, or attempts, to find different – but valuable – roles into a specific society.


Youth Employment Magazine What I can tell you is that our Family found the way to put together some concrete examples and achieved some great results, at least in the sense of putting efforts together. That is why I am happy to tell you that we are organising for you all something that will give you the possibility to better define the results achieved during the past years. As I already told you, an important “save the date” is coming and I hope you will be ready to demonstrate what you have been doing thanks to your activities to reach common solutions, yesterday meeting (29.09) with all the Comm Officers was very much important to lay the foundation of our 6th to 10th December 2021 annual event (unfortunately again on a virtual modality) but with a renovate energy.

New common challenges are everyday arising into our societies, their public systems and administrations. Cities are the final “compartment” where our practices go. Each milestone planted by each of us is visible as a final result in the deepest concept of what a city is. Because a city is given by, in the end, the whole of what its citizens are and do.

In our case, we are not single citizens but groups of citizens, which are forming Projects. I believe we can find the right direction to make visible what you (and we) have been doing to ameliorate our societies when comes to finding solutions for a better employment structure. Our colleagues of the Regional Cooperation Fund are already all actively working for the European Week of Regions and Cities that will soon be celebrated on 11 October!

And… talking about cities, please enjoy the interesting reflection of our Friend Tom, to find further hints for your future activities.

As said, stay tuned since new details will arrive soon. In the meanwhile, enjoy our Mag.

Gian Luca Bombarda

The FO Director


Youth Employment Magazine

Youth and Climate Change: A Time to move from Assertion to Assertiveness “Men argue. Nature acts.” Voltaire Cities are on the front lines of the growing physical risks associated with climate change. They are home to more than half of the world’s people; that’s about 4 billion people living on top of one another, working, commuting, polluting, and devising strategies for survival. By 2050, that figure is projected to rise to 68 percent and, by the end of the century, about 85% of the world’s population will be urban, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

causes, effects, search for and distribution of vaccines, maintaining lives and livelihoods. In terms of climate change the ‘Covid distraction’ has led to an apparent loss of public and political attention. Yet, acting on climate change remains as urgent as ever. It is still our biggest existential threat. If it were not for the virus, the devastating wildfires witnessed over the past year in the Amazon, Australia, Indonesia and the US, would arguably have made global warming a more central topic.

Now it is time, once again, to bring Climate Change back to the top of the political agenda, to remind the politicians and gatekeepers of international organisations about their promises and assertions: to remind the UN of the excerpt from the, now six years old, 2030 Agenda – ‘Young women and men are critical agents of change and will find in the new (Sustainable Development) Goals a platform to channel their infinite capacities for activism into the creation of a better world.’

Cities are major contributors to climate change. According to UN Habitat, cities consume 78 per cent of the world's energy and produce more than 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. The sheer density of people relying on fossil fuels makes urban populations highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

These are the stark statistics that caused Greta Thunberg to plead: “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire.”

This article is being written on Friday 24th. September as young people around the world are taking to the streets again to demand urgent action to avert disastrous climate change. The ‘Fridays For Future’ movement began after then 15-year-old Greta Thunberg first skipped school and instead sat outside the Swedish parliament to demand climate action. The movement reached a peak in September 2019, when 7 million people worldwide joined in, including 30,000 young people in Ireland – making it one of the largest global protests in history. The restrictions on assembly and movement, imposed by the Pandemic, resulted in a harnessing of that seismic energy.

To also remind the EU of its Youth Goals, and the recognition accorded in particular to ‘the importance of the youth dimensions in the 2030 Agenda and the key role that young people can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and invites the Member States to consider the needs and expectations of young people in their contribution to implementing the 2030 Agenda for all relevant policy sectors and to enable young Europeans to contribute as appropriate to achieving an ever more sustainable Union.’

For the past 18 months the world has been convulsed by the Coronavirus Pandemic: its


Youth Employment Magazine The mundane language of such institutional pronouncements shouldn’t conceal the opportunities for youth to be catalysts for change. As the impact of environmental hazards intensifies over time, it is the children and young people of today who will face the worst effects.

Whether through advocacy, education, technology, science or law ─ youth are tapping into their skills to speak up for climate action. It is now time for genuine youth participation in dialogues and decision-making on policies that will affect their lives and livelihoods. It is a time for ‘transformative leadership’ as espoused by Mary Robinson. A deeper participatory democracy requires the necessary architecture, structures and mechanisms that ensures youth is not just a consultative voice. It is time to move from assertion to assertiveness. Where will the youth voice be in COP26 in Glasgow at the end of this year? 2022 has been designated the ‘Year of Youth.’ Is it too much to ask that its legacy might add further resonance to the words of Jacques Delors?

“How can we ever build Europe if young people do not see it as a collective project and a vision of their own future?”

Thomas Mc Grath

Our Irish Journalist


Youth Employment Magazine

Youth for our cities 
 Youth for our environment/climate change We don’t all need to be environmental engineers Environmental education and training are not only needed to build a new generation of educated consumers, engaged citizens, better policy- and decision-makers. They represent powerful tools to boost youth’s chances to get a job or becoming self-employed too. According to Eurostat latest data, Employment in the Environmental Goods and Services Sector (EGSS), also known as the "eco-industry," was estimated to account for 4.3 million full-time jobs in 2018 with Germany (626,624 jobs), France (562,769 jobs), and Italy (427,531 jobs) being the three leading countries in the EU-27 by absolute numbers. (1)

So, what is the first profession that comes to mind when you hear "green career"? Environmental engineer is arguably one of the first answers to pop up in your head.

Ice is melting, the ocean is rising and swallowing villages, eating away shores, sweeping farms and crops, people are migrating to escape hunger and thirst. When it comes to tackling climate change, however, it is not about polar bears. It is about education and training, which are often the most effective means of achieving long-term sustainability. Economic and technological remedies, as well as laws and monetary incentives, are insufficient. A fundamental shift in how we think and act is needed. We recognize that this is a challenging task as it requires changes to curricula and learning objectives, attitudes and political systems.

The truth is that we do not all need to be environmental engineers as there are plenty of other opportunities for youth pursuing green careers out there. Among others, destinations program officers find ways to reduce the impact of tourism in holiday spots; urban growers practice urban farming in heavily populated cities and towns; recycling operatives collect recycling materials so that they can be sorted and managed. Additionally, while environmental awareness skills are a must-have in eco-industry positions, they represent nice-to-haves in almost any occupation as the ability to manage resources sustainably will be increasingly requested in the future. (2)


Youth Employment Magazine Evidence from past research has shown that, in general, there is disagreement about the scope and content of environmental education and training and several misconceptions promote the lack of a consistent identity. Many organizations do not have the resources to develop a comprehensive, usable curriculum with specific environmental objectives. Finally, educators and trainers may possess little knowledge on the topic or even lack the right attitude or commitment to provide adequate instruction. In a recent study conducted by UNESCO, one-third of 1,600 educators surveyed reported that their training did not include environmental literacy. (3)

Against this background and the context of our projects, our efforts should aim at reallocating available resources towards environmental education and making of it a regular component of our training programs, as well as providing adequate preparation for trainers. We cannot ignore climate change as professionals who respect evidence-based practice and want to create opportunities for young people. As take carers of the environment, it is our responsibility to support youths in shaping the future they want.

(1) (online data code: ENV_AC_EGSS1)



Project YES! Young Entrepreneurs Succeed


Youth Employment Magazine

Youth’s response to Climate Change – What about Greece? about the situation. Through day-to-day small activities, ambassadors become part of the solution", he points out in his interview.

The institution of ambassadors of the European Climate Pact enables young people to work together so as to meet European challenges. It is a movement sharing a common goal: a more sustainable Europe. Organizations, as well as individuals, may make a strong common EU commitment, one for climate action. Such commitments might be small, sustainable choices or large, bolder initiatives. These are practical changes that are important in everyday life, starting with the way we produce and consume, to how we move, heat or cool our homes, but also how we work and live together.

Regarding environmental concerns and the climate change, young people are at the forefront for the environment:

In Greece, almost 1,000 individuals and organizations have applied to become Ambassadors and are already working at local, regional and national level.

Climber Vanessa Archontidou has conquered six of the seven highest mountain peaks on the planet. By the end of 2021, she plans to step on the seventh, the top of Mount Vinson in Antarctica. Her main goal is to raise the awareness of as many citizens as possible, about climate change.

“Climbing to all these peaks I saw glaciers shrink at an incredibly fast pace”, describes the European Climate Change Pact Ambassador. In the same capacity, Anastasis Stamatis, 31 years old, has undertaken to inform about the problems created by human callousness and thoughtlessness to the environment: “An ambassador tries in every way to inform the people

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be holding back the 17 goals set by the UN on climate change. However, the European Commission seems to be heading straight towards the implementation of the Green Agreement. According to the national coordinator for the European Climate Pact, Konstantinos Macheras “the first discussion that was carried out in Greece, involved Greek participants and dealt with the situation in Greece. It is inferred by many that climate change has to do only with the planet. The real problem, however, has to do with whether humanity, as we have known it, will survive under these conditions. Thus, the concern is how to save the humankind after all. It's not too late to do something although we all must take action immediately” adds K. Macheras.

In Greece, almost 1,000 individuals and organisations have applied to become Ambassadors and are already working locally, regionally and nationally to encourage people to get involved, live up to their commitments and take further action towards climate change interventions. Social media is the ideal means of getting our efforts through.


Youth Employment Magazine

“Six months following the Climate Pact, it is really encouraging to see how many ambassadors have already joined and connected with each other, and how much optimism, how much vision individual commitments have to offer. They provide great inspiration for the small and big changes that each of us can make. Together, we can have a huge impact and therefore I call on all citizens and organisations to follow us” said the Executive VicePresident of the European Commission, for the Europe Green Agreement Frans Timmermans, in the framework of the Day of Action held on 29 June 2021.

The Climate Pact is part of the Europe Green Agreement and helps the EU achieve its goal of being the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The Green Agreement aims to make the EU economy sustainable by transforming climate and environmental challenges to opportunities and making the transition fair and inclusive.

Source Newsroom 03.07.2021 | 08:12

Project SEPAL


Youth Employment Magazine

Volunteer for our world

Our planet is our home. A world unlike any other and the place that sustains us. But are we living in harmony with the nature? Humanity is in an interdependent relationship with the nature, and if we all help a little bit, we can keep the Earth safe for the next generation and just like a cycle, in turn, they have to fight and make it safe for the generation after as well.

The past decades have revealed significant triumphs of environmental protection, but also notable failures, which have led to the continuous deterioration of the Earth’s natural systems.

The climate changes, but what does this mean?

Climate change is bad, posing a massive threat to the future of life on Earth.

All our oceans suffer from pollution, forests are shrinking, deserts expanding, coral reefs bleaching. Almost half of the terrestrial surface of

the Earth has been transformed by urbanization and the most astounding part is that human beings are completely unaware of this situation. Literally, we are running out of time.

The scale of the challenges threatening our planet can seem daunting, especially now that the climate changes have raised high levels of uncertainty about our future, but we can all do something.

The world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 to 24, meaning that youths constitute the majority of the population in many countries and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness, as stakeholders in the sustainability debate. They have the potential to make a difference, whether through small actions, or longer initiatives.

Engaging youths in the environmental protection, not only has a direct impact on changing their behaviors and attitudes, but also influences the future of the society. Because youths have a stronger awareness of the current issues and a greater stake in long-term sustainability, the environment is one of the areas in which they ought to take the lead. They bring unique perspectives that need to be taken into account, so we need more youth organizations to empower them to take a stand and enhance effective participation in climate change.

Currently, the participation of youth appears to be formalized more extensively in international governmental organizations, than at the national level.

Youth participation through governmental and non-governmental organizations is important, but there is place for other kinds of youth actions and activism as well. Environmentalism has many roots—in scientific concern for the well-being of resources and ecosystems, in philosophical reflections about nature, in concerns about public health, and in initiatives oriented towards providing outdoor recreational opportunities. (1)

Certainly, there are possibilities for youth participation in practical environmental projects, which are not only political. They have to be part of the solution, not of the pollution.


Youth Employment Magazine Environmental education plays an important role in combating climate changes and turning cities and human settlements into safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable havens. A look at the existing state of environmental education indicates that in most countries, it has grown steadily in recent years, but not enough. Regarding this aspect, Romania, as a member of the United Nations and the European Union, has adopted the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This strategy is citizen-centered and focuses on innovation, optimism, resilience, and the belief that the role of the state is to serve the needs of each citizen in a fair, efficient, and balanced manner, all within a clean environment.

In other words, improving education, human and institutional capacities on climate change, impact reduction and early warning resilience to climate and natural disaster risks in all countries, represent the main objectives.

Learning by doing is very important and through participation in environmental projects such as planting a tree, conserving water, shopping wisely, using long-lasting light bulbs, volunteering for cleanups in the community and last, but not least, reducing, reusing, recycling, can play an important role for the environment.

Therefore, we should all make greater and more concerted efforts to promote a larger process of social learning for sustainable development.


Project SEPAL


Youth Employment Magazine

Youth, the victims and the fighters of the inaction climate crisis. The world is now home to the largest generation of youth in history- 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 to 24 (1). These young people will suffer the consequences and will bear the costs of inaction on the climate crisis. Now, already, most countries where youths are a majority of the population, are economically dependent upon agriculture - a sector extremely exposed to climate change.

Council of Europe, United Nations and other international governmental and non-governmental organizations are in the central of the youth climate changes movements.

In September 2019, as Council of Europe states , more than 46 million young people and children from over 150 countries around the world went on a climate strike, considered the largest demonstration in history.

Young people are determined not to simply be victims of climate change. Children and youths have discovered their massive power to hold decision-makers accountable.

