Youth Employment Magazine - Issue 19

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ISSN 2704-6540

Youth Employment Magazine N. 19

Credits: youthforeurope.eu & youth-goals.eu

JULY 2022


Youth Employment Magazine

Contents 3 5 7 9 10 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25 26 26 27 29 30 32 34 36 38 40 41 42 44 46 47 48 49

Director’s Editorial International Cooperation on NEETs: Full of Intent, short in Content Young Europeans: current context and future challenges Themes of the month International cooperation to support NEETs and develop new approaches, methodologies, and solutions for employing young people European Youth Goals: Which is your priority (related to the peculiarities of your targeted countries) and why? Which could be the new EYG (now 11) considering this changing society? European Youth Goals Developing the international cooperation for today's youth: empowering the young adults Is the new international cooperation paradigm an opportunity for global youth? European Youth Goals: Which is your priority and why? European Youth Goals: Which is your priority (related to the peculiarities of your targeted countries) and why? Which could be the new EYG (now 11) considering this changing society? European Youth Goals and their links to the Cowork4YOUTH project European Youth Goals: a reflection on top major issues regarding Romania’s employment and social inclusion situation & efforts European Youth Goals from the Perspective of the Social Cooperatives in Greece News from the Projects Local cooperation for reaching NEET - practical lessons of an experiment The 'Youth Employment policy' conference 8th of June 2022 on-site in Brussels and online The "Youth Employment Policy" Conference – hope for new and better solutions for young people Employment initiatives targeting youth in Spain, Hungary, Italy, and Poland Reducing School Drop-Out: Good practice from Malta ILO report: How did 20 countries respond to policies regarding youth employment during COVID-19 International cooperation in a research project Rural NEETs: How they have inspired research and how they can also inspire better policies Green and social business academy – to celebrate the Year of Youth International conference in Lithuania – initiates processes towards WISE model implementation SEPAL PRO Opening Event - LET´S MENTOR RROMA Empower (Rroma) youth through participation and mentoring The StayOn Experience Autoocupació, ambassador of The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool Young entrepreneur succeed, YES! Workshop – Munich 29th and 30th 2022 Interview with Mentor: Pavlos Mauroudis - ANKA !1


Youth Employment Magazine 50 51 52 53 54 58 59 61 63 64 66 68 69 71 74 75 76 77 78 81 81 83

Solutions Brief Therapy and Counselling Centre – Ruse held its final closure event Creative Center Ruse and Tartu Art School exchanged experiences and good practices with the schools in Ruse Creative Center Ruse presented CODE project opportunities to students from Christo Botev high school HRDA started final training course under CODE project SOCIALNEET & social entrepreneurship Joana: a story of success Barriers that Keep Vulnerable People as NEETs: A Study YOUTHShare project presented at the 2nd CONFAB Webinar by the Rural NEET Youth Network YOUTHShare at the ICA CCR European Research Conference How the 2008/2009 economic recession and Covid-19 affected NEETs in the EU South About Supported Employment, at the future tense Experience exchanges between employers and young adults with disabilities, beneficiaries of the LEAD project Experience exchange between employers and young adults with disabilities Up to the 31st of march, 138 young Portuguese adults with disabilities benefited from opportunities offered within the LEAD project The opportunities offered within the LEAD project, presented at School Centre for Inclusive Education "Montessori" LEAD project, promoted by HAO in the academic community Start with yourself! Young beneficiaries of the LEAD project – special champions Blue Generation Project updates News from the Regional Cooperation Projects Engaging young people with science Contributors & Credits

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Youth Employment Magazine

Director’s Editorial Dear Friends, In the opening of our Regional Cooperation’s last issue, I was talking about an urging situation we are all facing – as we always do, also because we are now used to link our tentative of sharing solutions between our two Funds –. My words were about the high temperatures and hot, I am sure that you all are feeling it. And I am sure that you are dealing with similar issues. Here in Italy, in addition, we recently faced also an increase of Covid19 cases. This virus became aggressive, but I do not want to re-open the scientific discussion with which we had to live for months in the past years. Indeed, I would like to concentrate on another, maybe worst, effect of the pandemic. Unfortunately, we are still talking about the economic impact of Covid-19 on youth: considering employment and social development in Europe, in 2022 youth people are still the most affected by job losses. Therefore, while on the one hand we have to fight for our planet, on the other – or maybe in parallel – we still have a lot of work to do for our youth. And, by looking at the selected theme for this month, that we elaborated with you months ago, talking about priorities, youth goals and changing societies is more urgent than ever, as if new priorities were added every day. Talking about European Youth Goals, they are all related to our daily routine/work. I read with pleasure all the Projects’ contributions and I have to tell you that I agree with their interpretation: the majority of the Projects listed the 11 EYGs, while the general thought is that we don’t really need to add new goals. Rather, we should ‘expand’ some of them, using one verb I read scrolling the articles and that I find appropriate. Depending on the Project considered, and therefore on the specific countries involved, some EYGs are more relevant than others. Sometimes the most urgent is related to mental health, other times to the needs of the so-called ‘rural youth’. That is to say that analysing them in detail and one by one could take us away from the general consideration that, instead, I wanted to do. I don’t want to annoy you with complicated speeches, which I leave to experts, but I believe that in some way these objectives are linked on a general level to the problem I mentioned above, namely the loss of job and the economic consequences of the pandemic. And it is precisely for this reason that, in my opinion, there is still a lot to do. This is why I agree with those who argue that it is not necessary to add other objectives or priorities but, on the contrary, we need to try to work more on the challenges that we already have to face today. The 2022 edition of the Employment and Social Development in Europe (ESDE), helps to identify and underpin some needs related to that, reporting that possible explanations of youth’s slow recovery are linked to high share of fixed-term contracts and difficulties in finding a job after leaving school, university or training… something we've been talking about for some time, don't you think? I think yes, since this is the main area of intervention of our Fund for Youth Employment. And it really heartens me to see that we are all, still, on the same path. After all, we and you are all doing a lot to keep up with the European Year of Youth. I have to recognise that even the ending Projects (you will read about it), did their best until the very end, and as I am always saying, I am convinced they will go on with those purposes. !3


Youth Employment Magazine And I have to tell you that I am glad that also the representatives of the FMO are actively participating in several events, demonstrating that the Fund can go beyond words. You will read something within the next issue about that ! Last but not least, before ending, we are almost done with our national networking meetings, which hopefully have been for the Projects an occasion for knowledge exchanges and further hints. I really hope that, since the whole Fund is expecting to find, as a result of those reunions, the nominated ‘Testimonials’ representing youth. But, this is just an anticipation…. After all, as our friend Tom is saying in the next pages, cooperation, even in the ‘world’ of NEETs is more important than ever. We don’t need «silence, stasis». And it is important to see the efforts, as Tom says: «There is so much good work being done by all of you, with your pertinent Projects in this sector financed by EEA and Norway Grants Funds for Youth Employment». And related to that, and since I always like to bring some positivity and good vibes, I am happy to announce that, in August, something is arriving. We are preparing a very special issue dedicated, again, to youth, on the occasion of the International Youth Day, which is celebrated on the 12th of August. Our goal, if possible, is always to give voice to youth, not to consider them just an ‘area of intervention’, or a ‘target groups’. Therefore, I don’t want to anticipate anything, but I can just tell you: stay tuned! You could have some nice readings during your vacation. And about holidays….. considering the period, I take the opportunity to wish you a good continuation of your summer. Gian Luca Bombarda The Fund Director

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Youth Employment Magazine

International Cooperation on NEETs: Full of Intent, short in Content Towards a coordinated, strategic approach and accompanying flexibility in implementation. We are now more than halfway through the ‘European Year of Youth,’ and there is, on the political and institutional stages, an international silence instead of a deafening crescendo concerning the situation of NEETs. Perhaps not silence, but stasis. How much longer can the smokescreens of a pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and spiralling inflation be used as excuses for the lack of integrated, positive action to improve the lot of youth categorised under the NEET sobriquet?

The PR machinery of the EU and UN have been in overdrive in what amounts to defensive arguments or, at best, displays of strong intent. Young people not in Education, not in Employment or Training continue to be the focus of increasing attention from academics and policymakers. The alarming levels of youth unemployment in several European Union countries, as well as the increasing NEET rate, which reached a peak after the 2008 economic crisis, led to a concerted European response, marked by good intentions. As part of this response, the Youth Guarantee (YG) initiative was launched in 2013, aiming to ensure that everyone aged 15 to 24 would have an opportunity of education, employment, or training. So far, so

good. Past studies suggested that the implementation of the YG at the European Members States faced many challenges and downsides related to the lower levels of NEETs’ involvement in the proposed projects/ activities (Tosun, 2017), a mismatch between the measures implemented and the real needs of NEETs (Tosun & Shore, 2017), as well as to the diversity among NEETs (e.g., in terms of education and attainment, gender, immigrant background, geographic disparities) (Simões, 2018) The NEET concept has been widely used as an indicator to inform youth-oriented policies on employability, education, training and also social inclusion in the EU Member States since 2010. However, NEETs emerged as one of the most vulnerable groups following the 2008–2013 recession. Youth unemployment soared above 40% in many EU countries, highlighting how young people are more vulnerable to economic recession than other age groups. The major concern now is how these young people will again be affected by the economic fallout from COVID-19 and the current cost of

living crisis. The statistics scream the realities. In 2021, 14.5 % of young women aged 15–29 i n t h e E U w e r e N E E Ts , w h i l e t h e corresponding share among young men was 2.7 percentage points lower, at 11.8 %. The proportion of 15-29-year-olds in the EU neither in employment nor in education and training in 2021 ranged from 5.5 % in the Netherlands to 23.1 % in Italy. Eurofound carried out an online survey on Living, working and COVID-19 from April– July 2020 and February–March 2021 to establish the initial impact of the pandemic on the lives of EU citizens. Their findings revealed that young people in Europe are feeling the strong impact of pandemic restrictions as they cope with the lowest levels of mental well-being and high levels of loneliness. Young men also appear most affected by job loss in the current crisis. A new EU Youth Strategy was adopted in 2018 and sets out a framework for cooperation with Member States on their youth policies for the period 2019–2027. The strategy focuses on three core areas of action, centred around the words ‘engage, connect, empower’. !5


Youth Employment Magazine Meanwhile, COVID-19 is had a grave impact on apprenticeships and training. To aid the economic recovery from the pandemic, on 1 July 2020 the Commission launched a Youth Employment Support package to provide a ‘bridge to jobs’ for the next generation. The Commission put forward a proposal for a Council Recommendation on ‘A Bridge to Jobs – Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee’, to replace the 2013 Recommendation. It extends the age range covered by the Youth Guarantee from age 24 to 29. What is missing in all this is a coordinated, strategic approach and accompanying flexibility in implementation. There have been good ideas forwarded: •

Mapping and tracking NEETs can enable a better understanding of the characteristics of NEETs at a macro level and where they are primarily located, thus allowing for more targeted measures at the micro level. The characteristics of the NEET population are very diverse and hence the approach to reaching out to and engaging with them varies across Member States. Developing a strategic approach to outreach at national level helps ensure consistency, coordination and common standards. Overarching national strategies with a flexible local aspect to delivery help to ensure that the activities can be responsive to the

situation on the ground and deliver the services needed. Early intervention and prevention are primordial to help avoid young people from becoming inactive and distancing themselves from the labour market. Outreach professionals can work with local schools to identify pupils at risk and take preventative measures to ensure that they receive timely support to avoid them becoming hard-to-reach youth in the future. ‘Early warning systems,’ with attendant early advice and guidance for potential early school leavers can prevent young people from becoming disillusioned and dropping out. Tracking young people on the journey f ro m e d u c a t i o n t o e m p l o y m e n t demands a coordinated and integrated approach. Inclusive multi-agency partnerships play an important part in delivering appropriate methods to identify, reach out to, engage and activate NEETs and these partnerships need to be delivered in a co-ordinated way to ensure that young people do not get ‘lost’ within a system. Strong and formalised co-operation and information/data sharing between all stakeholders is critical to ensure that young people are not falling through the cracks.

sector financed by the EEA and Norway Grants Funds for Youth Employment. You continue to work at the coalface of the different plights and injustices. This work deserves higher recognition and reward, not for self-gratification and kudos, but to make that work visible and valuable as the basis for a sustained, realistic approach to the highest levels. I have often called for a harmonised, integrated advocacy exercise, aimed at the institutional and political powers to help develop a strategic, coordinated, comprehensive approach to alleviating the NEETs different dilemmas. Perhaps the second half of the European Year of Youth is the time for such a campaign.

Thomas Mc Grath Our Irish Journalist

There is so much good work being done by all of you, with your pertinent projects in this !6


Youth Employment Magazine

Young Europeans: current context and future challenges society. For example, if we consider young migrants and refugees, or young people with disadvantage backgrounds, they are even less likely to gain a job or a long-term contract.