A short article written by the Spanish partners from the SEPAL Project


Project SEPAL


Youth Employment Magazine

European Prospects for NEETs through the eyes of the IPS4NEETs Team General data indicates that particularly in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) the percentage of young unemployed NEETs is relatively high compared to others. For example, in Hungary, the percentage of young people that are neither in employment nor in education and training (19-29 years) is 18,3%, 14,8% in Romania, 12,2 % in Slovenia and only 8,7 % in Norway.

Lowering youth unemployment and aiming to effectively engage as many young people as possible in training or work, is at the heart of the EU policy agenda. However, the latter economic crisis that was caused by the COVID-19, exacerbated the situation of NEETs in Europe. NEETs are without a doubt hit the hardest. Affected by the pandemic, young Europeans’ cope with concerning levels of mental well-being and levels of loneliness. The latter suggests that NEETs are without a doubt in need of support for dealing with problems that arise and in need of comprehensive treatment.

UK, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, etc.). Some European countries that implemented IPS methodology, have shown great results in a short period. For example, in Slovenia, after counsellors received training in IPS methodology, they quickly started getting encouraging results in reducing unemployment among their clients. However, for a successful implementation process, communication among services is the key practice to increase access to multidisciplinary resources, such as IPS. Therefore, we are striving to implement IPS method into governmental publicly recognized programs that helps young people.

Project Individual Placement and Support for NEETs through Education Youth Technology Platform (EYTP)

Upgrading models, education, and professional skills are critical for improving the economy and labour market shortages and to tackle recent brain drain and negative demographic changes of underdeveloped/ disadvantaged rural areas, as well as narrowing the employment gap facing the young people in rural areas, especially vulnerable, excluded, and marginalized young people and those with lower education level. We believe that the innovation, such as new methodologies to tackle unemployment, will encourage local initiatives, based on strong cooperation between the relevant social partners (public sector, NGOs, entrepreneurs, local leaders). The coordinated approach will lead to higher effectiveness of adopted actions.

Our implemented method IPS (Individual Placement and Support) IPS is a well-established method in several other European countries (Netherland, !14

Youth Employment Magazine

Youth for our cities – Youth for our environment/climate change Globally, young people are on the move, often migrating from rural settings to urban locations, seeking education (secondary & higher), employment and better opportunities. For urban context, large number of youth is an opportunity. Looking at the demographics in urban settings, particularly in developing contexts, urban populations are more youthful than rural and hopefully becoming increasingly so.

opportunities that the necessary transition to low carbon growth entails, and many are joining the global dialogue on solutions, getting involved and taking action. As young people work across the globe to determine their future by acting on climate change, their actions inspire us all.

change. Young people’s participation in the life and decisions of a city is a right and an important benchmark of social inclusion.

The example of great driving force of Greta Thunberg, very young Swedish environmental activist, known for challenging world leaders to take immediate actions for climate change mitigation. Although later on she became a target for critics (i.e. absurd allegations that she should not use plane as a means of transport), she has been extremly successful in highlighting the problem, raising awareness, and inspiring thousands of young people to act.

Young people are active, motivated, full of hope & optimism, have a driving force: they are willing to engage in their communities, make important contributions through the activities they run.

We need to accelerate our actions towards saving the environment, because the future is uncertain, and what is certain is that we must leave behind a world suitable for living for the next generations.

Close to half a million youth around the world have taken action on climate change through SGP*. They are also key actors in raising awareness, running educational programs, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy or adopting environmentally-friendy practices. What is more: youth constitute the majority of the population in many countries and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness, which has the power to transform our societies towards a lowcarbon and climate resilient future.**

*[small grants programmes] projects in their homes, schools and communities. [UNDP, Fast Facts: Youth and Climate Change, 2015, http://]

These youthfulness results with visible and necessary engagement of young citizens in good governance, which in turn is essential for economic growth, and other important public topics, such as environment/climat

** [United Nations Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth and Climate Change, 2010,]

Project FOLM

With no doubt, this is education that is the most powerful path to sustainability. Economic and technological solutions, political regulations or financial incentives are not enough. We need a fundamental change in the way we think and act. We know this is a difficult task. This means revision of learning objectives, big need for teaching and learning about climate change, about disaster risk reduction. Here again – all hope is the young. Young people are increasingly aware of the challenges and !15

Youth Employment Magazine

Youth for our cities - Youth for our environment/climate change

Thanks to the RAISE Youth project, the co-financing of the EEA and Norway Grants and the implementation by the Municipality of Casarrubuelos, the First Vermiculture DEMO Center in Europe has been established in Casarrubuelos (Madrid – Spain): a collaborative green center of circular economy with a surface of 2450m2, to promote experimentation and dissemination of innovative agro-environmental activities.

Support for young entrepreneurs From RAISE Youth Casarrubuelos, young entrepreneurs are supported through free training and mentoring on business issues. Our training courses for Youths are focus on green subjects and take place at the RAISE DEMO Center of Casarrubuelos, benchmark in the area in terms of organic waste recycling through composting and vermicomposting.

Having as main objective not only to give support and qualified training to young people to help them become entrepreneurs or improve their employability in general, but also to do it from an environmentally friendly approach, seeking to contribute to get a new kind of entrepreneurs more respectful with our environment and natural resources.


Youth Employment Magazine Looking for a better environment There is no Planet B, so citizens, entrepreneurs and companies should be more aware of our environment issues, being consistent in the way we act: we can all help to curb the environmental problems of our planet. The RAISE DEMO Center of Casarrubuelos is a collaborative space in 'green subjects' for idea generation and networking, where young people can increase both their training and abilities in sustainable and environmental subjects such as: composting, vermicomposting, gardening, urban gardens, etc. and their network of contacts. In addition, the ideas contributed by the members of the community are collected, promoted and put into practice.

Our trained young people want to become successful entrepreneurs who respect the environment. Some examples of this new and valuable type of entrepreneurs -so necessary for a better environmental future-, trained at RAISE Youth Casarrubuelos are:


Eating is a pleasure… but it should also be an act of environmental responsibility. Nowadays, a sustainable way of understanding gastronomy and catering is becoming more and more important: restaurants that respect the natural environment, that take care of the origin of their food and the local commerce, recycle and separate waste, save energy and recycle materials, continuously train and value their workers, etc. These conditions define sustainable restaurants, the next gastronomic revolution. Among them it is the “Terra Gastro Taberna” in Casarrubuelos. MORE INFO:




Abandoned vineyards of small villages of Madrid -with an average age of 70 years- are being recovered through strict ecology by ‘Punta De Flecha Viticultura’: a young entrepreneurial and environmental wine and vineyard project. Different varieties of natural wine are made without using any chemicals at any stage – an option that more and more winegrowers are opting for. Customers are becoming more and more socially aware and are looking for quality wines that are produced in a way that respects the ecosystem.





Youngsters from the Madrid municipality of Villa del Prado, knowing about the environmental and urban organic waste recycling work carried out at the RAISE DEMO Center in Casarrubuelos, have participated in several of the composting and vermicomposting RAISE Youth trainings in Casarrubuelos with the intention of implementing a similar initiative for the recycling of the organic waste of their municipality using these two environmental techniques. They have also presented their own environmental project to their local governments and established their business project with the support of RAISE Youth Casarrubuelos.

space for the exchange of experiences, resources, knowledge and their own vegetable production to enrich the whole community.

The bartering of products encourages responsible consumption and zero waste, eliminates the distribution chain and the emission of greenhouse gases that would be caused by trade with third party producers. It also makes it possible for the whole community to enjoy a wide variety of top quality organic seasonal vegetables, which are produced without the use of pesticides and within the community. All these factors help us to consume in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way, while at the same time fighting climate change.

At RAISE Youth Casarrubuelos we are proud to carry out green training courses under the precepts of the Circular Economy oriented to the respect of our environment.


Young people from Casarrubuelos and their families harvest and exchange their own vegetables in the urban gardens for the young people of the RAISE DEMO Centre in Casarrubuelos. These facilities are a collaborative

Project RAISE Youth


Youth Employment Magazine

Initiatives to tackle climate change. How Extremadura aims to fight against global warming while empowering youth and developing their own economy It is undeniable that climate is one of the big challenges that humanity has to face. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations (IPCC), it is undeniable that humans are the one causing climate change and the rising of the temperatures and the level of the oceans is now irreversible. Some of the conclusions of the IPCC also were that weather is getting more extreme, with droughts, floods and heavy rain and snow getting more frequent; soon the summer in Artic areas will be free of ice, with the average low of Artic sea level at their lowest in thousands of years; and, maybe the more dreaded conclusion of all, that humanity is running out of time to, at least, minimize and contain the effects of climate change.

In order to tackle this problematic, the government of Spain has issued some laws and initiative to help the country transition towards a greener future, where the main source of power will come from renewable energies instead of fossil fuels and the country will reduce its emissions as much as possible. With Extremadura being one of the regions of Spain with the greatest number of protected natural spaces, as well as being focused mainly on the primary and tertiary sectors for its economic activities, it is one of the main areas of interest for the near future of the country.

living in rural areas and are mainly focused into the research and innovation in the field of agriculture, and are currently being implemented in the region by the Agricultural and Food Technological Centre (CTAEX). From a more institutional point of view and having in mind the big picture and general development of the region, FUNDECYT-PCTEX fosters new and innovative perspectives to fight climate change and help the region transition towards a greener and more environment-focused economy. With initiatives and events such as the Green Disruption Summit, where strategic stakeholders on a national and international level come together to discuss new ways to achieve economic growth while being respectful to the environment, and the High Technology Incubator in Bioeconomy and Circular Economy (IAT), where young people have the opportunity to develop their business ideas while getting specialized in a methodological framework focused on bio and circular economy, FUNDECYT-PCTEX aims to help in the fight against climate change and to enable young people to be the actors of this change while also serving as catalyst for a future revolution in their territories.

Project RAISE Youth

In this regard, there are several initiatives being currently carried out in the region that aim to help Extremadura to develop business activities to tackle the problematic of climate change, help young people acquire new tools and capacities and become involved in the fight against climate change and, in general, to change rural areas into spaces where young people can stay, get training and develop their business activities, thus becoming actors of change in their territories.

Projects such as “eNEET Rural”, also funded by the EEA and Norway Grants, aims to facilitate entrepreneurship and to improve skills of NEETs !19

Youth Employment Magazine

Back to school! Promoting the green transition requires embedding environmentally sustainable development in education. Schools, training institutions and community centres need to help young learners to understand the current climate challenges and empower them to take action. This works best with interdisciplinary and participatory training and learning methods. If schools and teachers have this major role to play, then they need ongoing support with inspiring examples and professional development Mariya Gabriel Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

At the beginning of September, the Romanian media disseminated the results of a recent study done by the University of Bath in the UK and the Stanford Center for Innovation and Global Heath. According to this study approximately 45% out of 10.000 interviewed youngsters, coming from 10 different countries, openly declared that the climate crisis is generating them significant anxiety and discomfort when it comes to functioning as adults. Three-thirds of the interviewed participants (aged 16 to 25) said that the ‘future looks threatening, while 64% of the study participants expressed their disappointment towards the national governments not doing sufficient in order to avoid a severe climate crisis.

The main conclusion of the study is that the eco-anxiety or the climate anxiety in children and teenagers is not only due to the environmental constant degradation, but mainly due to the feeling that adults and especially politicians, governments and big companies are not acting accordingly.

Every day we are confronted with a series of challenges in the sphere of environmental protection and climate change management. The increasing urbanisation and the alert day to day life rhythm have generated the mass intensification of ‘bad environmental habits’ that produce more and more pollution and environmental contamination. Raising awareness on this social and individual habits and its environmental impacts is essential.

The activists are constantly identifying the causes and raise awareness on the dramatic climate changes that we are living and their causes (so WE KNOW!). The experts come up with proposals and solutions on how to solve and reduce environmental damages (so, IT IS POSSIBLE!). The politicians are constantly updating their discourses and agendas in accordance with this topic (so, IT IS WANTED!). SO what is the BIG OBSTACLE, why isn’t it happening?!

Often, we speak about ‘education & awareness’, implicitly climate and environmental education. A crucial role is associated to the education process in schools and even more with parenting and family life contexts, doubled by the local authorises support. If school and family contexts can create the capacities and skills that young people need in order to have a positive climate & environment impact ... the authorities should be the ones supporting the implementation and multiplying effect of such social skills into the society.

The lesson above is the one that our Romanian RAISE Youth NEETs constantly receive through out the RAISE training activities. Both AGRO and TOURISM Romanian Demo Centres strive for environmental sustainability and support our local NEETs to development professional skills respectful toward the environment.


Youth Employment Magazine For the last serie of our formation training courses, mainly dedicated to community programs development in the fields of sustainable farming and eco rural tourism, the Romanian project beneficiaries will be receiving theoretical and practical information regarding their day to day habits and the implicit environmental impact, we will be developing skills and competences on how to act in a positive environmental way (such as recycling, upcycling, responsible consumption etc) and to close the learning circle, we will be supporting the development of an assertive and proactive attitude towards the reduction of environmental damage and contamination, while acting at individual and collective levels (such as voluntary work, involvement in community programs, development of collective community initiatives etc).

Even though at he moment, the immediate future does not look very bright in terms of climate change and global contamination, we are optimistic regarding the key role of our European youth in generating positive changes and we believe, that each and one educational action dedicated to youth is a long term investment for the future of our planet.