While European societies are getting older, the levels of youth unemployment are at an alltime high, especially in the south of Europe. They have been the most strongly affected group by job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the just published 2022 edition of the Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) review stressed, even if young people are on average more educated and digitally skilled compared to other age groups, they are facing the already existing challenges which the COVID 19 pandemic worsened. In fact, young people already experienced some of the economic and social issues as their higher share of temporary employment contracts and their concentration in sectors or occupations impacted by the pandemic. These challenges are even more concrete and evident when we look at the most disadvantaged and poorer sections of the

Another severely disadvantaged group is that of young women. They have been one of the most affected young groups by the pandemic crisis, as they were often called to the increased burden of domestic or care work, which also had an impact on their job prospects. An important aspect, underlined by the ESDE 2022 edition review, is the impact of pandemic and economic and social crisis on mental health. The job losses and the uncertainty on the future, especially for young women and lower-income groups, really affected mental well-being, with evidence of higher rates of stress, anxiety and depression. All this evidence, presented by the annual review of Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE), is also experienced by our partners of the EEA and Norway Grants’ Fund for Youth Employment. As they started to deal with young people before COVID 19, they had the opportunity to follow the path of this category through the crisis and its difficulties and obstacles. Most of the partners, during our ROM activities, confirmed their difficulties in reaching the target groups and in engaging them in their

projects, mostly due to the pandemic impacts described above (restrictions in “face-to-face” meetings, low willingness of the participants in the engagement of activities etc). Despite the difficult moment, they were able to continue the planned actions, always listening with empathy the young people’s demanding. So, what are the international and European institutions doing for youth to counter these trends? One of the most concrete examples in facing this challenge could be addressed to the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) promoted by European Union, as part of NextGeneration EU. The measures of the Recovery and Resilience Plans, among which there is a clear aim to support youth employment issues, are classified according to three categories: -

Education and training Employment support to job creation Education infrastructure and equipment

Thus, EU governments are called to carry out investments and reforms, following the European Union guidelines. It is expected that on average, by 2026, youth-related Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) measures have the potential to increase regional GDP and employment by more than 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. !7


Youth Employment Magazine There is therefore a great challenge underway, but at the same time an enormous opportunity, to create better conditions and to improve future of youth. Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done, but together, the EU institutions, the Civil Society Organisations, and other entities, such as EEA & Norway Grants together with the Fund Operator, have the responsibility to tackle this challenge not only for young people, but more generally for everyone’s future. Resources h t t p s : / / e c . e u ro p a . e u / s o c i a l / m a i n . j s p ? langId=en&catId=89&newsId=10330&furtherN ews=yes https://europa.eu/youth/year-of-youth_en#eupolicies https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/youthemployment/lang--en/index.htm https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/ employment-wpay.html Victoria Tokatzian FO Editorial Team

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Youth Employment Magazine

Themes of the month: European Youth Goals: Which is your priority (related to the peculiarities of your targeted countries) and why? Which could be the new EYG (now 11) considering this changing society?

International cooperation to support NEETs and develop new approaches, methodologies, and solutions for employing young people

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Youth Employment Magazine

International cooperation to support NEETs and develop new approaches, methodologies, and solutions for employing young people NEET is an acronym for ‘not in employment, education or training’, used to refer to the situation of many young persons, aged between 15 and 29, in Europe. The aim of the NEET concept is to broaden understanding of the vulnerable status of young people and to better monitor their problematic access to the labour market. Lowering youth unemployment and aiming to effectively engage as many of Europe’s young people as possible in the world of work, is at the heart of the EU policy agenda. The 2008–2013 economic crisis led to high levels of youth unemployment and thus disengagement among young people. Considering this, researchers and government officials have sought new ways of monitoring and analysing the prevalence of labour market vulnerability and disengagement among young people. Following the latest European surveys on the NEET phenomenon, it is useful to distinguish two macro age groups, which are involved in different ways in this process. Recent statistics provided by Eurostat on NEETs in Europe confirm that in 2020, in the 15-19 age group, relatively few people were NEET. The most critical situation concerns young Europeans aged 20-34, who are involved in the delicate phase of leaving education and entering the world of work. There is a double implication that obliges policy makers to address this issue firmly and responsibly. On a personal level, these individuals increase the likelihood of suffering from poverty and social exclusion, while on a macroeconomic level, they represent a possible loss in terms of reduced productive capacity as well as costs to the welfare system. The economic events linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have also led to an increase in the NEET category across Europe.

Research on NEETs The NEET concept has been widely used as an indicator to inform youthoriented policies on employability, education, training, and social inclusion in the EU Member States since 2010. It has also been a key theme for research in Europe as well as a cornerstone for policy surrounding the world of work and youths. NEETs were specifically referred to for the first time in European policy discussions in the Europe 2010 flagship initiative ‘Youth on the move’. The age category covered by the term was 15–24 and was later broadened to include those aged 15–29. The concept is now centrally embedded in the policy discourse at EU level. In April 2013, the European Commission’s proposal to the Council of the European Union to implement a Youth Guarantee in all Member States was adopted. Reducing the number of NEETs is an explicit policy objective of the Youth Guarantee. This initiative aimed to ensure that all young people aged 15–24 receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship, or traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. The roll-out of the Youth Guarantee across Member States, via the Youth Employment Initiative, has contributed to improving the situation on the ground, reducing the number of NEETs. In December 2016, the Commission launched the initiative 'Investing in Europe's Youth', a renewed effort to support young people. Given the positive impact of the Youth Guarantee up to that point, the Commission increased the finances available for the Youth Employment Initiative until 2020 to encourage more effective outreach to young people. !10


Youth Employment Magazine A new EU Youth Strategy was adopted in 2018 and sets out a framework for cooperation with Member States on their youth policies for the period 2019–2027. To aid the economic recovery from the pandemic, on 1 July 2020 the new Commission launched a Youth Employment Support package to provide a ‘bridge to jobs’ for the next generation. The Commission put forward a proposal for a Council Recommendation on ‘A Bridge to Jobs – Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee’, to replace the 2013 Recommendation. It extends the age range covered by the Youth Guarantee from age 24 to 29. The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, proposed by the European Commission in March 2021 and followed by a declaration at the Porto Social Summit in May 2021, introduced new, ambitious targets for young people, such as reducing the rate of NEETs from 12.6% (2019) to 9% by 2030.

Jobsplus and research on NEETs on a European level Investments in the green economy are going to be the key drive of postpandemic recovery and are set to radically change our economy and society. In ensuring that such transformation is inclusive and sustainable, policy makers need to be able to deploy new solutions to increase participation at all levels, particularly of the most vulnerable. In view of this, Jobsplus is taking an active role on a European level to deepen the knowledge and data surrounding the concept of NEETs and bridging it over new grounds surrounding green investment. Jobsplus is the lead partner on a €2.18 million funded project by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment, which was purposely aimed at developing a pathway for NEETs to enter the green economy.

core, the project focused on designing a new green career pathway for this group of youths with the intention of being replicated across other European countries. To do so, primary research was conducted amongst employers and other stakeholders which focused on the labour skills the industry requires for the green economy. On basis of this research, a training programme was specifically designed to support this transition into the labour market. The pilot schemes being run in Malta, Italy and Lithuania will provide data and evidence that will be used to inform European policy recommendations. Youth employment remains a cornerstone of national and European employment challenges. The concept of NEETs is a representation of Europe’s take on solidarity in the labour market with a focus on vulnerable groups. The concept is of major significance to Europe and its member states and approaching it through innovative methods is critical going forward, especially as the labour market and broader economy are facing distinctive challenges. Jobsplus is leading this initiative by being a leadpartner in a pan-European pilot study which specifically caters for the green economy and NEETs.

Article by Jobsplus – Project Intercept in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Fabri, economist Project Intercept

INTERCEPT project is an innovative project involving partners in Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Luxembourg and Malta in the leading role. The project was designed to facilitate entry in the labour market for 300 youths aged 25-29 in Italy, Malta, and Lithuania through the green economy. At its

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Youth Employment Magazine

European Youth Goals: Which is your priority (related to the peculiarities of your targeted countries) and why? Which could be the new EYG (now 11) considering this changing society? I believe that the number one priority at the moment in Europe and more specifically in the country our organization is targeting – Bulgaria should be the mental health and wellbeing of young people. In today’s Europe, the second most common reason for death amongst youngsters is suicide. Studies show that almost one-fifth of European boys and more than sixteen percent of girls are struggling with a mental disorder. Statistics led by UNICEF Bulgaria reveal that one in five death cases amongst young people is caused by self-harm. The amount of teenagers with depression, anxiety, fears, and destructive emotions, in general, is immense. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on their overall well-being. According to the last studies the feeling of loneliness has increased four times, anger and irritation by three and fear has doubled. The other big issue at sight is that all those people struggling with mental health are not seeking help. There are two main reasons for that. The first is that in Bulgaria, there is still a stereotype that thinking of visiting a psychologist or therapist indicates you are "crazy." It is frowned upon to seek help, and those who do so actively are considered weak or attention seekers and are frequently subjected to ridicule and harassment. All of this causes shame and anxiety for the adolescents to address the problems that they are facing and see a professional. In Bulgarian research, 63% of teenagers choose to cope with their problems on their own rather than reach out for help. The second reason is financial. The health system in Bulgaria is lacking much support from the government, especially the mental health sector.

Treatment of mental health disorders and psychotherapy is not funded by the government. The financial status of the average Bulgarian is such that it is difficult to afford to visit a therapist. Our NGO just like many others has made countless efforts to raise the issue and achieve the goal of having at least 6 psychological consultations per year paid for by the government, but unfortunately without success so far. The reason mental health and well-being are our priority is very simple. It all comes from the inside – the motivation, the decision making, the problem solving, the drive to live and make a change in the world so it could be a better place for everyone. If your leg is broken you cannot go and win a run race. So if you don’t feel good mentally you cannot live a fulfilling life. Once we achieve this European youth goal our minds will be free and healthy to focus and pursue every other one more easily. What we consider should be added to the 11 European Youth Goals is increasing critical thinking skills. As a result of the current crises the world is experiencing and the changes in Europe in the past few years (the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine) there definitely exists a need for a new EYG that is increasing critical thinking abilities in young people in Europe. With the huge amounts of various information, propaganda, and fake news, it is ever more indispensable for young people to be prepared to recognize which are credible sources of information and to distinguish them from fake information. Stimulating critical thinking is of great importance for the physical and mental health of young people. Written by project L.I.K.E. intern Project L.I.K.E. !12


Youth Employment Magazine

European Youth Goals The 11 European Youth Goals, formulated from a survey of almost 50,000 young Europeans in 2018, highlight the issues affecting young people across Europe, and identify their priorities for a sustainable and successful future. They range from “Quality Education” and “Quality Employment for All”, to achieving a “Sustainable Green Europe”, whereby all young people are environmentally active and making a difference in their everyday lives. These goals are included in the EU Youth Strategy, which is the framework for EU youth policy cooperation for 2019-2027, and centres around three key words: Engage, Connect, and Empower. Meath Partnership fully supports of all of the European Youth Goals and we will endeavour to address as many as possible in our youth project work. In relation to the ideology and aims of the StayOn project, the European Youth Goal that we must give precedence to is Goal #6 “Moving Rural Youth Forward”. Much like the StayOn project, this goal is dedicated to the challenges that young people in rural areas face, where there are fewer opportunities, making it harder for rural youth to realise their ambitions and goals. European Youth Goal #6 has been subdivided into seven targets, to ensure: • appropriate infrastructure in rural areas - equitable delivery of public services, data connectivity and housing opportunities for young people • sustainable, high-quality jobs, accessible to young people are created in rural areas • the decentralisation of different activities by, for, and with young people to support their inclusion and to benefit local communities • young people in rural areas are actively participating in decisionmaking processes • equal access to high-quality education for rural youth • a positive image of rural areas • the protection of rural traditions.

These targets combined present an opportunity to empower young people and improve their socio-economic integration, and support a policy of social cohesion that will create social and economic growth in rural communities across Europe, in alignment with the opportunities created for rural youths by the StayOn project. Rural areas are often affected by a higher share of NEETs, and a higher proportion of the population faces the risk of social exclusion. StayOn's ultimate objective is to create conditions that enable young people to "stay on" rural land by ensuring their access to opportunities, benefits, services and jobs. The project aims at fostering youth empowerment by providing adequate skills for the rural labour market, and the core implementation activities build on community-based development - a participatory approach that fosters collective action by communities by putting them in control of innovation. European Youth Goal #6 is strongly supported by the StayOn project as both aim to improve the conditions of young people in rural areas and fight demographic and socio-economic decline by unlocking rural youth potential. Meath Partnership Team Project Stay-On

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Youth Employment Magazine

Developing the international cooperation for today's youth: empowering the young adults Although it sounds like a cliché, everyone will accept the fact that today's youth is the architecture of the future and the guarantee of tomorrow. If we want to prepare the next generation for their future and not our past, engaging young adults will be the first and foremost step. For this reason, providing opportunities for young people in business areas and market places, and increasing the lack of youth representation in the labor market will be a significant step forward. Reducing youth unemployment and inactivity will benefit young individuals contemporaneously with society. Even though the policies followed by each country in the fight against youth unemployment vary according to the country's geographical and demographic characteristics, economic situation, and many different factors, European regions have the potential to form international alliances to cooperate and support NEETs and develop new approaches, methodologies, and solutions for empowering young people. Developing strategic and wide-ranging methods and solutions helps ensure consistency, coordination, common standards, and positive social response.

term approaches and innovative concepts to ensure harmony in the workplace and consider a fair and equal working environment one of the most critical priorities. In order to increase the visibility and efficiency of international cooperation, tools to regulations, and approaches for youth employment, education consultants, employers, and public services should discharge their duty to strengthen and expand communication among young employees. Perhaps more importantly than all, communication should be encouraged, collective working platforms should be established, and a suitable ground should be developed for institutions and organizations working in this field to cooperate in coherence and harmony. Mine Tülü, European Center for Social Finance Project Stay-On

While these youth-oriented policies aim to shape the youth and the future, the needs and demands of today's young people should not be ignored. Making way for NEETs to recognize their needs and express their demands will be an essential factor in the empowerment of young people. Supporting the active participation of young jobseekers in decision-making processes concerning their abilities, personalities, intentions, and purposes increases social inclusion while decreasing the risk of poverty, youth unemployment, and social exclusion in the future. By investing in education and skills development at an international level, we can ensure that the rapidly increasing adolescent and young population will not be caught unprepared. In addition, employers should afford NEETs stable opportunities, especially in fields where NEETs attempt to gain their first experience in the labor market. Employers should seek varied and long!14


Youth Employment Magazine

Is the new international cooperation paradigm an opportunity for global youth? In the last decade, also due to the exacerbation of the effects of the climate change on the environment and the global population, we are witnessing a mobilization of ideas and actions from the global youth that is probably unprecedented in history.

If this world was formerly considered as restricted to some specifics professional profiles, today thanks to the evolution of policies and practices in international development, we observe new opportunities and scenarios.

The awareness about the interconnection between local actions and their impact on the global communities is currently stronger than ever before. What the States have established in 2016, through the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leading only to weak improvements, is finding strength, determination, and courage among the global youth community. We could probably say that the globalization of the economies that started in the ’90 is finding its counterpart in the globalization of the citizenship, led by the youth in the years 2020. Their involvement in the destiny of our planet is made both by large civil mobilizations and responsible everyday life choices. Concepts as global responsibility and sustainability, once prerogative of a small community of people that dedicated to these for passion or professional reasons, have undergone a strong democratization process.