Romanian RAISE Youth AGRO Demo Center summer 2021 - on the field activities

Project RAISE Youth !21

Youth Employment Magazine

Inner City Blues This ain't livin', this ain't livin' No, no baby, this ain't livin' No, no, no, no Inflation no chance To increase finance Bills pile up sky high Send that boy off to die Hang-ups, let downs Bad breaks, set backs Natural fact is Oh honey that I can't pay my taxes In the soul classic from 1971, with the even more mesmerising music video from 1994 Harlem, Marvin Gaye recites his “Inner City Blues”; the blues of the repressed minorities of the American cities. It is a compelling depiction of the escalating disappointment, poverty, unemployment, hopelessness, racial discrimination, political representation crisis and the search for identity prevalent during the 1970s. After the dreamy 1960s, comes a decade of disillusionment, economic crisis, institutionalised racialism and unequal share of the financial burden upon the youth and the minorities.

From the music video by Hughes brothers (1994). Inner City Blues

In his beautiful musical drawing of the inner city, Marvin Gaye deals critically with the present of the early 1970s, rather than the continuity or break with the past. Yet, urban sociology had already been investigating the aforementioned phenomena in combination with deviancy mapping. Since the beginnings of the 20th century the Chicago School of sociology, also known as Ecological School, applied a series of, innovative for the period, mixed methods in order to explain the relationship between social phenomena and the space. Ethnographic observation, census and policing statistics, GDP and self-reporting life histories were employed to provide a balanced, yet rough, explanation of the reciprocal relationship between space and social evolution. The Chicago School’s approach, no matter how over-reliant on empirical data and idealism, produced one of the most compelling explanations of urban evolution.


Youth Employment Magazine

From the music video by Hughes brothers (1994). Inner City Blues

Under the general umbrella of the newly introduced statistical maps, the Ecological School studied Chicago and produced ‘spot maps’ demonstrating the location of social problems, ‘rate maps’ dividing the city into blocks to demonstrate census data - the predecessor of location quotient - and ‘zone maps’ presenting the clustering of problems in the city. By the use of the latter, Ernest Burgess theorised the radial expansion of the cites into concentric rings described as zones. The city centre is the business area and around it lies the transition zone or slum area. The next zone houses the workers followed by the residential area, the suburbs and the commuters’ zone. Consequently, the social class divisions would generally follow those zones and the social mobility of groups was not only conceptual but most of the times spatial too. In other words, the increase of incomes or the entrance of a lower class (e.g. a migration wave) would “move” families centrifugally towards the outer zones; whereas, the decreased incomes would “push” families towards the slum area.

Urban areas. Adapted from Park & Burgess (1925). The City. University of Chicago Press.

Despite the fact that this image is subconsciously confirmed in our European perception of the American cities, this type of social dynamic can hardly be confirmed at least after the 1950s. As a matter of fact, our perception is owed to the American film industry. Even for Chicago, its proximity to Lake Superior altered the expansion of the city and the Ecological School sociologists were aware of that.


Youth Employment Magazine Either because of the platform economy or not, essential services tend to be contracted-out to freelancers. Piecemeal work, particularly connected to teleworking, is becoming more and more common. A new precariat arises consisting of, primarily, young, usually educated workers, who spend considerable time in unemployment too. Becoming a NEET is not a distant but rather a foreseeable possibility.

From the music video by Hughes brothers (1994). Inner City Blues

Nonetheless, there is yet another reason that deconstructs the social zones’ perception of the cities. To a large degree, the zone mapping corresponds to a certain organisation of the production process; with businesses and businessmen/women, their personnel, the self-employed and the temporarily or long-term unemployed manpower and the economically inactive. Since the late 1970, however, the gradual deconstruction of the production process in the Western world, with the prominence of knowledge and information in the production process at the expense of traditional means of production and their related skills, alter also the social relations inherent in the production process. Labour flexibilisation, teleworking, the reservation of high-end skills for only a few job posts at the apex of the hierarchy, the replacement of manual work by computer-based, but still menial work, gradually leads to the disengagement between space and social evolution.

From the music video by Hughes brothers (1994). Inner City Blues

From the music video by Hughes brothers (1994). Inner City Blues

The person Not in Employment Education or Training is not contained in the slum zone next to the city centre anymore. The NEETs are spread geographically exactly because the space receives a new meaning for the precarious job relations. Space now becomes permeable. The urban zones do not delineate types of jobs and furthermore class divisions. The precarious worker, who is most likely the former and the future NEET, offers his/her services wherever needed.


Youth Employment Magazine

From the music video by Hughes brothers (1994). Inner City Blues

Since 1971 and since the Chicago School of sociology the world has changed drastically. Marvin Gaye’s (inner) city blues, however, remain shockingly relevant:

Rockets, moon shots Spend it on the have nots Money, we make it Fore we see it you take it

Project YOUTHShare


Youth Employment Magazine

NEETS for climate consciousness Climate change has, since long ago, turned into a climate crisis. During the last decade, everybody in Europe has witnessed this. Unexpected cold or heat waves, extreme snowfall, drought, floods, forest fires… the earth becomes gradually inhospitable, at least in the way we have used to it.

Undoubtedly the climate crisis is here. The question arising is how or when a climate consciousness will emerge. In that context, possibly the most significant factor in climate consciousness is youth. For it is the younger generations that will experience the hardest impact of the climate crisis; while at the same time they can form the dynamic critical mass that will push for actual and measurable policy changes.

The above ascertainment is identified by Anna Goud, the Key Account Manager of the Greek branch of the YOUTHShare Transnational Employment Centre. “Millennials and Post-Millennials appear to be more troubled by any other generation about climate change. It is them that they will have to deal with the climate crisis in cities, in rural areas or islands. Extreme weather conditions have already rung the bell of the climate crisis more loud than ever. And it is the youth that understand the

urgency to act for the benefit of all”. Anna describes the dire situation caused by the forest fires in Greece that burned more than 1 million acres and notes the role of young people. “The youth have been in the forefront, fighting for their homes and their lives inside or next to the forests. They had much more to lose than anybody else”.

This climate consciousness spreads alongside the emergence of the climate crisis. Nicoletta Avigliano, Key Account Manager at the Italian branch of the YOUTHShare Transnational Employment Centre lists eleven events since 2010 related to the extreme weather in Potenza, the city in which the branch is based. They include, amongst else extreme rainfall flooding, tornado damages and heavy snowfall damages. “Those events highlight the fact that Potenza is a city that is not yet equipped to deal with the challenges of the future. In this context, it is essential to urgently implement climate adaptation policies to make our cities resilient and safe. Investment in concrete integrated policies for the use of renewable sources is self-understandable. What is more important is the combination of those policies with the development of new, increasingly efficient and democratic energy models. The necessary transformation must concern and involve the local communities”. Nicoletta too, understands the centrality of the role of youth in this transformation.

Regardless of the youth’s climate consciousness, its transformation into action or lifestyle is not something self-understandable.The need to be combined with a sustainable economic paradigm is paramount. In Cyprus, Anna Michael, the Key Account Manager of the local YOUTHShare Transnational Employment Centre notes the importance of the YOUTHShare project in that framework. “One of the activity pillars of our project is to develop employability skills and opportunities in sustainable sectors of the economy. To begin with this, we started supporting projects and businesses relevant to circular economy and environmental awareness.


Youth Employment Magazine One of the most interesting parts of the training was to upgrade youth skills in this matter and then offer internships in areas such as permaculture and upcycling. We found out that there is potential to create a market which we explained to our interns during their internship. Finally, we supported local youth to develop their ideas in other relevant entrepreneurship competitions that promote environmental awareness. In this way we promoted a culture of sustainable development that is closely relevant to community development”.

Protection of the environment is a two-ended effort. One might point the finger to the industrial heavy polluters. Another might look at the consumption and lifestyle end. What is important in both cases is the creation of a climate conscious young generation.

Authors: Anna Goudi

Anna Michael

Nicoletta Avigliano

Mari Galiana Badenes

Project YOUTHShare

In Italy, Nicoletta describes the training course as one focused on the circular economy. “Circular economy seeks to respect environmental boundaries through increasing the share of renewable or recyclable resources while reducing the consumption of raw materials and energy and the environmental pressures. On that basis, many of the NEETs who participated in the training are carrying out good practice examples, experimenting with new economic and entrepreneurial models including collaborative consumption, waste prevention, reuse and repair.


Youth Employment Magazine

News from the Projects A fruitful spring in Warsaw! Carlotta Varriale, a PhD student at Bocconi University, was on her research visit in May as a part of the Youth Employment PartnerSHIP project. Carlotta Varriale is a third-year PhD candidate in Public Policy and Administration for Bocconi and a freelance economic consultant.

Carlotta was a part of the project team which also aims at building capacity in research institutions to implement evaluation studies of employment initiatives by creating a transnational research network on youth employment policies, internships for PhD students. Internships are offered to scholars from the countries participating in the project and are offered by six institutions composing the project consortium I.e. IBS (Institute for Structural Research from Warsaw, Poland, Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis (Hungary), Collegio Carlo Alberto (Italy), Foundation for Applied Economics Studies - FEDEA (Spain).

Carlotta’s job focused on analysis of big-data sets and she carried the tasks with great diligence adding her vast area of expertise into the subject. Apart from being a part of scientific research team she had also an opportunity to visit Poland, meet people and get some impressions on the situation of youth unemployment in both countries. Read what she has to say!

Institute for Structural Research (IBS): Please describe your stay in Poland during the internship.

Carlotta: Unexpected...I wasn’t expecting such an advanced, challenging, and interesting level of research and such a friendly environment despite the (soft) lockdown measures. IBS: Did you have a chance to visit Warsaw or see Poland during your stay? What your impressions were?

Carlotta: I visited Warsaw and Gdańsk. I really liked the Wilanow Museum in Warsaw and the city of Gdańsk was also very precious. Yet, I was negatively impressed by the functioning of the trains system :)

IBS: Poland is working upon it ! Could you please describe the situation of young people in your home country in terms of employment?


Youth Employment Magazine Carlotta: In January 2020, before the first wave of COVID-19, the employment rate in Italy, was almost 60%. Over the past 5 years, the unemployment rate had so decreased from 12.1 to 9.7 percent. In 2008, before the financial and economic crisis, this rate had fallen below 7%. The youth unemployment rate, traditionally much higher than that of the overall population, has risen from 21% in 2008 to 31% in 2018, after hitting a peak of 46% in 2014. However, in 2019-2020 there was a downward trend, which lead it to settle at 29%. IBS: Knowing the Fund and Youth Employment PartnerSHIP project more particular, what is your opinion on the measures and tools offered by the project? 
 Carlotta: The collaboration among international students and researchers is for me a key asset. IBS: In your opinion which obstacles make NEET out of the labour market at your home country? What tools could prove useful to resolve the main problems?

Carlotta: The main obstacles include the welfare state that was increased by populist parties together with a high share of illegal or black work and the tendency to live with parents until at least the 30s. Give incentives for the youth to move to live alone and help them find a job.

IBS: Thank you for sharing your impressions with us!
 Find more about the Project

Find more about IBS

Read more about Carlotta Variale

Project Youth employment partnership – evaluation studies in Spain, Hungary, Italy and Poland

Youth Employment Magazine

Do young people want to work and are they able to find a good job?

730,000 young Poles aged 15-29 remain unemployed. Most of them are not registered with Public Employment Services, even though the instruments offered by PES are numerous and diversified. Why is it so? Researchers from the Institute for Structural Research, as well as other institutions taking part in the Youth Employment PartnerSHIP project, are looking for the answer.

Who’s NEET?

already unemployed. The permanent cooperation between schools and PES should be firmly established, especially in rural areas. Secondly, social welfare institutions should be used more effectively to spread the knowledge about specific tools that can help NEETs. Thirdly, participation of representatives of employment bureaus at local events (picnics, town/ village days festivals) should be far more common. When it comes to rural areas, it is worth considering establishment of mobile information points (e.g. buses), Such a form is also very useful for people with disabilities, who often have difficulties reaching independently employment bureaus.

NEET stands for people aged 15-29 who are not in education, employment, or training. In some EU countries, the rate of NEETs reaches even 50% - in Poland, it is currently approx. 12%. The number of NEETs has been growing in most of the EU countries. Poland is doing quite well in this context, but the number of NEETs has been growing so far as well, mostly due to the pandemic. In such situation, it would be expected to use the tools offered by the labor market institutions.

Evaluation of country-specific Active Labour Market Policies:





More about the project

Why is this not happening? Mateusz Smoter, an analyst from IBS, concludes that the reasons for that are complex. On the one hand - employment bureaus do not provide information about the support tools to the groups that are most in need. The reason for that is simple - they are not present in schools, social media or rural areas. On the other hand, NEETs do not register as unemployed mostly because of the stigma and the lack of knowledge about instruments other than unemployment benefits (to which many of them are not eligible). It also seems that young people simply do not believe in the effectiveness of these instruments as a real help in finding a good job.

Project Youth employment partnership – evaluation studies in Spain, Hungary, Italy and Poland

Public Employment Services need mobility Researchers from the institutions taking part in the Youth Employment PartnerSHIP project suggest several solutions. Firstly, Public Employment Services should present the offered instruments directly in spots where one can find young people most threatened with unemployment, or !30

Youth Employment Magazine

Youth Employment PartnerSHIP creates a network of young researchers T: Youth Employment PartnerSHIP creates a network of young researchers Meet Pietro Ponti, a PhD student in Economics from the University of Milan-Bicocca. He holds an MSc degree in Economics from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, where he also worked as a research assistant on a project regarding the relationship between tertiary education supply and industrial innovation at the local level.

Pietro was a part of a research team at the Institute for Structural Research (IBS) within Youth Employment PartnerSHIP project. The project aims at developing a transnational research network on youth employment policies. Pietro has collected his remarks on several aspects of his stay in Warsaw – the research quality, concerning the youth unemployment, comparison between present situation in Poland and Italy in this respect and city of Warsaw. Find what Pietro has to say about these!

Fund for Youth Unemployment Before starting the internship, I have never heard about the Fund. After my experience during internship in the Youth Employment PartnerSHIP project, I may say that the tools offered by the project are undoubtedly remarkable and potentially very effective. In order to make the most out of them, I think it is fundamental to be careful about their proper implementation and enforcement. Cross-country contamination and sharing of best practices could help a lot in that sense.

Research experience at IBS, Warsaw First I was positively surprised by the dynamism of the city of Warsaw and of the people I met. In addition, I was also very happy about the working environment at IBS, as well as by the com presence of scientific research and policy-oriented analysis.

NEET’s in Italy The situation in my country is very heterogeneous, under many viewpoints. On one hand, I don’t know anybody who was unable to find a job from the people I met during my studies before the PhD. On the other hand, however, this is far from being the case for thousands of other young Italians all over the country. What strikes (and saddens) me the most is the impressive amount of young people who are not involved in any form of employment, education or training. Moreover, it is not rare that even those who have a job are confronted with issues such as low salaries, fixed-term contracts of any kind, and so on: it’s easy to understand that making medium-to-long-term plans (such as buying a house, starting a family, starting a new business, ...) is not easy, then. These are complex problems, often eradicated in the past; as such, they call for solutions that are far from being easy or straightforward.

The opportunity of this internship was brought to my attention by professors I worked with during research. The subject was also in line with my thesis. The topics of the internship were of my interest, and I was thrilled I could get to know better a country I had visited only once before.

I enjoyed very much the city of Warsaw, where IBS is located. I had the sense that this place is dynamic, eager to move forward and that has a lot to offer in terms of opportunities. Many times I thought that my country would have a lot to learn from the way certain things are done there. I really hope I will have the chance to come back there and hopefully spend some more time in Warsaw and Poland in general. I had a great time there.

Despite being characterized by many downsides and issues, our schooling system can be very formative for „good” students, meaning those who follow a path oriented towards tertiary education. This is not the case for students who are more oriented to learning a job: the perception of vocational education as less valuable than other alternatives has made vocational schools an option people settle for.


Youth Employment Magazine Teachers recruitment mechanisms and careers do not facilitate recruiting young, capable and motivated teachers, who could be adequately equipped to face nowadays’ educational challenges.

Back in the days, technical and vocational education were based on a closed relationship between schools and firms at the local level (which led to the birth of remarkable educational institutions and also of occupational “fast tracks” for graduates). These relationships have weakened, but have given rise to problems for both parties (impoverishment of curricula, lack of workforce), and for students.

Pandemic and it’s results for the labor market in Italy When the pandemic stroke, the government imposed a ban on layoffs; hence, firms didn’t renew many fixed-term contract or didn’t activate new ones; seasonal jobs were cut to the minimum too. As you can imagine, these sorts of contracts were mainly addressing the youth, hence they had a big impact on young people trying to enter the job market. National statistics on the last couple of months seem encouraging, though. I hope we could keep up that way.

Find more about the Project

Find more about IBS
 Read more about Pietro Ponti

Project Youth employment partnership – evaluation studies in Spain, Hungary, Italy and Poland


Youth Employment Magazine

Policy Brief on the use of administrative data for evaluation

Introduction. With the rise of information technologies, a genuine culture of evaluation has become within reach. In this sense, data has become the most valuable resource for solving the most urgent problems in our societies. Only through its correct use is it possible to generate useful knowledge and to improve decision-making, as well as to increase efficiency and transparency at public institutions. Far from requiring great efforts and investments in data collection, these same agents have already the largest

Why administrative data. Public institutions have administrative databases of great breadth and depth, sustained over time and complementary between different departments, as repositories of extensive records on participants in public programs, taxpayers, recipients of social assistance, affiliations to Social Security, contracts signed, or unemployed people registers. Taking advantage of their potential use would represent an important qualitative leap in the evaluation of public policies, since it would allow to overcome the classic limitations that evaluation faces in terms of the obtention of sufficient data.

Difficulties and challenges. However, there are still many obstacles that prevent the extensive use of administrative data in research. They are, in many countries, difficult to access for the research public, being usually of exclusive internal use for the institution responsible for their management. Additionally, the lack of communication between the different administrations sometimes entails a low compatibility between data records that would be of interest to analyze jointly. Lastly, problems derived from anonymity, failures in the collection and treatment of information or inconsistencies over time prevent a full use of its potential to boost the evaluation of public policies.

With all the previous challenges and opportunities on the table, some recommendations are provided for the expansion and improvement of the use of administrative data in the evaluation of public policies:

Unleash the potential of already existing databases. Government agencies have access to a large amount of data that, after the initial expenditure in acquiring and processing it, is rarely used for research or decision-making. Making existing administrative databases available to the research public (always respecting anonymity) is only the first step in an ambitious evaluation culture. Researcher access to administrative databases should be based on transparent rules instead of ad-hoc decisions. With the appropriate guarantees, the flow of information that the institutions receive could become a continuous source of learning and knowledge with which to improve the way in which citizens and administrations interact. Indeed, researcher access to administrative databases could ensure reproducibility, which could improve the validity and quality of available evidence.

Compromise with anonymity. The right of individuals to remain anonymous must be adequately guaranteed, establishing a cooperation commitment between the administrations and the research community. A carefully designed legal framework can ensure that a fluid information exchange relationship is not incompatible with the responsibility towards the citizenry, the main beneficiary of this bond.

Improve the complementarity between public databases. The data is already there, but it is sometimes hard to make use of it in a joint and global manner. When it comes to the management of public information, each institution goes its own way, like in the Tower of Babel, hindering, for example, the merging of tax collection records with data on social assistance beneficiaries. Quite the opposite, the different administrations must speak the same language in terms of coding, anonymization and data processing, hence allowing the compatibility between diverse databases. Collaborating, rather than working alone, is therefore essential.


Youth Employment Magazine Improve complementarity with external databases. Surveys, questionnaires or data records from external institutions or private companies do also provide a complementary and necessary perspective, beyond administrative databases. Whenever the capacity of the public sector proves to be insufficient, the collaboration with external actors opens new ways for research to explore. This way, to foster compatibility between the public data and the aforementioned sources is to swim in favor of an ambitious and advanced evaluation culture.

Further reading:

Collect data from long periods of time. The more data available, the better. Ensuring the consistency and sustainability over time of the administrative data collection is crucial. Likewise, newly collected information shall not replace that previously obtained. It is in the long term where the prevailing challenges are best appreciated, and it is in this period that the ambition of evaluation must lie.

Csillag, M., Krekó, J. y Scharle, A. (2021). Counterfactual evaluation of youth employment policies. Methodological guide. Youth Employment PartnerSHIP. 1/2021.
 Available at:

Brugarolas, P., Gorjón, L. y de la Rica, S. (2020). El uso de datos administrativos para la investigación. El caso de Dinamarca: un ejemplo de buenas prácticas. Informe ISEAK 2020/3. (Only available in Spanish).
 Av a i l a b l e a t : h t t p s : / / i s e a k . e u / d o c u m e n t o s / e l - u s o - d e - d a t o s administrativos-para-la-investigacion-el-caso-de- dinamarca-un-ejemplode-buenas-practicas/

Incorporate Big Data and AI techniques.

Applying the new technologies and the use of artificial intelligence for the management of large databases could represent a significant qualitative leap: they could help minimize error, automate data collection, achieve a remarkable level of detail and improve the efficiency of administrations and public institutions, reducing bureaucracy and freeing job counselors from that responsibility.

Crato, N., Paruolo, P., (2019). Data-Driven Policy Impact Evaluation. How Access to Microdata is Transforming Policy Design, Springer.
 Available at:

Digitization and computerization of data processing. Beyond the new techniques, the correct digitization of the processes of collection, treatment and storage of public databases is of the greatest urgency. There are enough resources and the time is right to take a step forward and put the public sector at the forefront of efficient and responsible computerization.

Gorjón, L., Lizarraga, I. y de la Rica, S. (2021). La evaluación como proceso de aprendizaje. Una necesidad del presente, una inversión de futuro. Revista ICE. (Only available in Spanish). Forthcoming.

Project Youth employment partnership – evaluation studies in Spain, Hungary, Italy and Poland


Youth Employment Magazine

Young talents of Summer Creative Academy has successfully completed their final exams specific practical skills and will also get the unique opportunity to exchange ideas and to develop joint projects in the field of animation, gaming, etc. in the shared workspace, which will increase their chances for professional realization in Ruse city.

We are happy to announce that there was a great interest to the specialized training courses within the Summer Creative Academy organized under CODE project.

Step by step participants learned the basics of painting and digital painting, and Adobe Photoshop. With each lesson they improved their skills and developed their creative thinking. The training courses gave them the unique opportunity to transfer their original creative ideas to graphics tablets of the highest class and to follow their imagination by applying Adobe photoshop functions. The trainees completed their final assignments and have produced fantastical work of arts!

Due to the significant progress achieved, Creative Center Ruse will give the young talents the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and to develop their creative skills in future trainings. The trainees will acquire !35

Youth Employment Magazine

Project CODE


Youth Employment Magazine

CODE Project Follow-up As we have already informed you, the team of Creative Center Ruse organizes regular Follow-up meetings with graduates from specialized CODE training courses within the Summer Creative Academy. Five young talents meet 2-3 times per a week at Creative Center Ruse with our training experts and project manager to share their creative ideas and to develop mutual projects in the field of digital art and gaming. At these informal meetings participants discuss on the perspectives for their future development in the field of the creative industries labour market and on the possibilities for practical implementation of their art projects.

HRDA is proud about the results achieved so far, as they proove that we have succeeded in our mission to motivate young people to continue their education and to acquire practical skills for the realisation of their original ideas.

Here we are presenting you a digital art portrait painted in Creative Center Ruse.

Project CODE


Youth Employment Magazine

Students of Summer Creative Academy elaborated marvelous works of art With each lesson the participants in the Digital painting course within Summer Creative Academy are improving their digital skills and become more and more inspired. These training courses give them the unique opportunity to follow their imagination and to transfer their original creative ideas to graphics tablets of the highest class. It turned out that there are a lot of talented and ambitious youngsters in both beginners and advanced groups of Digital painting course. Most of them have already created their first wonderful work of arts – digital paintings, portraits, heroes, short animation movies, etc.

Students are happy with their creations and the trainers are quite satisfied with the results of their work! As there is a great interest to these specialized training courses the team of HRDA intends to continue the training on site during September. Depending on CODID-19 situation the courses could be held at Creative Center Ruse or online.


Youth Employment Magazine

Project CODE


Youth Employment Magazine

CODE Project will cooperate with STEM centers in Ruse city We are happy to announce that Creative Center Ruse plans to cooperate with STEM centers in Ruse schools. The purpose of STEM education is to prepare students to apply STEM/Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics/ - related knowledge to real-world situations.

The team of HRDA intends to collaborate closely with educational institutions from Ruse region on joint projects, trainings, exchange of ideas, teaching methods and methodologies, etc. in order to put into practice the results achieved so far within CODE project. Experts from Creative Center Ruse will assist students in acquiring practical knowledge and skills in virtual reality, digital painting and 3D animation by innovative training approaches and hi-tech equipment. Young people will be supported in the development of joint projects and will be motivated for further trainings and education in the field of creative industries.

Great news from Save the Children Iasi Next month Save the Children Iasi, Romania will start a new intensive 3D graphics course for the interactive environment (video games). This new 3D graphics course will have another approach and it will be focused on the gaming part.

One of the things we are very proud to share is the fact that a short animated movie ( was made almost entirely by a former student who participated in the first course of Animation 3 D of #CODEProject. After he graduated the first 3 D course that was held last year, the trainer saw the potential that he has and at one point decided to give him a job.

Another interesting fact is that next month when we will start the new course, he will be part of the training team for the new students. We want to introduce him to the other students as a role model and make them understand that they do have a real opportunity to start a career in this field.

Project CODE !40

Youth Employment Magazine

My personal story What is SPOC and “Hidden Likes” Youth house? I don’t know the exact meaning behind the letters but I do know the essence of this organization. It’s not just an organization, it’s not just a youth house. The Youth house is family. A family that excepts you despite being different from other people and even more – they love your differences. A family that walks with you every step of the way and offers a solution when you have lost the path, when you are at your lowest, lost desire to live and fight for yourself.

If you are lost, go to Knyaz Boris str. and choose life. Choose it now, today and go to the address. Go to that house and know that people who have chosen life wait for you there; they wait so that they can help you stand on your feet and be there for you until you need them.

In that house reigns peace, everything moves with your pace, you get security, support stability, which at prior moment we have missed, as if irretrievably.

The Youth house is full of love, peace and support. Books whisper from the walls. There, you can be an architect, sculptor, psychologist, doctor, writer, artist, painter or just yourself, the way that you are. Anyone can unfold a hidden talent, or discover a new one. Actually, you get to be exactly who you are in the House. Your words, decisions and choices are important and special to the House once you become a part of it. You can feel the love of the dogs, cats, pigeons, flowers and even the little clay figures, plasticine or wool, made from your hands. You can be an athlete if you want. The sports activities are another challenge in which you can do things according to your capabilities. Once you’ve tried it you are already a winner. Coming to the House turns into your favorite day of the week. When on Friday you can’t wait for Monday to come, from Monday to Tuesday… You already found a great piece of yourself. A piece, where your happiness, interests and love are your first priority. This is a part of the goal, the goal your life to be in your hands. And not just to exist, but to fill every moment of it with sense, desire to learn, need to work. In your own, unique sense. It’s a great joy when you come to the House and be welcomed by the blossoming flowers that you, with your own hands planted. They are already growing and the feeling that the reason they are alive is you makes you feel truly alive. And like every home, the House has

its rules. You know which is the most important one? Be happy. You have the right to be happy and to accomplished.

You have to choose every second of the sometimes awful life to be truly happy.