When thinking about the international cooperation professionals, we used to refer to some classic profiles, mainly in the health sector, agronomists, some fields of engineering (hydraulic, constructions), together with the programme management profiles (usually experts with a background in international politics or international economics).

In this scenario youth are questioning more and more their role, also professional, vis à vis the global development challenges. What was often born as a mobilization of consciousnesses for a fairer world, now leads more and more youth to bring a contribution in this direction, also through their work. The opportunity to travel low cost and to be personally in touch with the local communities in emerging and developing Countries, makes some youth interested in contributing to the constructive processes of sustainable development. For these reasons also we deal always more with youth looking with interest to the international cooperation environment.

New approaches to international cooperation see the involvement of new actors and the design of new instruments. Together with the international organisations, new protagonists in these processes are the business, the international foundations, the cultural and the art sectors, the (new) media, the development finance and impact investing, the Academia, and any other forms of civil society organisations. This multitude of actors are due to operate in partnership, in the view of enhancing local institutions and organisations, to implement those processes characterized by mutual collaboration and multilateral cooperation. The achievement of the SDGs by 2030 is strictly connected with the ownership of the local development processes by the Partner Countries and by the local civil society. This epochal change will necessarily need a progressive reduction of the historical aid concept, steadily enhancing the processes of codevelopment and transfer of expertise, with more resources, more instruments, and innovative strategies.

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Youth Employment Magazine In this scenario we observe an urgent need of young professionals that may merge the commitment in the promotion of a fairer world, with new specific skills, together with the capacity of thinking out of the box, to reach the ambitious goals set by the 2030 Agenda for development. There are big opportunities in international cooperation for youth looking to be young professionals in the field of communication and the new media, environmental economics, waste management, renewable energies and circular economy, for young architects and urbanists who wish to cooperate with local colleagues in the design of the new sustainable cities. And this is just to mention a few. What the international cooperation mostly needs are innovators, people with the capacity and the attitude of thinking and acting in innovative manners, to avoid repeating the mistakes the international cooperation has made in the past years. As (already) global citizens the European youth are the natural recipients of a “call to action”, as protagonists of the new international cooperation, to design a world that is more just, fair, sustainable for the environment and for all the human beings. Project YES!

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Youth Employment Magazine

European Youth Goals: Which is your priority and why? In 2018, about 50,000 young people participated in a survey that was held Europe-wide. The results from this survey birthed the 11 youth goals. Every country in the EU took part in the development of the youth goals. The aim was to collect the voices of the youth and come up with goals that reflect their views and represent the vision of the active voices in EU youth dialog1. Below are 11 of the Youth Goals which have been included in the EU Youth strategy. • Connecting EU with Youth • Equality of All Genders • Inclusive Societies • Information & Constructive Dialogue • Mental Health & Wellbeing • Moving Rural Youth Forward • Quality Employment for All • Quality Learning • Space and Participation for All • Sustainable Green Europe • Youth Organisations & European Programmes.

From the list above, this article will focus more on goal 3 – inclusive society. This is because prioritizing inclusive society would make it easy to achieve most of the EY goals listed above. Checking every goal on the list will mean nothing if social inclusion is not adequately implemented. The voices of the young people who are minorities, those who live with disabilities amongst others should be heard and they should feel comfortable in any space where they find themselves without any form of discrimination. For example, studies have shown that persons with disabilities are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes such as less education, poorer health outcomes, lower levels of employment, and higher poverty rates2. So why is social inclusion not a priority on everyone’s list? !17


Youth Employment Magazine Inclusive societies afford all individuals and groups regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, ability, religion, immigration status, and socioeconomic status access to and full participation in society3. Timely interventions directed at young people are more likely to yield a greater return for sustainable development than attempts to build these capacities later in the life cycle.4 Having a society where young people are included and properly represented means that the society allows for equality of all genders as discrimination does not exist in a truly inclusive community. It means young people are informed and are involved in constructive dialogue, their mental health and general wellbeing is accounted for and taken care of. They get access to quality learning and employment. It encompasses the issues and solutions the European Youth Goals aim to achieve. In other to ensure an inclusive society, it is important that every sector of the economy is well informed about the topic. Young people need to feel accepted in the environment and know that playing their part matters a lot in the grand scheme of things. Employment and empowerment are seen more in societies that are inclusive, the youths benefit from such societies and it ultimately translates to a better world for all. There is a need to ensure that the youth feel safe, welcomed and valued in the community. They need to know that they are capable of doing great, and the society is playing the part by supporting them, because A society that allows its youth to have a voice and be able to maximise their potential is a society set for greatness.

Empowerment through Innovation and Technology for All With the changing society and world at large, we suggest that if a new EYG is to be added it should be one that covers youth’s participation in innovation and technology. According to Eurostat, In 2019, 94 % of young people in the EU-27 made daily use of the internet, compared with 77 % for the whole population. Young people in Europe have shown great interest in technology and have proven that with empowerment and proper measures that they can own the tech-space. This was evident in the robust list of young Europeans that made it into the 2021 Forbes list under the technology category. Initiatives from the European Economic Area

(EEA) and Norway Grants to support transnational projects for Youth Employment including European Digital Bootcamps (EDIBO) contribute to increase the job opportunities for young people outside of the labour market. It will be impactful if a new EYG or sub-category is added to help the youth navigate better in that sphere and create a better world through innovation and technology. Also it will help create a stronger economy for the continent, as digitization could boost productivity growth by more than one percentage annually, and Europe could potentially add $2.7 trillion to its economic output by 2030 if it were to develop AI according to its current assets and relative position in digital technology in the world. The 11 EYG captures the views of the young people in Europe and beyond and we believe that if followed religiously it will yield the desired results. We all have a role to play in ensuring the goals are achieved and we must start playing them today.

References [1] Youth Goals (2018) European Youth Goals listed https://youthgoals.eu/youthgoals [2] World Bank Org (2022) Disability Inclusion Overview - https:// www.worldbank.org/en/topic/disability#1 [3]Zana Marie Lutfiyya & Nadine Bartlett (2020) In book: Oxford Encyclopaedia of Inclusive and Special Education (pp.1-17)- Publisher Oxford University Press - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/ 352553356_Inclusive_Societies [4] OECD (2017) Inclusive societies and development/youth-inclusionproject. - About the Youth Inclusion project - OECD Fig [1] Jugend Dialog (2021) Youth Goals https://jugenddialog.de/en/ youth-goals/ Project YES!

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Youth Employment Magazine

European Youth Goals: Which is your priority (related to the peculiarities of your targeted countries) and why? Which could be the new EYG (now 11) considering this changing society? Let us recall the European Youth Goals and their context: 11 EYG has been defined as the outcome of the 6th cycle of the European Union Youth Dialogue process – which took place in 2017 / 2018 - with over 50.000 young people, in the form of Europe-wide survey. So surely these goals reflect the views of European youth and summarise the issues that affect them in Europe. They indicate in which areas change still has to happen so that the young people can use their full potential and could function with dignity and satisfaction in their societies: • Connecting EU with Youth • Equality of All Genders • Inclusive Societies • Information & Constructive Dialogue • Mental Health & Wellbeing • Moving Rural Youth Forward • Quality Employment for All • Quality Learning • Space and Participation for All • Sustainable Green Europe • Youth Organisations & European Programmes These goals are supposed to affect the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027. There are still 5 years to go for mobilizing EU level policy instruments and also actions at local, regional and national levels – to shape policy in the interest of young people.

In the Polish field, every point above seems to be equally important, essential and necessary to implement, so that the quality of functioning of young people is worthy. The list is complete, thoughtful and - most importantly - reflects the real desires and aspirations. Therefore, I would not add another item to this list. On the other hand, I would expand some of them, in the certain context - in the current situation of Poland - with a very important aspect related to the war in Ukraine: nowadays, in our country, there are about 800,000 school-age children from Ukraine. The number of Ukrainian students in Polish schools is approx. 200 thousand, of which approx. 40 thousand in Polish kindergartens and 160 thousand in Polish schools. There is a huge role and responsibility of the education system for these children in the refugee crisis. We face such problems as mental resistance of teachers, staff shortages, lack of funds, everyday functioning of the school in extreme conditions. We certainly need development of prevention system of difficult situations, adaptation processes, leveling language barriers, defining responsibility of educators, students and parents in the communication process. And after that, preparing newcomers to the Polish labour market… Before summer holidays, which last from the end of June till the end of August, most Ukrainian children used the online system and were in the Ukrainian education system. If the war does not end, Polish education system must anticipate a situation where some of the majority that were online, will also enter the Polish education system from September: even 0.5 million children from Ukraine may find their way to Polish schools.1

1. https://glos.pl/ilu-uczniow-z-ukrainy-bedzie-sie-uczyc-w-polskich-szkolach-od-wrzesnia-czarnek-podal-nowa-liczbe

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Youth Employment Magazine In fact, the circumstances are very interesting: youth from Ukraine, who have now found refuge in Poland, but also in other European Union countries, will experience similar problems as EU youth and on the other hand, will have the opportunity to take advantage of the EU strategy, despite the fact that by citizenship, they are not (yet) members of the European Union. It would be great if it was a chance for them and at least slightly compensated for the misfortunes and traumas they experienced in their own war-torn country. Special attention should be paid to youth risking marginalisation based on potential sources of discrimination, such as their ethnic origin, sex, belonging to the LGBT+ community (a very low level of tolerance of the community in Poland, which is struggling with deep problems: depression, suicide), disability, religion, belief, political opinion or poor socioeconomic situation. The situation in Europe related to the war in Ukraine shows how well the 11 EYG have been defined, as they are all the more up-to-date and necessary. Project FOLM

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Youth Employment Magazine

European Youth Goals and their links to the Cowork4YOUTH project The eleven European Youth Goals (2019-2027) that emerged from the Structured Dialogue with Youth 2017-2018 1, are designed to cover young people’s many and various concerns in our changing world. Taking a closer look, one might observe that as a whole these goals point to a fairer and more inclusive society. Thus, most (if not all) of them are interconnected; from trust and participation in European institutions and decisions (Goal 1) to the provision for youths in rural areas (Goal 6), and from the inclusion of marginalised youth (Goal 3) to “greening” the everyday behaviour of individuals (Goal 11). This interconnectedness implies that improvement in one field is not enough, and that societies and politicians need to develop proper actions towards all these goals in order to improve young people’s position. Cowork4YOUTH is a research project on youth (un)employment, and our particular objectives, areas of focus, and target groups mean that goal seven, Quality Employment for all, is inevitably central to our point of view. In this article, however, we would like to discuss the project’s links with other EYG’s, besides the obvious connection to Goal 7. These links are of two kinds: direct links related to the project’s targets and design; and indirect links, based on the interconnectedness mentioned in the introduction. Cowork4YOUTH aims to examine and suggest policies on the issues of skills mismatch, brain-drain, and the potential for employment in alternative sectors (such as platform economy and coworking spaces) in two types of non-metropolitan regions, those in energy transition and those that are tourism-dependent. While the project’s research and conclusions cover the entire NEET population, the subgroups of the longterm unemployed and young mothers are given particular attention. These two subgroups account for the project’s direct links with other EYG’s. Skills mismatch is a prominent issue in European policies tackling youth unemployment, and therefore Quality Learning (Goal 8) is naturally tightly

coupled with Quality Employment. It concerns professional education (e.g., through Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Learning), as well as more basic themes, such as early school-leaving, which is associated with higher chances of poor professional development and even social marginalisation. At the same time, Cowork4YOUTH’s focus on non-metropolitan areas (either tourism-dependent or in energy transition) can obviously provide useful insight and recommendations for promoting Goal 6 (Moving Rural Youth Forward). On the one hand, some of the particular objectives of this theme directly refer to more and better jobs and improving the quality of education in a way that can be substantially beneficial for the rural youth. The need, on the other hand, for improving and modernising the infrastructure in such areas creates the space for non-traditional practices (such as coworking spaces and the platform economy) to come in and play an effective role (Neagu et al, 2021). Given the aforementioned subgroups in focus, namely the long-term unemployed (which is a marginalised group) and the young mothers (who apart from exclusion in general terms, also experience the effects of gender inequality), goals 2 (Equality of All Genders) and 3 (Inclusive Societies) are also highly and directly connected with our project. There is, however, a subtler link to other EYG’s, besides these direct connections that arise from the particular subgroups: a good quality job can be considered a pathway to social inclusion and gender equality, or even a prerequisite. If the long-term unemployed and the young mothers who abstain from the labour market do not have a real chance of decent work, it will be questionable whether any other measures to support these groups can substantially alleviate the problems they face. 1. https://youth-goals.eu/wp-content/uploads/engl_YouthGoalsHandout.pdf !21


Youth Employment Magazine This type of link of Quality Employment to Inclusion and Gender Equality, allows one to identify the importance of Work for other Goals as well. For example, in societies with high levels of unemployment and precarious working relationships it will be hard for young people to develop trust in national or European Institutions and get engaged in participatory democratic activities (Goals 1 and 9), as they might feel that their basic needs are not considered and their voices are not heard. It is also understandable and repeatedly supported by research (e.g., Eurofound, 2012; Feng et al., 2015; Strandh et al., 2014) that unemployment and the state of being a NEET in particular can have a “scarring effect” which affects not only future career development, but also the mental health and well-being of the individuals (Goal 5). Identifying these interconnections in this short analysis, is not to say that there is any kind of overlap among the established Youth Goals. Each one is developed in a particular area of interest and its specifications are essential for grasping the multiplicity of issues that European youth faces. In fact, the closer examination of each goal can be a source of inspiration as it can reveal additional routes through which youth issues are approached and the variety of implications that working on one of them can have.

References Eurofound (2012) NEETs – Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. Feng, Z., Everington, D., Ralston, K., Dibben, C., Raab, G. and Graham, E. (2015) Consequences, risk factors, and geography of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET). The Scottish Government, Edinburgh. Maxon, D. & Barta, O. (2018). Structured Dialogue Cycle VI Thematic Report on Employment. Available from: https://zenodo.org/record/ 3716202#.YtpsAXZBxPZ Neagu, G., Berigel, M. and Lendzhova, V., 2021. How Digital Inclusion Increase Opportunities for Young People: Case of NEETs from Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Sustainability, 13(14), p.7894. Strandh, M., Winefield, A., Nilsson, K. and Hammarstöm, A. (2014) Unemployment and mental health scarring during the life course. European Journal of Public Health, 24(3), pp. 440-445. Project Cowork4YOUTH

Source: Maxon, D. & Barta, O. (2018).

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Youth Employment Magazine

European Youth Goals: a reflection on top major issues regarding Romania’s employment and social inclusion situation & efforts This year, more than ever, the EU is acknowledging the power of youth in shaping a better, greener, more digital, sustainable and inclusive future. Within the European Year of Youth, international organizations have come together to fill in a gap of opportunities, that was unfortunately created as a result of the pandemic. In collaboration with the public sector, the NGOs, mostly, are working towards improving and reaching 2 European Youth Goals: inclusive societies and quality employment for all. In this article, we’re embarking on a journey to explore, in a couple of words, Romania’s situation and efforts regarding these issues.

Creating an inclusive society According to the United Nations, social inclusion is a concept that refers to a set of actions carried out to ensure that anyone, regardless of his/her background or life story, has access to equal opportunities and rights. In Romania, migrants, people with disabilities, the poor and roma people are still far from reaching their full potential, because the general public has deep-rooted misconceptions, seeing them as a threat/burden, rather than a chance to learn from one another and benefit from mutual support and expertise.

towards making these people feel heard and accepted here. Within its center for social emergencies, BI is offering diagnosis, evaluation, counselling and support services; emergency kits containing hygiene products and food vouchers; access to healthcare and labour market mediation; access to resources for refugees from disadvantaged groups and information services for emergency situations. As for other aspects, there’s still a long way to go to dissolve wrong stereotypes and make people understand that diversity is a blessing and not something that drives societies apart. Not in the least, we strongly believe that volunteering is one of the best ways to tackle social exclusion, because it creates connections between people, encourages cooperation and socializing, brining together different people – united by the same goal: to make the future a better place for the next generations.

The need of creating a more inclusive society has been urgently highlighted in the last few months, when in the context of the RussiaUkraine war, thousands of immigrants have come to Romania, looking for shelter. In order to accommodate them in our society, NGOs have set up special departments working with refugees, providing them with free language courses, creative activities and workshops for children, access to thematic events, round-table discussions with authorities and organizations fighting human trafficking, as well as support groups for those in need. This is the actual example of Bucovina Institute, lead partner within the SEPAL PRO project, who’s been working for months !23


Youth Employment Magazine Quality employment for all

experience.

Fresh out of school, young people face many challenges when in comes to jumpstarting their careers. In Romania, their biggest fear is that they won’t find a job with zero work experience in the background. But how are youth supposed to have this experience, when almost no one is willing to take them on?

As a conclusion, Romania still has a lot to work to change mentalities and connect with young people, no matter where they come from, what their life story looks like or what they have been through. As for the employment situation, the authorities, employers and other people in charge should be aware of the high demand for work experience, which contradicts the insufficient opportunities to gain this expertise. Diversity, consistency and a realistic expectations are highly needed.

On one hand, in the recent years, Romania has gradually begun to offer internships for students, most of them coming from international organizations with offices here, who understand its value. Even though there are many opportunities, the problem is that the majority of them target the IT and digital marketing sector, whereas there’s little to no change to finding an internship in other not-so-popular industries. This somehow accounts for the recent growing number of Erasmus+ projects in the digital field, born from the urgent need to upskill young people and provide them a chance to participate in trainings, receive certification and gain experience.

Project SEPAL

On the other hand, there’s the apprenticeship programs, small in number, that give access to learning on the job stages. These are practical and really efficient solutions, as you would normally benefit from the guidance of an experienced mentor, who’s ready to pass his knowledge to other generations as well. But even though there are so many advantages, apprenticeship is still underpromoted and underdeveloped in the country and only a few people have heard of it. Talking about other categories, we’re happy to see that many people with disabilities have found a way to produce art and show their talents, setting up their own businesses, as a powerful example that once you have something in mind, nothing can stop you from achieving it. Moreover, lately, we’ve seen many people with hearing disabilities working as food delivery drivers or cashiers, getting a lot of respect from customers who are also delighted to see such an improvement. Roma people and migrants, though, still face difficulties in finding jobs and when they do, it’s usually about the simple jobs, underpaid and not requiering too much !24


Youth Employment Magazine

European Youth Goals from the Perspective of the Social Cooperatives in Greece The 11 European Youth Goals are important pillars for supporting, developing, and improving the skills of youngsters. All of them are very important, as they cover the largest spectrum of society and economy. The concepts of networking, learning, employment, well-being, equality, and sustainability are a priority for our young people based on the challenges of the modern age.

From the point of view of the Social Cooperatives in Greece, the challenges for Youth Support are numerous. The pandemic and the energy crisis are issues that affect the operation of Cooperatives and the lives of young people. Uncertainty continues to exist in Greece, as the period of the long financial crisis was followed by the events from 2020 until today. Young people have shouldered all this burden and the difficulties that this situation creates. The European Union, with its 11 Youth Goals, seeks to identify cross-cutting issues that affect young people's lives and emphasize the challenges. For Greece and from the point of view of the Social Cooperatives, all the objectives have their own particular importance, but emphasis is given to the following: •

learning, employment, and socio-economic inclusion. Also, the term of participation is a key pillar of Social Cooperatives. Participating in daily activities, in governing bodies and in decisionmaking matters, offers the person self-confidence and development of communication skills and leadership. Mental health and well-being. The Social Cooperatives in Greece have as their main purpose the inclusion of vulnerable groups and especially people with psychosocial problems. The mental health of the population has been greatly affected by the difficulties and problems of recent years and especially the mental health of young people with a life ahead of them, should be a priority. Moving forward for Rural Youth and Sustainable Green Europe. Young people in rural areas need to have the same access and opportunities as young people in urban centers. Supporting rural areas and employment opportunities for young people in this sector is an important condition for the sustainability of agricultural production, a way combining the brain drain created, caused by the financial situation.

The Social Cooperatives in Greece are fighting for the creation of jobs and the support of vulnerable groups, despite the difficulties that exist at a socio-economic level. Key priorities remain Supporting Employment, Social Entrepreneurship and Self-representation and Advocacy of vulnerable populations. Project SEPAL

Inclusive societies and space and participation for all. Our society should be open to all and everyone should have opportunities for !25


Youth Employment Magazine

News from the Projects Local cooperation for reaching NEET - practical lessons of an experiment

Dissemination workshop in Budapest sharing the lessons learned from testing a method of facilitating outreach to young NEETs Youth unemployment is a problem in all EU countries, and many studies have shown that those who are persistently unable to find work early in their careers have poorer employment prospects and lower wages later on. The EU's Youth Guarantee (YG) Programme was launched to help tackle this problem - but it can only be truly effective if it reaches and motivates the young people most in need. Cooperating with local experts may be a useful tool supporting Public Employment Services (PES) in their efforts to reach inactive (and disadvantaged) youth. Workshops for employment counsellors and local experts may strengthen motivation and provide inspiration on how to reach out to inactive youth. This was the main focus of an online conference organised by the Budapest Institute on 2 June 2022, to inform PES counsellors and managers of the results of an experimental pilot implemented in 2020. The pilot involved organising interactive workshops in 30 districts across Hungary, where PES counsellors and local stakeholders discussed the diversity of inactive youth and developed strategies for reaching them. As the pandemic disrupted the implementation of the workshops and especially the ensuing activities of PES, the causal impact of the workshops could not be verified. However, the qualitative information collected in follow-up questionnaires suggested that the workshops were effective in raising awareness about the importance of outreach and in

creating and strengthening cooperation between local stakeholders. It seems worthwhile to conduct further pilots to test how such workshops may be mainstreamed into the regular operations of the PES. At the conference, Márton Csillag and Ágota Scharle, senior researchers at BI, presented the design and results of the pilot programme, and also invited some of the trainers who had organised the district workshops to share their experiences. The closing presentation by Judit Temesszentandrási of the EU Commission, summarised the new guidelines on designing the strenghtened Youth Guarantee programme. More than 105 participants attended the online conference organised by the Budapest Institute. The pilot as well as the conference was organised in the framework of the Youth Employment PartnerSHIP (YEP) project. Further details are available at our website. Project Youth employment partnership

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Youth Employment Magazine

The 'Youth Employment policy' conference 8th of June 2022 on-site in Brussels and online Over 200 people from over 31 countries - scientists, policymakers and representatives of non-governmental organisations were discussing the most recent problems and trends related to the youth labour market.

Why do we focus on young people? Max Uebe from the European Commission (Head of DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion), during his opening speech, noticed that young people who enter the labour market have little work experience, have lower workplace skills and are often employed on temporary contracts. It makes them more vulnerable to layoffs in times of crisis. Therefore, young people were among the most affected by the economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest challenges for public policy is to develop measures that could help these people find good quality jobs. The conference participants discussed how to effectively support young people in their transition from school to work, how to encourage them to use public programmes, and how to tailor these programs to the various needs of unemployed youth.

We need more data Good evaluation requires good data. The participants of the first panel discussed the potential of the administrative data, e.g. unemployment registry data or social security data. These datasets allow researchers to analyse whether the unemployed individuals who took part in a support program work after its completion and what is the quality of this employment. It is also important to use the counterfactual methods that show what the labour market situation of the unemployed individuals would have been if they had not participated in a given program. Panel participants agreed that the popularization of this type of evaluation requires constant dialogue between researchers and decision-makers. Evaluation should be included as an integral part of the labour market policies at the European Union level.

Effective outreach strategies Unemployed people rarely participate in public support programs that provide the opportunity to gain skills and professional experience. The participants of the second panel discussed how to encourage them to use institutional support. Ana Lima das Neves and Olav Kersen, representatives of the public employment services from Portugal and Estonia, argued that the cooperation with local organizations that work with young people on a daily basis is of crucial importance. Namita Datta from the World Bank pointed out that outreach strategies should use adequate communication channels and should be implemented by trustworthy institutions. All participants agreed that the cooperation with schools allows the public employment agencies to provide at-risk individuals with advice and guidance before they become disconnected from the labour market.

Mainstreaming the gender perspective The third panel discussed women’s position in the labour market. In the introductory presentation, Judit Krekó from the Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis pointed out that young women are more likely to withdraw from the labour market due to caring responsibilities. It results from several factors, such as low availability of early education and care facilities or lack of measures that help to reconcile work and family duties. The social norms that are based on the belief that a woman's primary sphere is in the home while a man's primary sphere is in the labour market also create barriers. The panellists agreed that the gender perspective should be treated as an integral dimension of the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policies. Measures aiming at changing attitudes and facilitating a more equal sharing of domestic responsibilities also play an important role.

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Youth Employment Magazine

Key takeaways from the conference The rigorous evaluation of the labour market policies is crucial. Good quality administrative data allow researchers to track the employment history of program beneficiaries in the long run. Counterfactual methods allow them to assess the impact of a given program precisely. Researchers and policymakers should take into consideration how labour market programs affect different groups of people (e.g. women and men). More emphasis should be put on supporting individuals with vulnerable backgrounds. To reach them, policymakers should use innovative outreach strategies and cooperate with local institutions that work with young people. The conference was hosted by the Institute for Structural Research as a lead partner Youth Employment PartnerSHIP in cooperation with project members: Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (FEDEA), National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies (INAPP), and the University of the Basque Country, NHH - Norwegian School of Economics and J-PAL Europe. See here the videos. Project Youth employment partnership !28


Youth Employment Magazine

The "Youth Employment Policy" Conference – hope for new and better solutions for young people So what we need is support, discussion, new challenges and data as presented at the Conference. We are delighted that the four-year Youth Employment PartnerSHIP Project, which closes the Conference "Youth Employment Policy ", has resulted in such in-depth research and an abundance of data that have a chance to influence the shape of public policies in European countries. We would like to thank the panellists and conference participants for their input, knowledge and thoughts shared during the Conference. And with the hope that the meeting will have the widest possible and building impact on shaping public policies, and, as a result, on the quality of life of young people in Europe, we invite you to read the source materials and watch the video conference footage. “It's difficult but not impossible" is the slogan of the meeting where representatives of various backgrounds were wondering how to improve existing employment support programs.

You are most welcome! Project Youth employment partnership

Scientists, representatives of public administration and non-governmental organizations a total of over 200 people from over 31 countries, discussed the most important topics related to the situation of young people, including women, in the labour market. It is a rare opportunity for representatives of various circles to share their research, observations and experiences, to present their point of view on problems that affect young people all over Europe, and to jointly develop better, more effective solutions for the future. The conference "Youth Employment Policy" was also an unprecedented opportunity to look at the existing programs and make the necessary changes to them. Raffaele Trapasso noted that the Youth Guarantee Program is not a magic wand that will solve Europe's problems on its own. !29


Youth Employment Magazine

Employment initiatives targeting youth in Spain, Hungary, Italy, and Poland Project Youth Employment PartnerSHIP aimed to answer this question by evaluating employment initiatives targeting youth in Spain, Hungary, Italy, and Poland. The project evaluated two initiatives: Public Employment Services (PES) outreach activities and job trials/job subsidies to different job contracts offered to youth. It has just been successfully finished with the Youth Employment Policy Conference. All the partner institutions’ profiles participating in the project are of the research character, and our ambition is to create a common ground for discussion and exchange of the knowledge and data we have gathered among policymakers and institutions implementing the policies. Therefore with pleasure, we would like to present two of our conference’s guests answering the question, why did they think that initiatives like Youth Employment PartnerSHIP are important, and how can they change the situation for the better.

So what it needs is support, discussion, new networks, and new data as you (Youth Employment PartnerSHIP project) have provided. And I think that this is very important. I think that some resonance might be generated for future engagement, discussion etc.

Raffaeale Trapasso, OECD At the OECD we are fully mobilised to support youth. The organisation as a new initiative is called Stand by Youth because the young people are those that suffered the most from the COVID pandemic. And so it is important that they are now recipients of services, specifically tailored services. This discussion about the Youth Guarantee and the legacy of the Youth Guarantee with an evaluation with clear discussion is very relevant to us to learn also from different networks outside the organisation. Talking internationally about different perspectives, approaches and results of the Youth Guarantee is the way to keep the moment, the momentum on the policy and create an international community of practice that tries to solve the problem. Youth Guarantee is a very good initiative but it’s not a magic wand. It will not solve alone the problems of youth in Europe.