When I first came to the “Hidden Likes” Youth house I still remember the first words that one of the many important, special and unique people and professionals there… She said “Our first job here is for you to smile again, for us to see your smile not just here, but everywhere else”. And you know what? It happened! It really did. Now, writing these words my heart and soul are smiling and I know that I can choose life again and happiness can be a friend of mine. The House, the groups, the people there gave back everything that lost for me. It is already found, I now smile I enjoy life and I am thankful to everyone in that House.

This is what the “Hidden Likes” Youth house gave me. Desire to live, to study, to work!

I will remember those words for the rest of my life “Our task is to make you smile!”

You did it, LIKE “Hidden Likes” House! And you will succeed with every other young person, I am certain!

To the people who have lost all hope, that do not work and are suffering from mental health problems, to you I say: Do not be afraid! Call the “Hidden Likes” Youth house. The worst that can happen is to overcome yourself. One day you will leave the House and like me, you will be stronger than ever, without fearing life. To overcome myself and my fears is the sweetest and biggest victory which would’ve never been possible without the Youth House.


Youth Employment Magazine Thank you! Thank you so much, everyone!

Thank you to the project manager Albena! I love her with all my heart!

Thank you to Yuri Katsarov! He was the best specialist for me!

Thank you to our group therapist Mihaela! She is a very special, wonderful person and professional!

Thank you to Monika, who knows exactly how to motivate us!

Thank you to dr Petkova for being my favorite doctor!

Thank you, group! I am grateful for spending this time with you!

I love you with all my heart!

Simona, 22, client in the “Hidden Likes” Youth House.

Project L.I.K.E. – Life Investment is the Key to Employment


Youth Employment Magazine

Seminar and press conference in Riga, Latvia On 22nd of September (Wednesday) the annual seminar and conference in Riga, Latvia on the project LIKE – “Life Investment is the Key to Employment” and the “Hidden Likes” Youth House was held. The event took place in the Fabrikas restaurant, in compliance with all anti-epidemic safety measures.

The topics discussed were on the inclusion of people with mental health problems – socially and in the labor market; Stakeholder representatives debated on the most comprehensive and appropriate model of cooperation to achieve sustainable and long-term goals for labor market involvement.

The program consisted of:

• consideration of strategies;

• identification of problems and possible solutions;

• profile of the client who needs the services of the youth house, possible solutions from the experience and expertise of the participants in the event.

• Q&A

Who took part?

• Representatives of the LIKE project team: psychologists, social workers;

• The Minister of Welfare;

• Representatives of non-governmental organizations that would cooperate with the PINS Association - TOTAL Foundation, Child of Care, Wings of Hope, Zelda;

• Employers.

The main focus was to identify, understand and present the project’s:

• vision,

• interest,

• clients,

• relatives,

• professionals and employers.

Project L.I.K.E. – Life Investment is the Key to Employment !43

Youth Employment Magazine

Project activities with NEETs Art therapy Art therapy is a set of methods based on the therapeutic use of the process of artistic creation. It serves to restore communication, encourage self-expression and strengthen the creative processes in a person. It can be especially beneficial for people who find it difficult to speak, organize and structure their thoughts, express their emotions and bodily perceptions in words.

Sports When sport is discussed in therapy, patients usually admit that when they are playing sports, they feel much better, but during a crisis they “cannot make themselves do it”. Many other reasons are also pointed out, having to do with organization – lack of time, lack of convenience, no company or even not enough money to pay for sports. In the “Hidden Likes” Youth Houses we offer free sports activities for young people with mental health problems.

Animal therapy Animal Assisted Therapy is a set of nonconventional therapeutic methods using the proximity of animals to a human being suffering from a mental disorder or somatic disease to reduce stress, provoke positive emotions, improve concentration and responsibility, overcome loneliness, etc.

Seminars on healthy life style and gardening In addition to the lack of exercise, other risk factors are unhealthy eating, the use of psychoactive substances and other harmful habits. Workshops and trainings, especially when interactive, can empower participants to move step by step into the right direction. Being part of a group with the same objectives, as well as transfer to the moderator, increase significantly the chances for success.

Project L.I.K.E. – Life Investment is the Key to Employment !44

Youth Employment Magazine

The future of work for NEETs in a circular economy The circular economy is expected to be one of the biggest economic drivers. Relevant sectors to the circular economy employed already more than four million workers in 2016 and are predicted to create many more jobs in the EU until 2030. The increase is due to a shift in value added from resource-based capital gains to worker’s compensation and services and higher technology utilization. The following thinking space explores the state of the circular economy and its employment opportunities for NEETs.

The circular economy - a model for sustainability in resource use and consumption - is expected to be one of the biggest economic drivers (1). Relevant sectors to the circular economy employed more than four million workers in 2016 (2), a 6% increase compared to 2012. Recent estimates predict the circular economy to generate a net employment increase of about 700.000 jobs in the EU by 2030. (3) The International Labour Organisation (ILO) confirms that "...a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy employs more people, is more labour intensive, and is at least as productive as an economy with a production model based on high carbon, resource and material intensity. ... this is due to a shift in value added from resource-based capital gains to workers’ compensation and services, higher technology utilization and longer value chains. (4) This thinking space paper will take a closer look at the circular economy, as it seems a promising concept with employment opportunities for NEETs.

The circularity principle is not new and its regulatory framework is emerging in Europe. In some areas, such as remanufacturing of machinery, medical devices, heavy duty and off-roads or B2B electronics (5), the circularity is a longstanding practice. (6) However, the Global Circularity Report numbers the world’s circularity at only 9.1% circular in 2019. (7) A few governments have begun to apply the concept: for example, Finland has endorsed a circular economy strategy (8) and the Netherlands is aiming to become 50% circular by 2030 and 100% by 2050. (9) The EU has published a circular economy action plan (10) in 2015 and has been setting increasing recycling targets for Member States in waste regulations. EU Ecodesign measures contain repair requirements for

household products that manufacturers have to comply with as of April 2021. (11)

Circularity requires optimization of the utility of products by maximizing their use, extending their lifetime, enhanced recycling, using waste as a resource and circular design, reducing material consumption and using lower-carbon alternatives. New jobs are predicted to be created in industries such as agriculture, renewable energy, construction, waste, repair and rental services and manufacturing that should deliver net gains. (12) By benefiting jobs in services, and if the gender distribution across sectors remains similar, the circular economy will, according to ILO, rise the female share of employment as well as highly skilled jobs. It will also result in a small increase in the numbers of own-account workers. (13) Emerging studies on employment in the circular economy, such as for the City of Amsterdam show that circular jobs types will differ according to the location. (14)

While today’s production processes rely on global supply chains, the Circular Economy is expected be much more local or regional as cost efficient repair, maintenance and services around a product will take place close to the consumer. Local jobs would be created that could not be readily outsourced to lower-cost markets, given the need for skilled workers to turn old goods into new resources, to collect and process recycled materials, and to source materials locally. (15) A report of 2015 finds for the UK that regions where unemployment is higher, such as the North East and the West Midlands, could see the greatest impact on job creation, especially among low to mid-skilled occupations. Drawing on various studies, the report pulled together the below table with employment types created in the waste and remanufacturing sectors in a circular economy. (16)


Youth Employment Magazine

The Circular Economy has the potential to be more social and inclusive and strengthen community- based initiatives. There is already a multitude of local networking initiatives such as the wwoofers (17) repair cafes (18) or repair shops (19), local platforms where citizens exchange services (20), support young people (21) or tool-sharing platforms (22). These local community approaches could be a starting point for successfully supporting NEETs and guide on how to set up initiatives such as a tool library can be found online (23). In addition, NEETs supporting organisations should enter in a dialogue and cooperation with circular economy relevant sectors and organisations to help the young people to enter sustainable circular jobs.

 ( 2 ) h t t p s : / / e c . e u r o p a . e u / e u r o s t a t / t g m / r e f r e s h Ta b l e A c t i o n . d o ? tab=table&plugin=1&pcode=cei_cie010&language=en

(3) European Commission. 2019. Impacts of circular economy policies on the labour market. Available online via labour_market.pdf
 (4) ILO (2018), WORLD EMPLOYMENT SOCIAL OUTLOOK 2018. Greening with jobs, Geneva, p. 38
 (5) Mobile and fix telecom network equipment, datacentre equipment, etc.
 (6) European Remanufacturing Network (,
 (7) THE CIRCULARITY GAP REPORT Closing the Circularity Gap in a 9% World, 2019, https:// In January 2019, the social enterprise Circle Economy released its second Global Circularity Report at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting.
 (11) Publication of these measures is foreseen for the end of 2019. Measures can be found on the comitology registry of the European Commission.
 (12) ILO (2018), p.51
 (13) ILO (2018), p.53.
 (15) Source: For example, between 2005 and 2010, a programme in the United Kingdom recycled or reused seven million tonnes of trash destined for the landfill. This move saved six million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, close to 10 million tonnes of virgin materials and 10 million tonnes of water. It also increased business sales by £176million, reduced business costs by £156 million and created 8,700 jobs.

(16) WRAP and the Green Alliance (2015). Employment and the Circular Economy. Employment and the Circular Economy “Job creation in a more resource efficient Britain, online at: http://
 (17) E.g.
 (19) E. France:,; Greece:; Spain; Italy:
 (20) E.g.:
 (21) E.g.:
 (22) E.g. the Toronto Tool Library -

Project YES! Young Entrepreneurs Succeed


Youth Employment Magazine

Impact assessment of Youth projects – practical examples of selected Slovak organizations best practices. The standard in all organizations is to monitor the number of trainings provided, as well as the number of their participants, both supported by photo documentation.

When monitoring impacts, it is important to realize, that while the data collected can be in any quantity or quality, the most important is to demonstrate causality between a particular educational program and the subsequent change in the behavior or values of young people.

You can find the whole study in Slovak language here:


Project Youth Impact

Assessing the impact of project or program activities is becoming an increasingly discussed topic. Donors are no longer only interested in what even have taken place, but above all what results have been achieved and what their impact is, whether actual or expected. This article was created to complement the “Youth employment evaluation toolkit” and expands its theoretical part with specific examples of evaluating the impact of youth projects in Slovak realities. During its preparation, various Slovak organizations were approached, especially those working on youth development and building youngsters‘ competencies in order to support their employment and entrepreneurship.

It is clear from the article that the most used ways of data collection are methods that are not time and money consuming and do not require professional skills. It is mainly a questionnaire sent to the target group at various moments of projects‘ or programs‘ implementation. The collection of personal stories is also used, whether in the form of case studies or !47

Youth Employment Magazine

Youth With Disabilities & Labour Market Age has a great influence on a person’s employability. Many researchers studying the transition of young people to adulthood say that the key moment of this process is a transfer from education to the labour market. Youth with disabilities face similar challenges to the majority of young people leaving compulsory education and making their way on the labour market, but they are also dealing with additional barriers. The barriers do not only include architectural ones — they are also created by societal attitudes, stereotypes that can transform into direct and indirect discrimination, lower qualifications and skills and the lack of appropriate and coordinated systems to support labour market participation (1).

Youth with disabilities is a group that requires complex support on an institutional level, starting from appropriate medical care, through adjustments during education, psychological help and support in individual shaping the educational and professional path. Education plays a very important role in individuals’ career development and though positive changes have been made in this field in the past two decades, there are still many obstacles that limit satisfying educational and professional aspirations of young people. These are lack of proper guidance and counselling on the choice of educational and career paths as well as poor adjustments made for the increasing number of youth with disabilities in higher education (2). On the level of secondary education the choice of suitable employment path is vital for the individuals in determining their future activity in the labour market. When it comes to transition from education to work it is important to remember that this process must be supported by policy measures, needs to respect personal choices of the young person and requires cooperation between schools and the labour market. Delaying career entry after finishing education lowers chances of youth with disabilities in successful transition to work life. According to the report about the social and professional situation of youth with disabilities in Poland, it is a group with persistently high level of unemployment — the data say that 80% of people with disabilities do not work and do not seek employment, whereas in the age group of 25-29 only 1 in 4 people have a job. The report also draws attention to the factor that inhibits their

professional activity — fear of losing or suspending social pensions, resulting in not taking the job or working in low-paid jobs (3).

Changing society’s attitude towards disability, as well as spreading awareness among people with disabilities about their rights and improving ways of supporting this group is essential in integrating them in the labour market. For example, social model of disability sees society as the factor that disables people by designing everything to meet the needs of the majority of people who are not disabled. It emphasizes that society can reduce and remove the barriers and is also more inclusive in approach (4). It can contribute to improving education and employment policies which could give them an opportunity to lead comfortable and independent lives and participate in numerous activities on an equal basis with others.


(1) Eurofund, Active inclusion of young people with disabilities or health problems. Background paper, p.1

(2) E. Giermanowska, Bariery aktywności zawodowej młodzieży z niepełnosprawnościami w świetle badań, [w:] Polityka społeczna 2012

(3) I.Raszeja-Ossowska, Młodzi – niepełnosprawni. Sytuacja społeczna i zawodowa, Fundacja Pomocy Matematykom i Informatykom Niepełnosprawnym Ruchowo, p.17

(4) [access 26.04.2021]

Written by Fundacja Rozwoju Demokracji Lokalnej

Project Youth Impact


Youth Employment Magazine

Vocational education and training in Poland regional (school superintendents) and county (governing schools). Youth has the opportunity to acquire vocational qualifications in three-year first stage (branżowa szkoła I stopnia, for students aged 15–18) and two-year

Vocational education and training (VET) responds to the needs of the economy, providing people with skills useful for their personal development and active citizenship. It also plays a crucial role in development and employability, as VET allows students to gain practical experience and to avoid the struggle of losing confidence or feeling unsure about finding a job. Among key positives for both youth and employers of vocational education training are practical skills obtained during this type of career-preparation path. It allows young people to spend a lot of time in the practical workshops related to their chosen path, which helps them prepare for their future jobs. When it comes to employers, hiring a person with skills to do the job and being able to adapt to the working environment quickly helps them to feel confident that their new workers are well prepared. They can also see how many resources they should dedicate to train a new hire for the job. Vocational education and training is also decreasing the gap in the transition from school to working environment During their education the students have the possibility to gain knowledge, skills and experience through internships and practical learning opportunities (1), which they can later list in their resume.