Raffaele Trapasso currently works with the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities where he leads the Organisation’s work on entrepreneurship education and skills, with a specific focus on higher education institutions and systems. He is coordinating an international network of higher education institutions, businesses and policymakers, called ECOLE.

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Youth Employment Magazine

Julie Bodson, Duo for a Job We’ve been accompanying young people with migration backgrounds towards employment for the last ten years. And we have seen people talented, full of energy and a willingness to access the job market and still see that there are some barriers.

So I think that this kind of research and this kind of environment and conference where we can actually discuss the barriers and how we can ease the path for those people to access the job market are very important. We are always happy to share our field experience among researchers to make sure that different points of view can be represented and that the convening message from the public sector, from the research environment and from NGOs raised the thing from the different points of view and can actually make a common move to make sure that we can change things for the future. Julie Bodson - Deputy Director of Duo for a Job. Prior to that, she worked in the field of international aid, for Medecins sans frontier in particular. Project Youth employment partnership !31


Youth Employment Magazine

Reducing School Drop-Out: Good practice from Malta Country experts working on the “Lost Millennials” Project began a major analysis examining statistics and policies affecting young people and their labour market opportunities and status. Clearly, one of the key factors for youth becoming categorised as not in employment, education or training (NEET) is the lack of universally accessible quality education that prepares young people for successful participation in the labour market. The rapidly changing economic and social environments demand we become adaptable and utilise skills to acquire new knowledge. To steal the adage, we must become life-long learners in order to succeed in labour markets. Those who drop-out from school at an early age, miss opportunities; even if they find a job with their low-level of education, changes in the economy and the labour market (the one recently caused by the COVID crisis for example) hit these young people severely and they easily find themselves unemployed and unable to re-integrate to the world of labour or further education. Drop-out rates are a crucial indicator when assessing the situation of NEETs and addressing this through policy or programmatic means in different countries. Malta stands out in this regard. Based on Eurostat data, Malta, after its accession to the European Union, had the highest early school leavers’ rate in the EU: 33% in 2005. However, it has consistently reduced the drop-out rate year after year. In fact, Malta was able to decrease this rate to one third: in 2021 the early school leavers’ rate was 11% (still above the EU benchmark of 10%). So, what did Malta do to achieve this impressive progress? Importantly, progress is rooted in policies, reforms and measures in education and employment services that focus on preventing early dropout, supporting children and young people with varying disadvantages (including ability and social disadvantages), to ease the transition from school to work, and to re-integrate early school leavers. New teaching methods have been introduced in the last two decades and teachers have

received training to be efficient and inclusive in education. Notably, supplementary tuition and teaching assistant posts have been provided to support those most-at-risk of early drop-out or those with learning challenges. Employment services have assisted students and job-seekers to gain the skills needed for employment, with a particular emphasis on soft skills and transferable skills. In addition, educational and career guidance and counselling in schools is an important element of strengthening early employability, and the National School Support Services (NSSS) established in 2009, provides for these critical supports. Considering the recent policy papers, the overall strategy for the Maltese education system is described in the Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014-2024 which explicitly defines the reduction of the relatively high incidence of early school-leavers as one of its main goals. It is worth noting that the Ministry for Education and Employment prepared the Respect for All Framework in 2014, which provides context for education policies by defining the core values of the education system: equal opportunities and inclusiveness are fundamental elements. Malta has one of the highest rates of immigration in the European Union, the inclusion of newly arrived learners is challenging. To tackle this issue, in 2014 the Migrant Learners’ Unit was established which provides special courses for migrant children to catch-up with the language and be able to join in the mainstream of Maltese education. In 2019, the Ministry published the National Inclusive Education Framework, which defines the potential barriers to inclusion in schools (attitudinal, language and cultural, physical and environmental, training, systemic and organisational, and curricular) and provides different approaches to overcome barriers to inclusion in schools. The resulting Policy on Inclusive Education in Schools (2019) aims to maximise the potential of all learners while anticipating, valuing, and supporting diversity and learner differences as well as involving all stakeholders. !32


Youth Employment Magazine Finally, the Holistic and Inclusive Approach to Tackle Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET) in Malta strategy for 2020-2030 aims to further decrease the number of early school leavers. The target group of this strategy are learners who leave the education system; those who cannot find a placement; learners who come into conflict with the system; learners who find it difficult to adapt after transition; learners who disengage due to parenting, family issues, or work obligations; and learners who disengage due to multiple disadvantages possibly due to health or psychological issues. Universally accessible, quality, inclusive education that increases employability and prepares for life-long learning are the core of policies and measures introduced since Malta’s accession to the European Union. These progressive and effective objectives require resources and the Maltese government’s expenditure (proportion of total budget dedicated to education) on education is above the EU average. Malta effectively identified and addressed the drop-out rate with focused policies and action, although. Despite creditable progress Maltese students, comparatively, underperform academically and there is a significant gap between the performance of public and private school students. In addition, Malta struggles to ensure its education systems meet labour market needs for skilled labour. Addressing these challenges will require the same focus and determination Malta is successfully applying in reducing the drop-out rate. By Eszter Kósa, Binda Consulting International Project Lost Millennials

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Youth Employment Magazine

ILO report: How did 20 countries respond to policies regarding youth employment during COVID-19 According to the ILO report, it appears very likely that there will be longterm effects on the younger generation of workers, with scars being even deeper than the ones caused by previous recessions, given the duration, breadth and magnitude of the pandemic. Sectors mostly staffed by younger workers are expected to be particularly affected, such as the tourism sector in many countries. In terms of entire countries, the lack of a strong support system for the transition from education to work is expected to be a determining factor for the severity of the impact.

In the framework of the Cowork4YOUTH project’s focus on youth employment policies, the COVID-19 pandemic is an important factor that has significantly influenced policymakers in the production of new policies and the development of existing ones. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently published a report titled “Promoting youth employment during COVID-19: A review of policy responses”, which records and examines the results of various measures against youth unemployment implemented by 20 countries all over the world, including Spain, France, Germany and Sweden. The sample was composed of a diverse selection of countries in order to cover different types of labour markets and welfare approaches, including high-income, medium-income and low-income countries. COVID-19 overwhelmed every aspect of people’s lives and particularly the labour market. Even countries with relatively low infection and casualty rates have suffered serious backlash, particularly in financial terms.

Youth labour markets were particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis: youth employment in 2020 fell by 8.7%, whereas for older age groups the drop was 3.7% (ILO 2021a). These changes were accompanied by a rise in inactivity rates that seems to account for the biggest share of employment losses. Unemployment statistics alone cannot accurately describe the varied and uneven impact of the pandemic across different countries. Particularly in countries where welfare benefits are low, leading to little interest in officially registering as unemployed, the effect of the pandemic on young people may in fact be better reflected in NEET rates. The report refers to four categories of measures taken regarding youth employment in the context of the COVID-19 crisis: (1) direct employment support and subsidies for hiring, with specific hiring subsidies for (a) job creation targeted directly at younger people, in tandem with (b) start-up subsidies for younger entrepreneurs; (2) social protection and income support, meaning better access to and greater coverage by social protection; (3) work-based learning, training and vocational education; and (4) employment services, where policy responses entailed, among other things, initiatives to increase the outreach and service provision to young people. In this framework, the European Youth Guarantee is cited in the report, as a set of measures that typically respond to the above categories. !34


Youth Employment Magazine The report refers to three main dimensions of the pandemic’s negative effect on young people: (1) Disruption to education, training and workbased learning; (2) the fact that new labour market entrants and young job seekers face multiple difficulties; (3) lower quality of employment, in addition to job and income losses. In conclusion, the report proposes five elements comprising a more comprehensive agenda for youth active labour market policy: youth-targeted wage subsidies; public employment programmes for youth; support for job searching; extended access to training, reskilling and upskilling youth; and investing in youth entrepreneurship. To read the full report, click here: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/ public/---ed_emp/documents/publication/wcms_849466.pdf

References ILO (2021a). ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Seventh edition. International Labour Organization (ILO). https://www.ilo.org/ wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/briefingnote/ wcms_767028.pdf

Project Cowork4YOUTH

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Youth Employment Magazine

International cooperation in a research project a common ground in which the Member States can exchange knowledge and learn from each other, when making good use of the concept of best practices. The idea of international cooperation, however, can also have significant positive impact when expanding beyond policy designs, to involve nongovernmental organisations (either for- or not-for-profit) from different countries. This explains the emphasis placed on this concept by funding schemes such as Horizon Europe, applied to the fields of technology and innovation, as well as social and economic research. This is also true of the EEA & Norway Grants for which international cooperation is a key element in treating regional disparities in the European area.

As the first outputs of the Cowork4YOUTH project are getting finalised (two review papers and the project’s baseline study will be available by the end of the month), this can be a good time to share some initial thoughts on the importance of transnational cooperation in a research project for pursuing the project’s goals either on EU level, or even on a strictly national one. International cooperation as a means of gaining and sharing knowledge is indeed a well-established practice. For the European Union the need to foster cooperation and coordination among member states became more urgent following the 2008 crisis, and it has been further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the field of unemployment in particular, this need often takes on an institutional character, like for example the establishment of the European Semester, or the Public Employment Services (PES) network. It is also expressed in the specifications of programmes such as the Youth Guarantee or the Framework for Vocational Education and Training, which -along with their main goals- aim to develop

In the field of research and policy analysis, which is the main subject of the Cowork4YOUTH project, the collaboration of research institutions from different countries has a twofold effect. On the one hand it provides great opportunities regarding the final outcome: the combined expertise and insight of each research partner concerning their own country creates an excellent framework for the production of comparable results. When trying to gain a comprehensive understanding of an issue such as the NEET phenomenon, which appears in different forms among countries and regions within a complex system such as the European Union, comparability is key. It is also crucial for avoiding the trap of a counterproductive introversion that occasionally hampers national policies. On the other hand, international cooperation in research is also beneficial for the research design and methods. The divergent experiences -formed by each country’s contextual particularities- that each partner brings to an international research consortium can illuminate sides of the issue under examination that were not clearly visible in the context of other countries. While this entails some difficulties, it does provide the opportunity to uncover hidden dynamics and grasp and explain the problem in a more complete manner. !36


Youth Employment Magazine

Cowork4YOUTH’s first outputs, mentioned above, have already demonstrated these advantages. Focusing on four countries (Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain) and on two kinds of peripheral regions (in energy transition and tourism-dependent) the outputs that will be available within the next few weeks have been designed exactly to provide a cohesive image of the youth employment situation in such regions. The data presented and the analysis conducted provide the foundation for a comparative understanding. An example of this is the project’s Baseline Study: adapting the design to the project’s objectives, the study offers detailed information on the conditions of representative regions from each country. This methodology has proved fruitful for recognising national policy patterns as well as contextual factors (e.g., state of the economy; centralisation or decentralisation of political power), that in turn inform the analysis and evaluation of policy design, implementation, and outcomes. This effective combination of secondary data and analysis for different regions is a vital step for shedding light on the issues of youth unemployment and NEETs, and the suggestion of appropriate, tailored solutions. To sum up, international cooperation can be a key factor in tackling issues of national as well as international scope. In the context of research in particular, it provides a framework conducive to overcoming the barriers that naturally exist between different contexts. Since experience has proved that copying successful policies to a different context seldom is a good idea, in-depth comparable analysis is one of the best ways to grasp and resolve the issues within the given regional particularities. Project Cowork4YOUTH

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Youth Employment Magazine

Rural NEETs: How they have inspired research and how they can also inspire better policies Ten years ago, I was working at a Non-Governmental Organization in The Azores Islands, a Portuguese archipelago right in the middle of the Atlantic, a place where, by the way, I still live. Young people at that time were struggling. In 2012, Portugal was reaching the peak of the 2008 economic crisis, meaning that younger generations were either unemployed or forced to leave the country to find a job and a future. In most of the rural and outermost regions of the country such as The Azores, the impact of the crisis was even stronger. Local economies in these areas often depend on one main economic sector, usually farming, public employment, and sectors requiring low-qualified jobs. None of these options is usually available for challenged youths, especially those who are underqualified. Farming is mostly a family business, passed on from one generation to another. The public sector is a huge employer, but the opportunities are very limited for less experienced workers and were shrinking due to the cuts on State hiring procedures, at that time. Even low-qualified jobs were not available then, as some activities such as construction were particularly exposed to the economic downturn. During this period, from 2012 to 2014, I was doing a bit of everything, from street work and out-reach, to activation, networking with schools and public employment services or project management, including some projects funded by the EEA & Norway Grants through a national instrument called Cidadãos Ativos (Active Citizens). I mostly met NEETs in my ongoing work. Dealing with them, I always felt that they faced very specific challenges. They lived in communities far away from big urban centers, had struggled in school, leading them to perpetuate negative perceptions about public services in general, and saw no real opportunities to find a decent job in the years to come. I started to listen to their stories differently after our organization kicked off a project to promote youth employment for NEETs in farming. Early in the morning, I would go out to the fields with small groups of those participating in the project. While we prepared

altogether whatever we had to do (planting, watering, cropping) they shared their most personal views about what they were experiencing as NEETs. Some were young mothers, others had disabilities, and others just did not trust themselves anymore. The project ended up being a success for most of them. Many of the participants managed to find a job in farming or related areas such as food packaging. For me, that experience was a breakthrough as a person and later, as a researcher. Still, it took me a while to understand it, maybe as all complex things do. It was only in 2017 that I started to understand that rural NEETs were simply ignored by research and policy. That puzzled me, especially when I started to look at the numbers. Indeed, rural NEETs shares were and continue to be much higher compared to NEET shares in urban and suburban areas, across the EU, especially in Southern and Eastern parts of the continent. In countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, or Romania, these differences reach ten or even twenty percentual points. Later on, my curiosity led me to conduct a bibliometric review to check how exactly rural NEETs were in the spotlight of researchers. From 262 papers published between 2002 and 2020 on NEETs, only 14 reported partially or entirely on rural NEETs. From these initial efforts to understand the living conditions and the profile of rural NEETs until now, much has happened, especially in the past five years. From the research point of view, a considerable number of papers and even special issues have started to flood databases, especially since 2021, adding important layers to what we know about this subgroup. Very disparate issues such as case studies on rural NEETs' inclusion in farming, their psychosocial profile, outreach strategies dedicated to them, or public policy analysis aiming at this and other vulnerable rural youth groups have been published.