Let’s take a closer look at the VETs in Poland. Vocational education and training is maintained at three governance levels: national (ministries),

second stage sectoral programmes (branżowa szkoła II stopnia, 19-20 year olds). The former is giving the vocational qualification diploma for singlequalification occupation, the latter is a further development of skills obtained at the first stage, can be provided in full-time day/evening classes or extramurally and allows to acquire a matura (upper secondary school diploma), which gives access to tertiary education. Technika (5-year vocational programmes for youth aged 15-20) also give the opportunity to hold a matura certificate, but their vocational qualification diploma consists of two qualifications after passing State vocational examinations. There are also three-year special job training programmes (szkoły specjalne przysposabiające do pracy) aimed at SEN (special education needs learners), accompanied by job training certificate, and work preparation classes for SEN learners above 15 years of age already in primary school (oddziały przysposabiające do pracy). Work based learning which is necessary in VEToriented programmes, takes place in school workshops or can be organised partially or fully by an employer (2).

The education system in Poland is currently undergoing structural changes which will be continued until 2022/2023. The main problems (3) of the vocational education system in Poland that are being noticed in the last few years include: too frequent variability of the system, lack of close cooperation with the labor market, a constant decrease of the number of students and vocational schools in the educational system and also lack of a coherent system of education and training for teachers of vocational subjects. Vocational education and training in Poland is facing some challenges nowaday, as the ways need to be found to increase interest in vocational education, adjust the core curricula to the current needs and challenges of the labor market, increase the involvement of employers in organizing practical apprenticeship, improve VET teachers’ competences and also provide high-quality career guidance and counseling as well as high-quality infrastructure in vocational schools. !49

Youth Employment Magazine Polish VET system reforms that were implemented in 2019 included aimed at strengthening cooperation between schools (4) and employers, which included creating a forecast of the demand of employees and also introducing compulsory training in companies for VET teachers.

Vocational education is very important in development and increasing employability, though when it comes to Poland, a lot remains to be done in Polish VET system. The importance of skills-based education should not be underestimated.

Article written by Fundacja Rozwoju Demokracji Lokalnej

(1), access date 21.06.21

(2), p. 58

(3) F. Szlosek, Współczesne problemy kształcenia zawodowego w Polsce, Mazowiecki Kwartalnik Edukacyjny, Meritum 2017, p.7 (4)

Project Youth Impact


Youth Employment Magazine

Preliminary results of the blended learning course Towards Better Youth Employment Projects Evaluator’s note on the course and the project Many activities of the project, including the work package 4 of which the course is a part of, were postponed in their start and implementation. (1) The COVID-19 pandemics complicated preparation and implementation of the entire project. However, as it can be seen in the interim reports 3 and, all the team meetings took place online and the team met more frequently. The obstacles were overcome and the course Towards Better Employment Projects took place successfully. From the available feedback of the participants it is obvious that the project team used any additional time for preparation of a thorough learning tool, furthermore well-tailored to the uneasy conditions we are still living in. The course participants praised the toolkit, e-learning and workshops and explicitly stressed how well prepared it was despite the online form. From the available information, the postponements don’t affect the ability of the project team to deliver the expected outputs and to reach the outcomes in planned schedule and in planned quality. However, for responsible evaluation of the project it would be valuable to have enough time for data collection and analysis after the support of the target groups takes place. It takes time until the members of the target groups get a chance to use the newly acquired knowledge and skills in practice. It takes time until their effort bears fruit. The stories of change are collected 6 months after the completion of the course (or other kind of support) and this is the minimum time required for evaluation after the last support takes place.

survey, 78 participants responded. In the ex-post survey, 48 participants responded. In total, there were 43 respondents in whose cases it was possible to match their full initial and final answers in both entrance and ex-post surveys.

First, participants were asked to assess their proficiency in various areas of evaluation. Before the course, most of the participants identified themselves as beginners (1 or 2 out of 5) in the majority of the areas. After the course, their self-assessment rose on average by at least one level in most cases (just in data analysis the difference before and after was only 0,9).

Self-rated development and knowledge growth The participants of the course “Towards Better Youth Employment Projects” took part in a survey on their level of experience in various evaluation areas, personal and organizational attitudes towards evaluation, and expectations of the course. The questionnaire was administered to the participants before the course (1 – 30 March 2021) and after the course (27. April – 26. May 2021). The ex-post questionnaire contained additional questions concerning their satisfaction with the course. In the entrance

Figure 1 Self-assessment of participants’ experience development (N = 43)

(1) More in ADDENDUM NUMBER 1 of the project Youth Impact, index number 2017-1-415. !51

Youth Employment Magazine The subjective self-assessment growth is supported by a more objective measurement. In the e-learning environment, the participants were obliged to take the entry and final test. The entrance test measured their initial knowledge in various areas reflecting particular modules of the course. Passing the final test (at least 60 % out of 100 points) was also a condition for receiving a certificate. Since the test at the beginning of the course and the one at the end of the course were identical, the difference between the results of the entrance test and the final test reflects the knowledge growth of the participants. While before the course only one third of the participants reached at least 60 % (overall 52 % on average), at the end of the course just two participants didn’t reach the 60 % threshold (and in both cases they didn’t even use all their tries). And on average, participants scored 91 % in the final test.

evaluation depends not only on personal knowledge, skills and attitudes but also on the personal networks of these evaluators. Courses are not only places of acquiring new knowledge and training new skills but of meeting new people that can help us in the future as well. The results of the survey suggest that after the completion of the course, the participants are now more certain in where to seek missing information on evaluation or whom to ask for help. Whether participants truly utilized their newly acquired knowledge, skills and enhanced social networks, we’re going to learn through the interviews with the participants scheduled in September 2021 (6 months after completion of the course).

Figure 2 Average results of participants in the entrance and final tests (out of 100, N = 51)

Change in attitudes and personal capacities In the initial and ex-post survey, participants of the course were asked to what extent they agree with several statements concerning their attitudes towards evaluation and their personal capacities. The statements connected to the importance of evaluation scored high even in the initial survey and no change in these attitudes was recorded. There was no necessity to convince the convinced. According to the theory of the change of the project, increasing the capacity to successfully conduct

Figure 3 Self-assessed change in attitudes towards evaluation (N = 43)


Youth Employment Magazine Change in the self-assessed organizational capacity

Feedback on the course and the toolkit

Another aspect of the capacity building is enhancing the evaluation capacity of the organizations the course participants work for. Internal procedures, organizational attitudes and networks For this reason, the participants were asked about the attitudes of their organizations towards evaluation in the survey before and after the course. However, it can’t be expected that a short course for a few participants, often just one person representing an organization, could change an entire organization so fast. The purpose was rather to create positive cores in these organizations on which the change could accumulate like a snowball. In the comparison of the answers before and after the course there is a visible consistent difference yet too small to be considered a major shift. The success stories can appear in a longer period of time. And for this purpose, to collect these stories of change, interviews with the participants are planned in September 2021 (6 months after completion of the course).

In the survey after the course, the participants were asked whether the course met their expectations in various areas. It definitely met their expectations in learning about evaluation in general and about specific evaluation methods in particular. The participants were a bit more reserved in their evaluation of whether the course helped them to learn about evaluation of projects aimed at increasing the employment of young people. Part of the participants had no such expectation and a similar share of participants didn’t expect to meet on the course people they could collaborate with on evaluation of their projects in the future.

Figure 5 Expectations of the participants and how they were met (N = 43)

The participants seemed to be quite satisfied with the course. Except few ambivalent reactions and two slightly negative answers in case of elearning and the course instruments, the overwhelming majority of participants either somewhat or strongly agreed with particular statements concerning their satisfaction with the course.

Figure 4 Self-reported change in organizational capacity


Youth Employment Magazine desirable. Thanks to this, they managed to build such closeness with the participants despite the distance.”

Besides the words of praise, there were a few suggestions of improvement as well. One participant noted that some advanced materials were in English mostly, whether by omission or intention, and it was more difficult for a beginner to navigate through these parts. Other participant suggested demonstrating the methods in one case from the beginning to the end. One of the participants admitted that the distant form of workshops was more challenging than face-to-face form because it’s more difficult to focus. However, others appreciated how well organized and lectured the workshops were despite the online form. Another participant would appreciate more workshops but shorter ones.

Figure 6 Feedback on the course (N = 43)

At the end of the ex-post survey, participants were asked to write some feedback on the course (“Please, sum up in several words your experience with the course. We also appreciate any feedback that would help us to improve the course in the future”). Although the question was not mandatory, participants left more than five full pages of positive feedback and words of appreciation. Most frequently, the participants valued informational wealth, good organization and friendly spirit. One of the recurring topics was the connection between theory and practice. Participants often had some theoretical background in evaluation but consciously lacked better understanding how to use the theoretical knowledge in practice. According to participants, the course helped them in this. One of the Polish participants summed up their experience in the following words.

“The course was organized and conducted at the highest level. The commitment shown by the lecturers encouraged the participants to further deepen the secrets of evaluation. Their genuine sincerity and willingness to help during the analysis of the tools prepared by the participants made them want to take part in such a course again. The period of the pandemic and remote learning do not help with learning such a difficult and complicated material as evaluation, which is why the words of appreciation for the ability to transfer knowledge by these two lecturers are even more

The implementation team also collected feedback on the e-learning course and on the toolkit. The questions were:

• What are your feelings after you read the toolkit? / What are your feelings about the course?

• Are there any elements of the toolkit/course you find useful? Which?

• Are there elements which need to be better explained? Which?

• Is there anything else that could be improved in the toolkit/course? What?

• Do you feel that anything is missing in the toolkit/course? Please specify.

Toolkit The feedback on the toolkit was overall positive and it was considered everything was comprehensible and clear. Especially appreciated were the parts of the toolkit concerning evaluation methods, data collection, how to ask evaluation questions or how to use the theory of change as a basis for the next steps in evaluation. As for improvement, it would be appreciated to use more practical examples, especially when dealing with evaluation methods or when focused on dealing with youth as a specific target group. And for the less advanced, the terminology might deserve more explanation.


Youth Employment Magazine Course Opinions on the course were all positive. They appreciated that the course was comprehensible, clear, related to the toolkit and the tests helped to revise the content of the modules. As particularly useful elements of the course were considered tools and methods (especially the summary of the methods), videos, homework commented by the lecturers during the workshops, downloadable PDF files or the part on the data collection. Again, more examples would be appreciated. And the volume of knowledge was considered sufficient to be disseminated on at least one more workshop.

Project Youth Impact


Youth Employment Magazine

Expert Study about the impact of the Corona pandemic on education and training in Germany from different perspectives. This paper is based on the analysis of the reporting during the Covid pandemic as well as on the analysis of guideline-based interviews with managers, teachers and lecturers of educational institutions and participants of qualification programmes.

The Covid pandemic and the related lockdown in the education sector was and still is linked with great challenges for educational institutions and especially for the group of already disadvantaged young people.

account, and that qualification and further education can contribute to closing the social gap and become a motor of social innovation.

Read the paper here.

Project Youth Impact

The challenges for educational institutions were, the need to quickly switch from face-to-face to distance learning. This meant digitalising the learning offer, including new methodology and didactics as well as technical equipment.

The participants in educational measures, especially participants from disadvantaged groups, were often not up to distance learning. They had neither the technical equipment nor the space to learn in the home environment. The lack of personal contact, self-motivation and selforganisation skills made learning very difficult.

However, the Covid pandemic has also createtd new opportunities. The digitalisation has made education providers fit for e-learning and opened up new topics and market opportunities for them. They are now more crisis-resistant and can react more quickly to changing demands. New topics and goals can make education providers a driving force in social change.

With regard to disadvantaged young people, the pandemic has acted like a burning glass and made their problems more visible. In the medium term, these groups will benefit from the processes of change that have been initiated, assuming that the needs of this group are taken into !56

Youth Employment Magazine

Let’s talk about employment

The current global epidemiological situation has shown us how fragile the economy and job market is. Many people have lost their jor within a few weeks and thus, their earning stability. This has a negative impact on our emotions and self-esteem. Often in a crisis situation, people lose their strength and will to fight. How can you protect yourself from such a situation? Which industries are and will be the most vulnerable?

I will try to answer these and other questions in the following article. I will also point out the industries that have functioned normally despite the epidemic and even increased their demand for employees. I will suggest what to do in such an unexpected situation, which has now happened to us.

Let's start with an analysis of the labor market. In Poland, the worst situation was experienced in the cab industry, tourism, entertainment and also in those related to education, arts and sports. People working on commission contracts were at risk of losing their jobs, especially in the service industry, such as in the area of beauty services, i.e. beauticians and hairdressers, catering and hotel services. Companies were forced to make layoffs due to restrictions and bans on services issued by the government. The lifting of the restrictions got the companies up and

running, but many people have not returned to their jobs. There are also fewer jobs in these sectors, than before the pandemic.

Summarizing the above information, we can say that the greatest crisis has affected industries that rely on direct contact with customers. So, what to do and where to look for a job that will not be lost unexpectedly?

It turns out that in addition to the industries particularly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic, there are some that are still looking for workers. Many advertisements appear in the food industry which, in this period, has an increased demand for workers. It should be remembered that the basic requirement for working with food is to have a current sanitaryepidemiological booklet. This is always a viable alternative in times of layoffs. This industry is constantly recruiting. If you do not have such a book, you can focus on looking for work, for example, in DIY stores. It is also worth contacting companies in the cosmetics or pharmaceutical industry - both from the wholesale side and manufacturers, because they need people to work in the warehouse. Helping hands are also constantly beeing looked for, by companies in the logistics industry. - We are talking about the support of courier companies, which have recently been very busy and are also looking for employees.

Wondering what to do if your learned profession is among the at-risk industries where unemployment is estimated to increase the most? Or maybe you do not have any professional qualifications and you think that there will be no chance for employment? First of all, you cannot panic and give up! Unemployment is rising and it will be harder to find a job. Keep in mind what the famous Polish proverb says: "Nothing difficult for those who want it". So, analyze your skills. Do you have a driver's license and are physically fit? Apply to courier companies. It is worth noting that a lot of ads appeared for jobs where you do not need a university degree. Nowadays, what matters are professional qualifications and competencies, which can be obtained by completing training courses, e.g. warehouse worker with forklifts and warehouse software. There are also shortage occupations, in which there are constantly new ads, and people to work in them. Maybe it is worth thinking about getting a new profession from this group.


Youth Employment Magazine The offer of courses and trainings is wide, individually tailored to the participant. There are many institutions on the market that implement projects for the unemployed or those who want to retrain. If you have an occupation from the risk group, it is worth thinking about gaining new qualifications, which will give you an alternative and broaden your horizons on the labor market, which is constantly changing and worth following.

To sum up the above article, we can say that there are many external factors, beyond our control, affecting our lives, such as the current pandemic. We never know what can happen to us. We must be prepared for similar situations. It is worth perceiving this time as a learning experience, draw conclusions from the whole situation and ask about your future.

Author: Pola Rechinbach-Piotrowicz

Vocational counsellor/employment mediator

at the Tulipan Post-Penitentiary Care Center

and owner of the company

Counseling and Training Center

Pola Rechinbach-Piotrowicz

Project SEPAL


Youth Employment Magazine

SEPAL Success Story This video highlights the success story of Andrei from Suceava (Romania) that received support from the SEPAL WISE Team, managing to contribute to his socio-professional inclusion.

Andrei-Daniel Stiubianu is one of our former NEETs who works now at the "Handcrafted Furniture". His experience was meaningful for him but also for his mentors, who have been guiding Andrei ever since he started. We invite you to listen to his story and his mentors.

Watch the video here.

Project SEPAL


Youth Employment Magazine

RAISE Youth in Croatia: Exchange of experience in culture, tourism and agriculture

fertile land. The Croats agreed with the team of the Center for Development of Sustainable Communities to exchange knowledge and experience in this technology so that it can be applied in Bulgaria as well.

The working visit to Croatia was busy but productive. With a very rich program that started from the first day.

Last July was reserved for the RAISE Study Visit which took place in Croatia. The Bulgarian team consisted of members of the Regional Youth Center-Breznik, representatives of the municipal administrations of Pernik, Radomir, Zemen and Kovachevtsi and the business in Pernik District, as well as young people participating in the project.

In the presence of a local guide, the representatives of Bulgaria visited some of the most emblematic landmarks of the Croatian capital. Attendees got an idea of the rich historical and cultural heritage. Especially memorable was the visit to the city museum collection - Hrvatska kuća "Materina priča", which brought together typical household items, as well as traditional clothing, handicrafts and traditional ritual symbols.

The second day of the visit began early in the morning with a tour of Gospic. A little later, the team from Pernik District had the opportunity to see one of the most visited tourist sites in the area - the Memorial Complex "Nikola Tesla" in the village of Smilyan, where the birthplace of the Croatian physicist is famous for his contribution to widespread use. of alternating current.

The Croatian hosts had prepared not only a cultural program, but also many useful practical trainings and visits to local tourist and agricultural sites, wineries and others in order to exchange experience.

Various sites in the field of tourist services and agro-agriculture were also visited, where the participants from the trainings of the Regional Youth Center had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge for starting their own business in the above.

Among the highlights was a visit to the mayor of the city Gospic, project partner - Karlo Starcevic - who presented his vision for the region's development and efforts. From the meeting it became clear how big role local government plays in the development of local business, culture, tourism and social development. The municipality is extremely supportive of the RAISE Youth project and they are implementing a number of ideas together. Among them is vertical agriculture, which can be applied very successfully in mountainous and urban regions, where there is not much

Among them, Luka Zuzinic's family campsite, located at the foot of the Velebit mountain range, aroused interest. The place has long been known among locals for its innovative "Hobbit Houses", successfully renamed Crobit Houses! They are dug into the ground, and their vision is inspired by Slavic mythology. Zuzinic told interesting stories about the origin of the idea and how it has become a successful and working model for attracting tourists from around the world to a non-traditional mountain place for tourists. !60

Youth Employment Magazine At the end of the day, a dairy farm was visited in the town of Ostarije, maintained by the local district authority (county) and providing employment to a large number of people from the community - again in a region far from the sea part of Croatia, which entices the bulk of the workforce.

The third day began with a meeting at the Taise Youth Center of the leading project partner - GTF. The hosts told about the beginning and development of the project so far, consisting in supporting and supporting innovative youth ideas with a focus - tourism, sustainable agriculture and IT technologies.

development of agro-agriculture through the introduction of innovative practices and models were discussed at the meeting.

After the working meeting at the Youth Center in Gospic, the guests from Bulgaria visited the Center for local species of fish and crabs from karst waters in the town of Otočac. Among his activities are scientific and professional research of indigenous fish species and crustaceans from karst waters. It deals with both their genetic profile and other important features in the process of fertilization. The center is a popular tourist destination for foreign and domestic tourists.

The day of our team continued with sightseeing of other sights from Croatia such as the river Gatska and the old flour mills on Mayer's spring.

The team from Bulgaria visited several other interesting tourist sites in the region, including: the cathedrals in the town of Gospic and the village of Bukovac Perushichki, Grabovacha Cave Park and others.

The intercultural and educational exchange continued with a visit to Ivan Vlajnicic's family business. Since the beginning of 2009, it has been a registered producer of brandy and sells products in limited quantities on the Croatian market. A year later he started repairing an old building in his yard, which was specially adapted for the production and storage of 11 types of brandy. The most famous of them are plum, quince, pear, apple, honey and others.

On the fourth day of the visit - to get acquainted with a really good and profitable tourist site - the group from Bulgaria had the opportunity to visit one of the biggest attractions in Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is located in the Lika region and covers an area of about 300 square kilometers, with more than 70% of this area being forests.

The hosts from GTF said that every third foreign tourist in their country comes to see the turquoise lakes. The reason for the increased interest lies in the active state policy for promotion and advertising of the site, as well as in its good management and administration.

On the fifth day, the delegation from Pernik District participated in a joint informal working meeting on the Raise Youth project. The plans for !61

Youth Employment Magazine The last day of the visit offered a visit to one of the ancient cities of the Balkan state - Zadar.

Zadar is the historical center of Dalmatia, as well as the main political, cultural, commercial, industrial and transport center in Zadar County (district). The most developed industries are tourism, transport, trade, agriculture, fishing and metalworking. Banking is also developed. The city has an international airport and a business incubator, which was also part of the program of our delegation.

subjects relating to RAISE Youth project activities in Croatia and entrepreneurial climate in Croatia in general. The study visit aimed to provide participants with the opportunity to get to know and compare with own experiences.

This study visit was a unique opportunity to discover more about being an entrepreneur in Croatia and how projects supporting the development of entrepreneurship play a role in it.

"Innovative Zadar" was founded in 2003 as a business incubator with the main goal to promote the development of micro, small and medium enterprises in the city of Zadar. The initial idea, which is still in full force 18 years later, is consulting and administrative assistance to young entrepreneurs in starting their own business. They are offered to rent office space at a bargain price.

Today the incubator in Zadar consists of 28 business premises of different sizes and purposes. The local municipality pays the rent to a few start-ups: 80% before the first year, 60% in the second and so on until the 5th, when the company has to leave the incubator because it is supposed to be on its feet.

The team from RAISE Youth Center - Breznik, together with the representatives of the municipal administrations in Pernik District, also visited the ecological winery "Shkaul", whose owner is Shime Shkaul.

It is located in the interior of Zadar, in the heart of Ravni kotari in Nadin. The winery has won numerous awards for product quality, the same being recognized by leading world and Croatian oenologists. In order to achieve the best quality of the wine, the vineyards are treated according to the strictest standards for organic production. Each bottle of wine bears an eco-label. An interesting fact is that in 2013, Shime Shkaul's winery was visited by the Swedish royal couple. According to protocol, they were supposed to stay for 45 minutes, but they were two and a half hours amidst Shime's wine and sweet-spoken talk.

Project RAISE Youth

The study visit was designed to provide participants, from different backgrounds, with opportunities for more detailed study of specific !62

Youth Employment Magazine

Empowering YOUth through Entrepreneurship!
 “NEETs in Entrepreneurship” project wraps up with final conference

Around 100 stakeholders joined a virtual conference to discover lessons learned and future outlook around solutions to engage young Europeans Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs). Wrapping up the “NEETs in Entrepreneurship” project, funded by the EEA Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment, the conference was the occasion to gather project partners to take stock of the results achieved. Opening the conference on behalf of the EEA Norway Grants, Gian Luca Bombarda, Director of the Financial Mechanism Office stressed the importance of this project to achieve the strategic objectives of EEA Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. Youth Employment Fund will go on until 2024 and will reflect the outcomes of this project such as moving the opportunity closer to the youth and the importance of preventing measures to avoid more youth falling into the category of NEETs.

Salvatore Nigro, CEO JA Europe, said that “for JA Europe, providing concrete opportunities to young people lacking resources, networks or opportunities is a strategic priority in the years to come. Together with our business partners, we will increase our capacity as an organisation to serve those young Europeans who can benefit most from the entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy skills through our programmes.”

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Isabel Benjumea, Member of the European Parliament declared: “It is our duty to create opportunities to young Europeans who have suffered the consequences not only of the current pandemic, but also the previous financial crises".

The NEETs in Entrepreneurship project funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment met its overall objective to reach at least 1,600 young people in 4 European countries through various capacity-building activities despite the challenging context of the global Covid pandemic. The implementing Junior Achievement organisations highlighted the success factors of at national level in reaching the NEETs youth over the past three years. For instance, in Spain with a huge decline in jobs in the tourism sector, there are many more young people applying for Vocational Education and Training than there are places. This results in a huge risk of increased NEETs as young people have neither employment, nor education or training.

To address this challenge, Emanuele Odazio, People & Culture Director Southern and Eastern Europe at ManpowerGroup, stressed the importance of offering concrete further opportunities to young people at the local level. Many conference participants called for increased resources for similar initiatives targeting youth lacking resources or opportunities.

Several youth representatives also gave testimonials of the impact the NEETs in Entrepreneurship project has had on their entrepreneurial and professional path, such as:

• An Italian start-up Marbo making fashion accessories combining an atelier experience with the comfort of online shopping;

• A Bulgarian entrepreneur who got the confidence to launch a business thanks to the project’s mentoring and capacity building;

• A social start-up from Spain working in the area of mental health, with concrete support on how to develop a prototype and deal with legal questions;

• A Romanian agricultural start-up that managed to expand its business thanks to the project’s support.

For further information:

Project NEETs in entrepreneurship !63

Youth Employment Magazine

COVID-19 Regional Labour With the final data on unemployment for 2020 released, the COVID-19 Regional Labour, a YOUTHShare spin-off project, compiled them into what appears to be an overall dire situation. The pandemic had a serious impact on employment in Southern Europe, and more specifically on youth employment.

As always, a more detailed perspective points to regional and sectoral differences in terms of unemployment, unemployment and NEETs rate. What is interesting, though, is that, in most cases, the pandemic just reconfirmed the structural trends observed between periphery, economy and unemployment. The infographic of the COVID-19 Regional Labour is revealing.


Youth Employment Magazine

Project YOUTHShare


Youth Employment Magazine

Beyond the hands-on experience: International internship as cultural communion Ariadna is one of the few formerly unemployed youth that decided to embark on the YOUTHShare mobility scheme and, after the successful completion of her training in Spain, do an internship in a Greek social enterprise, despite the widespread fear of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like another Lawrence Durrel visiting Rhodes island, she recalls her concerns, her experiences and the funny moments of her internship. By embracing the opportunity to work in the social economy, she coins the true meaning of an international internship: A cultural communion.

One month before my flight to my new town and company, and apart from the interview we’d previously had (which was extremely motivating and made me want to fly the minute after we finished talking), I had not much more information about anything. Three weeks before my flight and I still had no other news about the program. Of course, it was summer! Two weeks to take off and I started to think that I wouldn’t find accommodation, as I wasn’t getting any replies from any of the apartments’ owners I had contacted. With a week to go, I finally got some news. I still had the idea that I was going to get there and that I wouldn’t find anything and would have to go back or else go sightseeing on my own. Even my dad joked “see you next week”. Anyway, I was nervous. And I was in my right to be nervous, even though now, retrospectively, it seems that it wasn’t such a big deal. The day I got on the plane I was still skeptical, of course, but with a bit more reassurance, as I’d had some news both from the apartment owner and from my future employer. The minute I set my foot in Greece I knew that it was going to be alright as, somehow, I had made it there.

I arrived at my apartment, as happy as can be that it actually existed, that it was there. After that, I. P., the manager of my hosting social enterprise, told me some initial things regarding the company and helped me out with getting into the city. The apartment was conveniently located exactly next to the office. And this would mean, apart from not having an excuse for being late to work, that I was going to meet most of the manager’s family, as it was part of a family-owned building. In other words, direct immersion in the ‘Greek way of living’.