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Youth Employment Magazine Moreover, these recent publication trends have been streamed into or led to systematic research efforts through funded initiatives such as the TrackIN project, funded by the Youth Employment Fund of the EEA & Norway Grants. From the policy side, the sense that rural NEETs are finally under the radar is becoming clear. Several policy packages, including broadband ones such as the EU Green Deal, have put vulnerable rural youths' futures in the spotlight. Moreover, the new EU Youth Strategy has declared moving rural youth forward as one of its priorities. Still, important issues remain unsolved, especially from the public services deliverance perspective. How can these services be better tailored at the regional level to fulfill the broadband policies vision such as the one proposed by the New Youth Guarantee? How can rural public services better combine the communities’ resources and opportunities with rural NEETs' expectations? Moreover, how can institutions work to improve young citizens' trust in their support? And how should this be done in a time of fast digitalization of services? These and other questions are at the core of the Track-IN project. We know that we are addressing huge, complex challenges. Still, they always seem to be easier to address than the challenges faced by those youths that inspired me, ten years ago, to pose these and other questions. Francisco Simões University Institute of Lisbon - Iscte Principal Investigator of the Track-IN project: Public employment services tracking effectiveness in supporting rural NEETs Project Track-IN

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Youth Employment Magazine

Green and social business academy – to celebrate the Year of Youth of project SEPAL – ZISPB, operating in Šiauliai, which is part of the international organization CEFEC. "Our goal is to gather young people in this beautiful place, who would have the opportunity to communicate with the partners from international network and Lithuanian businessmen, to generate various business ideas. Perhaps young people will become entrepreneurs or start a social business", says Asta Jaseliūnienė, director of ZISPB.

Young people from five countries participated in the four-day international Academy for Green and Social Entrepreneurship in Šiauliai district, in a homestead surrounded by a forest. The purpose of the program is to encourage young people to generate ideas for establishing a social, green economy-promoting business. The preservation of nature and the philosophy of sustainability are no longer just fashionable concepts, but an unavoidable necessity if we want to preserve nature and the world for future generations, the organizers of my academy.

An incentive for young people Young people gathered from Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Greece and Spain. Target age - 18-29 years. Various lecturers and businessmen from Italy, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Romania and Lithuania worked with the young people. The project was coordinated by the Lithuanian partner

Project SEPAL

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Youth Employment Magazine

International conference in Lithuania – initiates processes towards WISE model implementation • •

Free transportation to workplaces in remote regions; Training for jobs in the IT sector....

These and many more creative, interesting, untested ideas on how to promote the involvement of young people in the labour market were discussed at the workshop. SEPAL team shared the success and bumps in a road implementing the project and promoted the WISE and supported employment concepts.

CEFEC network partners, including SEPAL project partners, from various countries gathered in Šiauliai at the practical conference. It is an annual conference during which the partners of the social firms Europe - CEFEC present not only annual reports, but also share good practices, exchange contacts, create mutual relations and promote the development of social business in the region. Part of the conference was the workshop “Mentoring NEETs on workbased learning” moderated by the SEPAL team. • • •

An open HUB, where young people could come and receive all services related to employment and occupation; A relationship based on trust with a mentor in the workplace and supported recruitment; A counselling centre “on wheels” that comes to provide support to young people in small towns;

Project SEPAL

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Youth Employment Magazine

SEPAL PRO Opening Event - LET´S MENTOR RROMA Fundacion Privada Pere Closa, few months ago, held the opening event in framework of SEPAL Pro Project.

Following with the presentation by Berta Viader, Chaima Habib and Gretty Chirnos, on behalf of ZING Programme, Fundacio Nous Cims, who spoke different turns. They started by explaining the different activities they arranged on social awareness regarding the project “open arms” consisting of a 6 week visit on a ship formed mainly by volunteers. The main aim is to open a door to the world. Furthermore, they explained the different outings they have arranged through the mentoring project of which a few standouts such as the visit to the museum of design in Barcelona, Bunker, Open Arms, CaixaForum, etc. Following this initial presentation, they proceed to outline the different programs they offer: job placement program, vocational discovery program, network and communication program, sport activities program and mentoring. She described the mentor as the person that accompanies the young people in their development process. They work in pairs of two and arrange meetings every 2 weeks.

The aim of this event was not only to have an internal meeting within the Fundació Pere Closa but also to unite different entities and form alliances between organizations that employ the method of social and labor mentoring with the purpose of putting in common different ideas, perspectives and strategies which can serve us for the future and allow us to improve the mentoring project. Making use of the SEPAL Pro project, this meeting was an opportunity to present different projects both from within the same entity and from other organizations and see how we can expand the use of good practices in mentoring and apply this method to the various projects and spheres. Brief welcoming to the session from the president of Fundació Pere Closa speaking and emphasizing on the long experience that foundation has in mentoring.

After the ZING Programm´s presentation, we had the pleasure to learn about Rossinyol project (metaphor of the bird that sings when it feels safe and confident), implemented by Servei Solidari de Barcelona and consists of a mentoring project addressed to young people. Mentors serve as guides and references that are able to push the students to greater things, better expectations and thus, better outcomes. Carla Ruiz, the project officer, went on to explain the history of the project which was born to tackle the growing inequalities some young students face on different grounds which multiplied after the pandemic especially in terms of mental health. The mentoring program gives these students access to a safe space where they can share with their mentors their concerns, fear and anxieties and find ways to tackle them. !42


Youth Employment Magazine

The main objectives of the project are to asses, accompany and provide a safe space. She remarks on the fact that they also provide financial support to the mentors which they can invest in the activities they carry out with mentees. This event marked and leave us with the reflection that how important and crucial is our role, work and these projects to help and the most necessities people. Enerida Isuf - Project Coordinator Project SEPAL

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Youth Employment Magazine

Empower (Rroma) youth through participation and mentoring On the other hand, it is intended to involve schools, youth centers, youth organizations and forums, locally, to break with low expectations about Roma youngsters and training opportunities. The young people who participate in the project are: • Rroma and non-Rroma youngsters who have already completed their educational stages. • Young people who are studying • Young people who have dropped out of school.

Currently, Rroma community has a debt with higher education. It is a reality that only 2% reach university studies. But this does not justify that the community itself does not have the desire to pay this debt. The lack of references, discrimination, the socio-economic environment, and educational segregation, among others, make this data possible. Fundacio Privada Pere Closa, this year through ROMAPREN project, is focused on the empowerment of young people through the promotion in the participation process and mentoring, to not only apply what we believe can help them but detect their needs and concerns. In this way, we can support and motivate youth with our support to break down their own invisible barrier that prevents them from achieving success. On the one hand, under our thinking we want to make visible the will of Rroma youth and their families to get involved in the social and educational participation processes, both internal and external.

The project envisages developing seminars / workshops with youngsters to discuss: • Identify the main problems that young gypsies and non-gypsies face to be part of the socio-educational and political participation. • Motivate young people to encourage participation structures between them and other young people in their environment who share the same reality. • Reflect on what kind of tools for youth empowerment (educational, social and political) can be offered to ensure their participation. • Reflect on how we can build communication channels on the one hand with the Rroma and non-Rroma youth communities, within the neighborhoods where there is a majority Rroma population and on the other hand with the educational, social, and political agents of the territory (associations, NGOs, institutions) to encourage coaction and collaboration between them. • Design the profile of the young Rroma / non-Rroma as CHANGE AGENT. • Design a digital platform where they can publish and publicize the whole process of participatory empowerment of young people during the implementation of the project.

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Youth Employment Magazine

(Rroma Youngster Changemakers, who promote the RomaPren project • • • •

Kevin Rodríguez: Intermediate student in social integration Rocío Gama Jarro: higher degree in social integration completed Trinidad Heredia: higher degree in social integration completed Jesús Jiménez: intermediate degree student in mechanics

Enerida Isuf - Project Coordinator Project SEPAL

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Youth Employment Magazine

The StayOn Experience All the videos are available on our youtube channel and on our social media: we regularly update our pages with new contents, so…Stay tuned! Project StayOn

The StayOn team is happy to share with you the communication project “The StayOn Experience”. As the activities go on, we ask our stakeholders to record a short video about their direct experience in the project (as participants, trainers, coaches…) or we ask them some questions on the project’s topics. We believe it’s very important to exchange experiences and point of views across countries: the communities involved have their own peculiarities, but we often see a common ground. We hope to give a contribution to other similar projects, that could be inspired from our people: teamwork makes the dream work!

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Youth Employment Magazine

Autoocupació, ambassador of The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool • • • •

The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool Improve your inclusive or social entrepreneurship policies

Autoocupació, through his director, Guillem Arís, has been selected by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, Pymes, Regions and Cities as an ambassador to promote The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool. The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool, developed by the OECD the European Commission, is a self-assessment and online learning for people and institutions that are involved in the design implementation of inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies programs.

and tool and and

Stimulates reflection on inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies and programs. Promotes learning through international best practices Improves the design and implementation of inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies Targets a wide range of stakeholders, including policy makers, business associations and networks, chambers of commerce, financial providers, research institutions, education and training providers, and civil society organizations Operates in 24 languages

https://www.autoocupacio.org/actualitat/autoocupacio-ambaixador-dethe-better-entrepreneurship-policy-tool/ Project YES!

The role of Autoocupació is to support local, regional, national and international intermediary organizations, policymakers, researchers and other relevant stakeholders to carry out a self-assessment of measures and policies supporting inclusive and/or social entrepreneurship tools and an organic workshops to introduce them to the tool. Inclusive entrepreneurship includes youth, women, migrants and the long-term unemployed. The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool: !47


Youth Employment Magazine

Young entrepreneur succeed, YES! Workshop – Munich 29th and 30th 2022 Munich Business School hosted the second workshop of the year 2022 under the Young Entrepreneur Succeed, YES! Project. The two-day workshop began with a welcoming address by the dean of Munich Business School in person of Prof. Dr. Stefan Baldi, and followed by general introduction of members both old and new members by Prof. Barbara Scheck who also moderate the workshop. The first day of the workshop was dedicated to update on project management and administration, update on data collection activities with the use of SkillLab software, impact assessment update which focused on discussion of impact assessment interim reports from the last intervention period and proposal for qualitative data collection for the current interventions. The first day of the workshop ended after a two-hour knowledge transfer session that was delivered by the representatives of Youth Business International and KIZ respectively, followed by a taste of Bavarian dinner at a restaurant located in the city center of Munich. The second day of the workshop began with update from communication activities during the project. This was followed by the implementation updates from all the implementation partners. The afternoon was dedicated to knowledge sharing – Introducing the Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool by Guillem. The workshop ended by all partners sharing their thoughts, reflections and feedbacks, while the lead partners gave the closing remarks. Project YES!

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Youth Employment Magazine

Interview with Mentor: Pavlos Mauroudis - ANKA Link video TouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=gT1tQkfLSy0&t=75s Link video YES website: Interviews with experts | YoungEntrepreneursSucceed

Project YES!

In the framework of the EEA&Norway Grants co-funded project "Young Entrepreneurs Succeed" ("YES!") AN.KA. S.A. provides free training services of 50 hours total duration, employment/business coaching and mentoring sessions, thus facilitating access to the labour market and promoting entrepreneurship for unemployed young persons aged 18-29 y.o. (NEETs). In fact, over the last 2 years, 761 young people of this age group have benefited from our services. But in this effort, we do not walk alone! Mentors from all over Greece invest time and energy in guiding young people in search of their professional path. One of them is Pavlos Mavroudis, a Cultural Scientist with a Master's degree in Social and Solidarity Economy, from Thessaloniki. In the video below, you can listen to the reasons why Pavlos decided to become member of AN.KA. mentors’ team and what he gained from this experience. It is to mention that, Pavlos’ mentee felt empowered and started her own business after receiving guidance through their mentoring process.

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Youth Employment Magazine

Solutions Brief Therapy and Counselling Centre – Ruse held its final closure event premises of the University of Ruse "Angel Kanchev" and in the halls of the Municipality of Rousse. Due to the anti-epidemic measures in force on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, it was not possible to hold a final event until March 31, 2022. Especially for the events planned for May 2022. the Solutions team prepared information, presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7fAVUDWESC0 and brochures.

On May 17, 2022 as part of the project CODE (Competence Opportunities for Digital Employment) Solutions Brief Therapy and Counseling Centre Rousse held events related to the platform for motivation and selfimprovement https://self-trainer.eu/. At the events, stakeholders learned about the essence of the CODE project, the capabilities of the platform, the mobile phone application, methods for effective motivation through the model "thinking - asking a question - answering - action - monitoring - reviewing - thinking" and other issues of interest participants. The events were related to the completion of the CODE project activities of Solutions and aimed to promote the achievements and the desire of Solutions methods of motivation and selfimprovement to reach more stakeholders. The final events were held in the

Project CODE

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Youth Employment Magazine

Creative Center Ruse and Tartu Art School exchanged experiences and good practices with the schools in Ruse On 31.05.2022 the team of Creative Center Ruse, which is part of Human Resources Development Agency and their partners from Tartu Art School, Estonia held a work meeting in Rousse Municipality with the Deputy Mayor for Humanitarian Affairs in Ruse Mr. Encho Enchev. The main purpose of the meeting was the exchange of good educational practices, as well as the creation of future partnerships in order to upgrade and further develop the training programs in 3d animation and graphic design, developed under CODE project. The aim of the close cooperation between the educational organizations is to support and expand the educational process in schools through the application of the latest technologies and innovative methods in the education of young people. The Estonian partners and the team of Creative Center Ruse presented briefly their training programs in 3D animation and graphic design, which has been successfully applied in the education of young people during the Project. The unique trainings has provided the graduates with competencies in the field of gaming, graphic design and 3D animation, as well as with teamwork skills and career guidance. They gave youngsters better opportunities for quality education and employment in the field of creative industries and motivated young people to live and work in their native places.

Project CODE

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Creative Center Ruse presented CODE project opportunities to students from Christo Botev high school We are proud to announce, that due to our support, after participation in a training under CODE project, a student from Christo Botev high school had continued his education in digital painting abroad.

Project CODE

On 27 June the team of Creative Center Ruse held a stakeholder workshop with the participation of more than 90 students from Christo Botev high school in Ruse. The aim of the meeting was to present to the students at the age of 15-19 years the opportunities for acquiring specific digital competences under CODE project innovative trainings. The expert teachers presented the training program on the basics of game design and the final training that will be held soon under the Project. The participants in the meeting discussed the different positions in the game industry and the key skills needed to work in the field of creative industries. The team of Creative Center Ruse aims to motivate young people to live and work in their native place and to promote the development of creative industries.

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HRDA started final training course under CODE project In addition, the trainees will participate in discussion lessons, will complete individual practical assignments to demonstarte skills and knowledge acquired, most ambitious will have the possibility to develop joint creative projects. The duration of the course will be about 10 weeks, the training materials will be uploaded to a special online training platform Moodle, which will allow students to watch the lectures at a convenient time and to have full access to them for an unlimited period of time. The training is held under the CODE project funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. On 6 July Human Resources Development started the final online training course organized under CODE project that will be focused on the basics and types of 3D modeling in GAME DESIGN and presentation of games with the help of graphic design. The innovative course will combine the subjects from both training programs in 3d animation and graphic design developed under CODE project.

Project CODE

The training is completely free and it gathered 30 creative and ambitious young people from Ruse region at the age of 15 to 19, who due to financial, health or other reasons do not have the opportunity to continue their education or to participate in specialized training courses. The online course will give them the chance to get acquainted with the history of video games, tools and approaches for creating video game scenarios, designing the levels in the game, design method and 3D models for creating a character, creating an environment, business model for presentation and advertising of the game with the help of graphic design. !53


Youth Employment Magazine

SOCIALNEET & social entrepreneurship What are the special features of the Program for Combating Youth Unemployment and addressing the needs of NEETs, through Civil Society Organizations in Social Entrepreneurship? The social economy as a job creation sector is not just a complementary sector of private economics but, it responds to a structural problem of the economy related to labor-intensive occupations that are devalued and displaced from the market to the developed world by capital-intensive enterprises. The social economy is evolving into professions that meet real needs and the real economy. Professions that, although in demand, are not tempting and are avoided by young people as they are underpaid and repulsed for social reasons. These are professions such as: farm workers, salesmen, security guards, drivers, gardeners, waiters, waitresses, plumbers, electricians, unskilled construction workers, Nursing - Domestic Helpers - Baby Sitters, Cooks. What are the particular causal relationships that make the social economy an important axis in the fight against unemployment? On the opposite side of these traditional professions are not only the digital technology professions but also the emerging internet business professions which are also labor intensive such as webmasters, webmasters, graphic designers, advertisers and webmasters. So social entrepreneurship is a necessary economic activity where it does not operate in a profitable sector. The socialneed training program focuses on this type of entrepreneurship and is aimed at young people up to 29

years old. It aims at the vocational guidance of young people through social work organization structures where the social economy is active. It does not just aim at professional skills but mainly at organizational skills and the creation of social enterprises. Let us note that in Greece the employment in the third sector of the economy is only 3.3%, at the same time that in Western European countries it ranges from 8 to 10%. This means a general lag in employment biodiversity. What is the picture of labor supply and demand in Greece beyond these general indicators? Regarding the diagnosis of Labor Market Needs, as we have said, we see in the advertisements that they are mainly requested: clerks, unskilled workers, salesmen and drivers, cooks, waiters, warehouse workers, craftsmen, craftsmen / in the construction industry. new jobs as well. There is a great shortage in the coverage of jobs in the seasonal tourism professions while there are shortages in the retail trade, food, beverages, and in the third place the bucket of hospital activities new jobs. But there are also areas of activity that have been completely abandoned such as agricultural crops, shady lands, buildings from infrastructure and small and medium enterprises that have closed, Municipal and public lands that are not used and all this because various small and medium enterprises that are constantly shrinking are unprofitable. It is in this area of inactive inactive material and human resources that the nonprofit economy can grow and provide more jobs. In the causal relationships of high youth unemployment we see a contradictory phenomenon on the one hand the demand for low-skilled workers and on the other hand the lack of supply and refusal to fill these low-paid jobs. In practice, these occupations are covered to some extent by economic !54


Youth Employment Magazine The general conclusion is that unemployment is above 15% at a time when there are social needs that are not being served.

industrialization in the primary sector was replaced by new ones in the secondary sector and then when industry jobs were reduced by industry automation, the service sector created new jobs.

We know that the dominant economic model of private and public enterprises in the last two centuries has been based on sustainable development, vocational training, and subsidies in certain sectors of the economy, such as the agricultural sector to support employment. What changes with social entrepreneurship in relation to these principles? What has changed is that growth-growth as an exclusive goal in terms of capital intensity does not necessarily bring more jobs. Vocational training in the context of competitiveness does not offer solutions as it does not lack the necessary skills of employees, what is lacking is adaptation to the needs for products and services. In the institutional framework, unemployment and employment subsidies usually favor large enterprises and some public enterprises, do not offer substantial new employment opportunities to labor-intensive small enterprises that have vital survival needs in competition. Thus in the issue of labor supply and demand there is a structural problem in the very institutional tools of entrepreneurship. What we would put as the title of the new approach is that, the current consumer in many products and services must become the same producer of products and services through cooperative social enterprises. With a Phrase to become a productive consumer. It is an approach that is well known through consumer cooperatives in Europe and mutual funds, which should now be extended to energy that is the hot topic, to social welfare and health care, to energy communities, and even to its growing economy. internet, if we are really looking for new job and self-employment opportunities. In addition, it should be noted that youth unemployment can not be tackled with the stereotypes of the first and second industrial revolutions that do not work today. In those days the supply of labor lost through

Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, with the digitization of the state and services, the transfer of employees from one sector to another is coming to a standstill, as the self-service of the citizens results in a reduction of bureaucracy, and necessarily the reduction of jobs. In this way the positions created by the new technologies do not cover all the losses. This means that even if the young people get higher education, they will still be unemployed, obviously because the highly qualified positions are for the few and do not concern the many. Let us note that the percentage of young graduates in Greece is high. This makes it difficult not only for the Neets but for all categories in general to find work. Economic growth, competitiveness, high specialization and vocational training do not cover all the human needs of personalized services. This raises the need to invest more in the cooperative sector of the economy. The sector that has the characteristic that it does not displace small farms from production. The request of small and medium-sized enterprises that need to be adopted by social enterprises is "To subsidize work": That is, to give a work allowance and not an unemployment benefit. In those cases where there is unemployment and the other does not go to work, it means that there is a problem with the daily wage which is cheap. So the solution is to boost labor costs in social enterprises. According to research you have done what needs to change in the choices of the real economy towards full employment? In the collective fantasy, what is simply called public opinion still prevails over the logic that economic growth at the level of GDP will raise the level of employment, but not with the demand for labor. Nor does it coincide with the principle that business competitiveness will increase profitability and profitability in turn will create new jobs. !55


Youth Employment Magazine This perception is quite outdated given that digitization, automation and robotization of production can increase profitability in many areas and at the same time limit labor. The argument that adapting studies to the needs of the "market" will immediately ensure a lucrative job for graduates is, among other things, completely unfounded and misleading. Nor is high specialization in advanced technology related to employment growth. High education will not solve the problem of unemployment either. If this were the case, we would not have correspondingly high unemployment of graduates, which means that the problem is not due to the lack of appropriate specializations and skills of employees but to the harmonization of labor supply and demand. Youth unemployment remains much higher, regardless of education level, compared to pre-crisis levels and covers all occupations. High specialization is a small fraction of the demand, not the same as unskilled young people with low qualifications such as personalized childcare services and home help, health care and social welfare in general. As in the traditional occupations of production, food cooking, household care and childcare and the elderly health care does not change radically with the development of technology. There is also the demand of land workers for the harvest of olives, which is a product of high nutritional value, where the daily wage costs more than the yield of the product and this is unprofitable for exploitation. fruits. So the question we have here to look at in the context of the social economy, how to meet the sustainable practical needs of society and at the same time find employment for people who can serve these vital needs.

question is whether the social economy is at odds with the trend of globalization of the economy? With regard to the globalization of the economy as opposed to the need for "local self-sufficiency", I think, first of all, that globalization is being attacked today by those forces that have historically promoted it and now want to reduce it, says the energy and food crisis. has erupted from free market restrictions. Were it not for the restrictions and protectionism, and the political sanctions, we would not have had an energy crisis. The consequences also show the need for local nutritional self-sufficiency. Otherwise, there is no question of the realistic development of globalization, which has the positive to raise the competitiveness of the economy to high levels. But there are gaps it leaves in relation to "local self-sufficiency" and local employment which is a loss for local income and the solution must be sought through alternative collective entrepreneurship. An example is China and India, which have balanced globalization openings with mass cooperatives to support local food needs. The pursuit in this case of local self-sufficiency means the requirement to utilize human resources along with inactive natural material resources that are available as well as some of the country's infrastructure that would otherwise be useless. So you have highlighted the activation of local inactive resources, the need for local self-sufficiency that enhances local employment, What are the conditions for utilizing these inactive available resources as you tell them? First we need to recognize what the object of social entrepreneurship is and in what areas it can focus and secondly, the subject of social entrepreneurship and its specificity in relation to collaborative business.

I have the impression that these allegations have to do with the demand for local "self-sufficiency" and local employment, the

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Youth Employment Magazine The subject of entrepreneurship can be focused on the following areas:

of social enterprises.

The socialization of energy through energy cooperatives

Project SOCIALNEET

• • • • • • • •

Nutritional self-sufficiency with contract social Georgia new collaborative structures for health socialization The Co-operation policy of social housin participatory green - social entrepreneurship Τhe development of social entrepreneurship in local government Digital social entrepreneurship Social cultural entrepreneurship by claiming institutional set-up and financial resources from both national and European resources.

The subject of social entrepreneurship should be defined as collective entrepreneurship, a mechanism of networking and organization between consumers and the productive body without mediation and intermediaries. The Social Enterprise must serve the complex task of mobilizing human resources and networking of social enterprises from all sides - citizens, consumers, professionals, producers, social actors of the Local Government. At the same time, the mobility of all actors in the social economy contributes to the formation of social capital, the accumulation of investment capital and the diffusion of knowledge with the ultimate goal of strengthening social entrepreneurship. Such bodies are consumer cooperatives, energy cooperatives, housing cooperatives, forestry, recycling, socially excluded social cooperatives, public utilities, kindergartens and care for the disabled and the elderly, and extend to the . The advantage in social entrepreneurship is the social support and participation of the consumers themselves, the disadvantage is in the flexibility of the management of these companies. The difficulties, however, arise from the lack of organizational culture institutions in the management !57


Youth Employment Magazine

Joana: a story of success that she liked to work in shifts, but not as a waitress, which is why the coach suggested that she apply for rent-a-car and other tour companies, in great demand at this time of summer. Joana structured a text to send by email to some companies and, under the supervision of the coach, shared her availability with that said companies. Fifteen days after joining StayOn, Joana had already received two job offers, one from a local rent-a-car company and the other from a tour guide company. She was able to try both and ended up choosing the later. Joana is now very happy as a tour guide. "It has allowed me to grow professionally", she said to her coach. We all wish Joana the best of luck for her professional life! Project StayOn

The main goal of the StayOn project is to empower young people, giving them the chance to stay on their land, helping them to get access to work and opportunities without going away from their communities. The first training and coaching sessions have been now completed, and it is a pleasure to share real experiences that make us proud of our participants! This is the success story of Joana Rijo. Joana, a 26 years old girl from Fenais da Luz in São Miguel island, had her first session with coach Lisandra not that long ago. Right from the beginning, she showed her interest in starting her own business, but she still did not have her area of interest fully established. The participant said !58


Youth Employment Magazine

Barriers that Keep Vulnerable People as NEETs: A Study on one hand; and helping the development and improvement of NEET policies on the other. The methodology implemented entailed a preliminary study with secondary quantitative data, followed by a qualitative approach. Thus, on the basis of quantitative ascertainments, stakeholders related to the implementation of NEET policies and NEETs themselves were interviewed. So, what are the most common barriers preventing vulnerable people from escaping the state of NEET? More specifically, what are the reasons that prevent migrant women aged 25-29 from being integrated into the labour market or a training programme?

Another scientific paper was published in the framework of the YOUTHShare project. The interesting study identifies the barriers that keep vulnerable groups, in this case specifically young migrant women aged between 25 and 29 years old, in the state of NEET. The Spanish region of Murcia, as a representative region of the Mediterranean European Economic Area (MED EEA) countries, is the research field since it combinedly presents the following features. It’s the destination of mixed migration flows, it shows a high NEET rate (Eurostat 2022), and its economic structure and development are a representative example for the general context of the YOUTHShare study countries. The real novelty of the paper, however, is that it is one of the few to address the MED EEA employment/ unemployment equilibrium from the regional, instead of national, comparative perspective. In that perspective, the goal of the study is twofold: the contribution to academic knowledge

Being labelled as a migrant has a major impact; and this was confirmed by the research: “The ideas connected to what it is to be a migrant could imply a barrier that can hinder the aimed integration for NEETs”. In the same perspective, the language barrier is a basic priority in order for the migrant to be able to fit in the society too. Work-life balance emerges as another one, since the age of the researched women (aged 25-29) is strongly linked to the idea of motherhood and/or caregiving. Housing policies are part of the problem as well, as they push migrants into living in shared spaces, hence creating “ghettos” that reproduce poverty patterns. And to end with, another barrier that was identified by the research is the ineffective communication of relevant active labour market policies. If migrants do not have easy access or are not aware of the existence of policies that were made for them, then it’s impossible for those policies to successfully fulfil their goals. In alignment with existing literature, the findings of the research show that, despite the existence of barriers keeping vulnerable people in the state of NEET, those very barriers are not properly addressed by NEET policies (Molloy and Potter 2015; O’Reilly et al. 2018; Focacci 2020).