“I’ve been lucky to take part in the YOUTHShare project, which promotes youth employability, particularly among young NEETs and helps familiarize them with the concept of social economy. After I finished with the first part of the program, the e-learning course, I was quite surprised that we were offered the possibility to go abroad for the training part (although apparently nobody else seemed interested in that!).

It was Sunday midday and there was not a soul on the streets. I went for a walk and took deep breaths of relief. I had spent weeks worrying that I didn’t have enough information, but I had made it after all. I’d love to say that this had already taught me something, but the most probable thing is that I’m going to worry about uncertain things for most of my future life.


Youth Employment Magazine The following day, I went to the office to start working and met some of my coworkers. As I was told, most of the members of the social enterprise worked remotely, so there would be a quiet environment. I was introduced to all the information of the company that I was eager to learn about: about their past, current and future projects and about all the idiosyncrasies of the enterprise. I was then introduced to the scanner, which would be my closest ‘mate’ in this upcoming adventure. I’m saying this because, although I didn’t have the feeling that I was putting my previously learnt competences to the test at work , being in close contact with the day-today management of a social enterprise allowed me to couple the theoretical knowledge with valuable insights on social economy. At the end of the day I felt happy and always with more knowledge, which was actually what I was looking for.

There wasn’t a single day that I wouldn’t learn about either a little-known historical fact, or about a peculiar fertility tradition, or maybe I would hear a personal funny story, a (bad) joke or some new Greek word (often an expletive of some sort). Even if I wasn’t trying to find them, there were always specific scenarios that every traveler would love to witness while living abroad. It could be listening to the distant sound of a qanun featuring the unique voice of a child, or else hearing the omnipresent Theodorakis’ music playing everywhere after his death (RIP), or maybe the always circulating food coming into the office, after constant celebrations of weddings and baptisms every weekend (remember, this is a family building).

We also listened to some poems by Odysseas Elytis set to music and shared some retsina and mastic (like resin but not quite the same), as well as some precious dried figs filled with sesame and delicious sesame bread sticks. We had some visitors (family, coworkers and cats alike), watched live protests and even got to witness some traditional blessings on the first of September. I learnt about earthquake protocols (‘Don’t jump out the window!’ happens to be the one piece of advice that I’ll keep in my memory) and I also found out about some features of Rhodes, like specific proper names (Katholiki, Tsambika) particular from the island and that sound funny in the rest of Greece, or even words that nobody else in Greece knows about, like kunna (or ‘seed’) that Rhodians use. There were

also bittersweet discoveries, like learning about the fact that breaking dishes during weddings is not the case in Greece (unless it's an accident, of course).

I lived on the island of the patron sun-god Helios and the (probably, although a bit controversial) hibiscus flower. I’ve survived walking on the streets, risking my safety walking across zebra crossings, as cars here seem to erase pedestrians from their field of vision. I’ve also seen overfed cats on the streets, lying under the sun like cozy gemista. Greece seems to be the place where all blue things in the world are collected: not only the beaches’ waters but also building walls and even people’s fingernails (coming from the typical red fingernails that I had seen in Spain, seeing that electric blue was shocking, but completely logical if you consider the colors of both of the flags... could that be a coincidence?). Apart from the culinary discoveries at the office, I even tried some Greek food specialties (and, as a vegan, that’s hard to find, but not impossible), like moussaka, spanakopita, gigantes, gemista or fava. Just for this I know for sure that I’m going to come back. Well, for this and for frappé, of which I was able to create the amazing (and possibly sacrilegious) warm version.

I witnessed some chamós (chaotic) days with lots of Jose Cuervo (colloquial for being overburdened by unplanned work) and how to gamísou everything (this sentence may not make sense at all, but it was what I kept on listening anyway). I became acquainted with the proper way to use maláka without being rude and I learnt that if you were asked ‘Ti kánis?’ (How are you doing?), the answer was always ‘Kalá’ (Fine), no matter how good or bad you were actually doing. And, after all, I could almost say that ‘Miláo elliniká’ (I speak Greek).

After all, I feel very lucky to have spent this month working at a social enterprise. Actually, working at this particular enterprise. I very much appreciate the fact that I’ve been able to witness the internal workings of an organization like this one and I’m proud and happy with all that I’ve learnt. For sure I would love to repeat the experience if I had the chance (although I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be ‘young enough’ to participate again).


Youth Employment Magazine So, I can affirm that, despite my initial worries and despite the impression that I wasn’t actually testing my previous knowledge as planned, I felt that, at the end of the day, the cultural exchange was the most rewarding knowledge I could have got from it all.

Lastly, I’m leaving you with a word that I randomly learnt today, which is now on my top10 list of favorite words: chartopetséta. Enjoy it”.

Project YOUTHShare


Youth Employment Magazine

Regional particularities in Potenza: From legal formalism to harsh reality The YOUTHShare project continues its focus articles regarding regional particularities, featuring the city perspective of Potenza and its surrounding region of Basilicata at the South of Italy.

The regional law 11/2000 from the Basilicata region regards the "Recognition and Promotion of the Role of the Young Generations in Regional Society". The law further protects the rights of citizenship of young people and promotes their autonomous participation in civil society and in regional institutions. It also supports the full development of their personalities at a cultural, social and economic level. In that framework, the law provides for a plan of short-, medium- and long-terms measures that support extra-curricular traineeships, contracts of first, second and third level apprenticeships, contracts allowing for a proper and qualified training agreement, and overall respectable conditions of work and general protection of employment.

Against the provisions of the law, the reality is strikingly different. According to the national statistical authority, ISTAT, the employment rate in 2020 for the age group 15-64 in the main provinces of the region was just at 50% (Potenza 50.4%, Matera 51%) which presented only slight changes compared to 2019 (49.8% and 52.7% respectively). Among the employed manpower, however, the predominance of men is unquestionable with 63.4% for the whole Basilicata region, compared to 37.7% of women. On the other hand, the unemployment rate presents a relatively unexpected drop during 2020 at the age group 15-74 in the same region, from 10.8% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020. In that framework, the participation of women was higher compared to men, as expected. At first sight, a lowered unemployment rate would not make much sense during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the secret lies with the inactivity rate which presents a stark rise between 2019 (42.9%) and 2020 (44.5%).

A deeper insight into age divisions would reveal that the age group 15-29 is highly and unequally affected by the overall situation. 26.7% of the same age total population was unemployed in the province of Potenza and 20.4% was the respective rate for the province of Matera. What is shocking, though, is the inactivity rate of the same age group. A total of 71.6% of that age group was recorded as inactive in the Basilicata region during 2020. Among them, 78.9% were women and 64.8% men. The change between 2020 and 2019 reached almost a 5% increase.

It is apparent that young people and women are the social categories that have paid a very high price during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being in the most precarious end of the production process, their “expendable” job positions made them the first to suffer the consequences of an acute crisis right after a long recession. After their fixed term contracts were not renewed, they were recorded as unemployed or they just gave up looking for a job.


Youth Employment Magazine

The regional law 11/2000 now appears to be more of a wish list, rather than a plan to be implemented. Regardless of the reasons, Active Labour Market Policies like the 'Youth Guarantee' and 'Universal Civil Service' programmes have not risen to the social circumstances caused by the pandemic. They need to be improved and go beyond the focus on the initial reception of young people in the labour market by creating real and long-term job prospects. But taking care of young people also means taking care of their needs beyond employment. Housing, childcare and cultural access, are just the minimum in order to really achieve what the regional law states, namely 'the development of their personalities at a cultural, social and economic level'.

The YOUTHShare project through the Italian branch of the Transnational Employment Centre based in Potenza, aims not just to reduce economic disparities but also to increase social integration through multidisciplinary training, soft skills provision and job placement targeted to the needs of the local young NEETs.

Project YOUTHShare


Youth Employment Magazine

YOUTHSharing Experiences Face to face! After almost two years of online presence, we all understand the hidden meaning of this, otherwise, standard phrase. Face to face is much more than meeting in person; it implies a range of meanings being conveyed through facial expressions, body posture and, at the end of the day, our 3D presence in the same room. Face to face is a whole different experience of communication that we almost forgot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

and consequently the Decent Economic Growth in Southern Europe; thus, fully resonating the 8th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. The European Sustainable Development Week is a european-wide coordinated action that brings together events promoting the 17 Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The YOUTHSharing Experiences event followed a blended format. On September 18th, 2021, the participants of the Steering Committee meeting, local stakeholders in Murcia, beneficiaries of the YOUTHShare project gathered either physically in the welcoming UCAM Catholic University of Murcia or online to share their views and concerns about the state of youth employment in the Mediterranean regions. From that day and until September 24, NEETs, researchers, stakeholders and managers have been sharing their views on youth employment and the YOUTHShare project in particular on the facebook event page.

It is those two particular terms, Experience and Communication, that dominated the YOUTHShare Steering Committee meeting that took place in Murcia, Spain; two years after the previous face to face meeting in Matera, Italy. Alongside the Steering Committee, the Open Event YOUTHSharing Experiences materialised those particular terms in a celebration of an, at last, physical co-presence of both friends and cooperating organisations as well as of beneficiaries and stakeholders.

The open event has been selected and featured for the European Sustainable Development Week 2021. The YOUTHShare project since its design in 2017 has a constant aim to support the Decent Work for NEETs

Among the stakeholders, the keynote speaker Mr Juan Antonio Pedreno,

President of UCOMUR (Cooperatives’ Union of the Region of Murcia) and UCOERM (Training Cooperatives’ Union of the Region of Murcia) explained in detail the skills gap between the labour market needs and the youth in Spain. The other keynote speaker, Ms Adriana Lastra, President of PAREM (Association for the Support to Refugees and Migrants in the Region of Murcia), presented the complicated needs of refugees and migrants towards their social integration that, inescapably, goes through employment.


Youth Employment Magazine On the other hand, beneficiaries, researchers and managers recorded some really interesting statements reflecting their experience with YOUTHShare and the steps forward they identify.

Aniza is a former NEET and YOUTHShare beneficiary. She came to Spain from Peru and finds the project as a “great opportunity for immigrants. It brings us in contact with companies and improves our employability by providing skills and knowledge on the circular economy. Especially the soft skills provided are important for an assertive positioning in the labour market”. As a step forward she asks YOUTHShare to “increase the internship time and open up the topics of training and internships such in agricultural engineering”.

Miris is also a former NEET but local to Murcia. She thinks that through the YOUTHShare project she came across a different working environment but

at the same time believes that “the process of job matching regarding the internships was rather slow. I would prefer a faster approach”.

Ariadna is one of the beneficiaries that decided to do an international internship by moving from Spain to Greece. She records her internship that lasted almost one month as a very positive overall experience. Nevertheless, the whole experience could be enhanced by expanding the internship period. “One month is too little time for an internship. By the time one gets used to the place and the organisation, it’s over”. She also notes the need for a better flow of information between the project and the potential as well as existing beneficiaries.

Mari is the Key Account Manager of the Spanish branch of the Transnational Employment Centre. “It is my first time in such a large project. The project has dimensions much larger than any other I knew before. !72

Youth Employment Magazine Yet I’m always eager to do a little bit more for those migrants. It was really satisfying to get to know the real needs of the people, through the YOUTHShare project”. Yet, she views the capacity to do with policies at regional level as an important future step. “I would make the project more impactful after its end for the immigrants”.

environment such as that one. But as a challenge it definitely improved myself. I would love to see, however, data collection from qualitative sources as well; like focus groups”.

Praxedes is one of the senior researchers and supervisor of Carlos. “The YOUTHShare project, through qualitative and quantitative methods, researched the NEETs at the European level. In the future we could possibly replicate the approach to the societies of South America. For the time being, more focus on regional level is needed in the Mediterranean world, because the differences are so vast. The training needs to take into consideration regional peculiarities since the local development depends on different topologies and sociologies”.

Markela is the local manager of CARDET, YOUTHShare project partner in Cyprus. “I would describe the YOUTHShare as a happy moment. The time spent to be around and help people lacking motivation is invaluable. The YOUTHShare project had a lot of impact on them changing their lives, finding jobs etc”. On the other hand, she believes that higher funding on internships in order to be able to help more people would be always welcomed.

Nicola is the coordinator of the Transnational Employment Centre’s branches. For him the YOUTHShare project has been an amazing experience. “I am proud to be in the team. The Transnational Employment Centre, since 2019 has recorded some really impressive numbers. The four YOUTHshare branches provided to around 900 NEETs with services including CV development, job matching and of course training. Around 400 women, 200 migrants and 200 NEETs that don;t belong to the immediate targets of the project have been supported. Nevertheless, the increase of the duration of the internships is important in order to build long lasting relations between interns and employers. Still we have an excellent starting point to build upon in the future”!

Carlos is one of the junior researchers of the YOUTHShare project. “I was a PhD student and it was stressful, especially in an international

Project YOUTHShare !73

Youth Employment Magazine

Contributors & Credits CONTRIBUTORS From the Fund Operators The FO Team

Mateusz Wiśniewski Francesca Bombarda

Sara Barbi

External Contributors Thomas Mc Grath

From the Projects Kristina Barać

David Rihtarič

Alina Adomnicăi

Marzena Dusza

Alexandru Petre

Monika Peter Tzvetkova

Laura Pacareu Flotats

Zuzanna Kowalik

Ioannis Papageorgiou

Kremena Yordanova

Radka Zgarbova

Anna Goudi

Anna Michael

Nicoletta Avigliano

Mari Galiana Badenes

Pola Rechinbach-Piotrowicz

Youth for our cities 
 Youth for our environment/climate change Projects: 053, 058, 152, 192, 314, 345

DIRECTOR Gian Luca Bombarda


Youth Employment Magazine

Cover image: European Week

The contents of the Magazine are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Donors.

born with the intention of sharing the results and updates of the projects participating to the Fund to showcase the main achievements of implemented activities.

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Official number: 3380/2019