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Youth Employment Magazine Therefore, policies that were designed especially for NEETs should be combined with other ones concerning language training, cultural training, etc. It is those structural factors that should be addressed in order to solve the problem and not just temporarily alleviate it. Focacci, Chiara Natalie. 2020. “You reap what you sow”: Do active labour market policies always increase job security? Evidence from the Youth Guarantee. European Journal of Law and Economics 49: 373–429. Molloy, Sean, and Deborah Potter. 2015. NEET by choice? Investigating the links between motherhood and NEET status. Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand 13. O’Reilly, Jacqueline, Janine Leschke, Renate Ortlieb, Martin SeeleibKaiser, and Paola Villa, eds. 2018. Youth Labor in Transition: Inequalities, Mobility, and Policies in Europe. New York: Oxford University Press.

Authors Carlos Pesquera Alonso Almudena Iniesta Martinez Práxedes Muñoz Sánchez Pesquera Alonso Carlos, Almudena Iniesta Martínez, and Práxedes Muñoz Sánchez. 2022. Barriers That Keep Vulnerable People as NEETs. Social Sciences, 11: 253. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11060253 Project YOUTHShare

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Youth Employment Magazine

YOUTHShare project presented at the 2nd CONFAB Webinar by the Rural NEET Youth Network era of turbulence: a critical account of regional resilience across the Mediterranean EU South” that is under publication in the Journal of Youth Studies. With reference period from 2008 to 2018 and Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Greece as case studies, the paper’s aim is “a theoretical advancement of how resistance against external shocks could be conceptualised across the young cohorts of the labour force”. Among the conclusions of the study, are that geography and history have a significant role in youth labour markets (path-dependent processes); employers do not want to employ low-skilled people or people with specific religious patterns (labour market segmentation); and that there are regions specialised in sectors where low paid jobs prevail, such as agricultural labour with inferior position in the international division of labour (structural deficiencies).

YOUTHShare was honourably invited at the 2nd CONFAB Webinar, a series of monthly webinars organised by the Rural NEET Youth Network (RNYN) in the framework of “COST Action CA18213: Rural NEET Youth Network (RNYN): Modeling the risks underlying rural NEETs social exclusion”. The network is focused on rural NEETs and it includes 33 grand countries and more than 100 participants from several other ones. RNYN intends to establish a network with representation of multistakeholders from these 33 countries; to cultivate knowledge, skills and best practices; to find key issues that can promote and develop public policies; to support various stakeholders in rural areas; and last but not least, to develop an online observatory that will develop a common-based, open-access research platform enriched with information regarding rural NEETs. Ms Effie Emmanouil, PhD Candidate in Economic and Labour Geography at the University of the Aegean under scholarship by the YOUTHShare project talked about the paper “Spatialities of being a young NEET in an

Ms Athina Avagianou, also a YOUTHSHare PhD Candidate studying the policy framework of coworking spaces and the impact on youth, talked about “Being NEET in youthspaces of the EU South: A post-recession regional perspective” and shared some of the findings from the research focusing on youth vulnerability. !61


Youth Employment Magazine The study areas were also regions of Greece, Spain, Italy and Cyprus, from 2008 to 2018, targeted on young people 25-29 with a particular focus on women. The overall conclusion is that vulnerability is linked to peripheral youthspaces of the EU South; and more specifically, that there are regional structures and dynamics regarding the economic specialisation of the regions that affect the NEET rates; that formal institutions need to enhance their role in employment and training/ education policies; and lastly, another factor that should be taken into consideration is the role of social ties and multi-scale agency of various actors (gender and class restrains).

The presentation was followed by fruitful discussion between the participants. Project YOUTHShare

Associate Professor Stelios Giallis, Principal Investigator & Coordinator of the YOUTHShare project, talked about “Explaining NEETs’ persistence in Southern EU: key underlying remarks and factors”, summarising and presenting arguments for wider research. Professor Gialis referred to five factors that determine the high prevalence of NEETs in EU South: Firstly, the socio-economically deprived youthspaces where many NEETs can be found – poorer regions, isolated regions, or less affluent spaces within rich regions that attract or reproduce NEETs’ phenomenon; a second factor is that these young people are mostly concentrated in peripheral and marginalised areas and they experience economic, social or psychological exclusion, which is related to the remoteness and isolation of their areas; third is that the level of economic prosperity, as well as the specialisation of the region, are factors that are strongly related to youth unemployment and inactivity – as in the case, for example, of regions with touristic specialisation which present high NEET rates; the fourth factor is poor functioning of institutions (e.g. education, employment protection) in these regions; finally, the fifth factor concerns the role of informal practices and informal institutions like family networks.

In conclusion, Professor Gialis made special mention to policy proposals that include strong welfare policies and youth-oriented socio-economic practices, as well as the creation of new socio-economic regimes that lead to good, well-paid jobs for youth.

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Youth Employment Magazine

YOUTHShare at the ICA CCR European Research Conference YOUTHShare aims to reduce youth unemployment in coastal and island regions of the Mediterranean EEA by advancing young NEETs’ skills in trans-locally resilient agri-food production and the pertinent circular economies. Stepping stone to that goal is the acquirement of skills in IT and Web-based economy but foremost the skills in Social and Solidarity Economy that pertains to Social Cooperative Enterprises. The widely acknowledged conference received support by the Agricultural University of Athens, the University of Western Macedonia, the Department of Tourism Management of the University of Patras, the National Centre for Social Research, the Institute of Cooperation, the Hellenic Open University, the educational non-profit cooperative “People’s University of Social and Solidarity Economy” and the Co-opAbility Institute.

Another scientific conference presentation for the YOUTHShare project, this time at the “Rethinking co-operatives: From local to global and from the past to the future”, organized by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Committee on Co-operative Research (CCR), Europe Research Board. The conference was held in Athens, Greece, from the 13th to 15th July and was hosted by the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. Subject of YOUTHShare’s participation was “The educational material for advancing youth cooperative skills. The case of the project YOUTHShare”. The editor of the material, Savvas Alexandros Pavlidis, along with professors Kavulakos, Nikolaou and Gialis presented the diligent work of a long list of experts and researchers that allowed more than 700 former NEETs to acquire valuable cooperative skills. Project YOUTHShare !63


Youth Employment Magazine

How the 2008/2009 economic recession and Covid-19 affected NEETs in the EU South The study, among other findings, identifies and explores three underlying factors for the persistence of high NEET rates in the EU South: The first concerns peripherality, that is related to certain geo-demographic characteristics and socio-economic structures; the second regards the institutions’ inability of building regional resilience; and the third, the gendered character of youth inactivity, where NEET rates between men and women are considerably divergent. Young people are indeed increasingly involved in flexible but not secured work, while their gender and class-related spatialities were playing a crucial role to their life prospects. Therefore, future research should focus on youth’s personal stories, to unveil the process through which they obtain skills and experience and how they are involved in networks.

A new scientific paper published recently in the framework of YOUTHShare gives a theoretically informed empirical look at the uneven expansion of NEET rates in the NUTS2 regions of Greece, Italy, Spain and Cyprus in gendered and spatio-temporal terms. Between the global economic recession in 2008-2009 and the Covid-19 pandemic, southern and eastern EU countries experienced social and economic turmoil in a more severe way, compared to the central and northern ones. NEETs comprise a big part of youth in Southern Europe and their numbers have expanded significantly in the last decade with women being more likely to be long-term economically inactive than men (Maguire et al., 2013). !64


Youth Employment Magazine Maguire, S., Cockx, B., Dolado, J. J., Felgueroso, F., Jansen, M., Styczyńska, I., Rinne, U., McGuinness, S., Eichhorst, W., Hinte, H., & Rinne, U. (2013). Youth unemployment. Intereconomics, 48(4), 196–235. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10272-013-0464-9 Authors Athina Avagianou Thanasis Kizos Stelios Gialis Athina Avagianou, Thanasis Kizos & Stelios Gialis. 2022. Young NEETs in the EU South: socio-spatial and gender divisions in between the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic. Geografisk Tidsskrift - Danish Journal of Geography, DOI: 10.1080/00167223.2022.2068636 Project YOUTHShare

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Youth Employment Magazine

About Supported Employment, at the future tense In the end of the previous editorial, I was saying that we are going to widely promote the Supported Employment model, in addition to our daily work with our young beneficiaries, their parents and relatives and companies that have said YES to the challenge of integrating people with disabilities into their teams. Why? First of all, this model is based on a win-win strategy: people with disabilities have the chance to get suitable jobs and keep them for the long term, while companies have the opportunity to hire dedicated and valuable workers. Secondly, the widespread of the Supported Employment will change mentalities, and misperceptions regarding the integration of young adults with disabilities on the labour market and into society. So, step by step, we will contribute to the changing of that paradigm which I have constantly mentioned in my previous editorials. How? Letting the facts speak for us! So, in recent months, we have organised meetings between young adults with disabilities enrolled in the LEAD project. During these events, our beneficiaries who changed their lives after joining the LEAD project have shared their stories with other young adults with disabilities, looking for a job, and with their parents. Why? Because we strongly believe in the power of example given by people who were in the same situation: without a job and distrustful of themselves and those around them. Then, we and our partners have continued to organize experience exchanges between young adults with disabilities looking for a job and potential employers. Why? Firstly, we noticed that these meetings can change the company representatives’ perception regarding the collaboration with people with disabilities. Secondly, our young beneficiaries have the opportunity to see how the activity is carried out and to find out valuable information in order to decide if those jobs really suit them.

Also, our colleagues have gone out into the community, for example to school centres for inclusive education, in order to talk to: young adults with disabilities, their parents and their relatives, and to their teachers about the Supported Employment process and its advantages. Also, they have given details regarding concrete support that could be offered to young adults with disabilities. On the other hand, I paid attention to the academical community. Our colleagues have presented the Supported Employment model to psychopedagogy students. Also, they have talked about the opportunity to work in a non-governmental organization and how the students can contribute to the socio-professional integration of young adults with disabilities through the Supported Employment process. Whenever we have had the opportunity, in events organised by us or by our partners, we have put on the public agenda the issue of large-scale access of people with disabilities to Supported Employment Services, as a solution for their sustainable integration into the labour market. To achieve this goal, we brought to the same table representatives of public institutions engaged in disability policies, leaders of business organisations, public and private providers of educational, social and employment services, alongside human resources specialists, in order to create a roadmap together, through a constructive dialogue. At the same time, we and our partners from Lithuania and Portugal have continued to develop the National Networks of Supported Employment Service Providers, created within the LEAD project, in order to promote this new service in as many communities as possible, to ensure the exchange of expertise and information between network members, and to improve the quality and efficiency of the services provided by them. After three and a half years of implementation, of which two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, we are happy to see that all these actions are paying off. I am happy to say that we have achieved and exceeded the assumed !66


Youth Employment Magazine indicators. Beyond the numbers, we have built strong relationships with employers and solid partnerships in our communities, and we have changed the lives of young adults with disabilities who have chosen the LEAD project and who have trusted us. And, in my opinion, this is the most important achievement for us, and for them. The project “Labour market Employment for young Adults with a Disability - LEAD” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. I invite you to find out the stories of three young adults with disabilities, told with emotion by them, and more about the results of our work by reading our newsletter! Nicolae Dobrescu, Project Manager - LEAD Executive Director of Health Action Overseas Foundation Project LEAD

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Youth Employment Magazine

Experience exchanges between employers and young adults with disabilities, beneficiaries of the LEAD project The four young adults shared details regarding: the job interviews and the work trials, the requirements of the employers, the work schedules, the tasks that they need to perform, their colleagues and teamwork. They talked with emotion about the changes they experience in their lives, and they answered the participants’ questions. For example, Valentin, who has been employed for a year (on the date of the event), contributes to his monthly housing expenses. Also, the young man managed to completely renovate his room with the money he earned. George, member of the San Marco Pizzeria team for two years (on the date of the event), has a savings account and covers his family's food expenses. Moreover, the young adults proudly said that they like what they do, they accomplish their tasks very well, and they are appreciated by colleagues and supervisors.

On the 13th and the 14th of January, HAO organised two meetings at the headquarters of the Services Center for Supported Employment from Constanța between young adults with disabilities enrolled in the LEAD project, facilitated by our colleague, Olivia Grigore. During these events, our beneficiaries who changed their lives after joining the LEAD project have shared their stories with other young adults with disabilities, looking for a job, and with some of the participants’ parents. The protagonists of the first meeting were Valentin and George, full-time employees at Pizzeria San Marco. The next day, their colleague, Diana, full-time employee, and Marinela, part-time employee at Hervis have entered into dialogue with the participants.

An important idea highlighted during the two meetings is that a young adult with disabilities can work in another activity field than the one in which they are specialized. For example, Valentin is a masseur, but he works successfully in a pizzeria, using his excellent manual skills. These experience exchanges have a strong educational and motivational character and they were very well received by both the young participants and their parents. Later, Olivia has noticed a greater willingness of parents to involve their children in household activities in order to improve their work speed, attention to details and perseverance. Also, she has observed that the specialists’ suggestions have been more well received by the young adults. Project LEAD

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Youth Employment Magazine

Experience exchange between employers and young adults with disabilities Between March and May, Health Action Overseas Foundation (HAO) has continued the series of exchange meetings between young adults with disabilities looking for a job and potential employers organised within the project “Labour market Employment for young Adults with a Disability – LEAD”. Thus, on the 11th of March, four young adults with disabilities interested in becoming commercial workers participated in an experience exchange organised by HAO at Carrefour Constanţa. On this occasion, Paula Dămăşaru, HR manager, talked to them about: the tasks that need to be performed in each department, the work schedule, the employment procedures, the salary package and the bonuses granted. The young participants had the opportunity to introduce themselves and to talk about: the reasons for attending the meeting, their previous work experiences, and their professional expectations. The participants were interested in the vacancies, and in the possibilities of adapting the work schedule. Also, they asked for some additional information regarding the commercial worker profession. Two weeks later, on the 25th of March, six young beneficiaries of the LEAD project participated in an experience exchange at the headquarters of SC Step Proiect SRL, a company specialized in advertising production. The young adults visited the factory, guided by Mirela Nichita, HR manager, and Crinel Cîrîc, head of Production Department. The representatives of the company talked to them about: the production flow, the tasks that need to be performed in different departments, the vacancies, the selection/recruitment criteria, the salary package and the work schedule. In this context, Mirela Nichita pointed out that the lack of experience of these young adults can be an advantage as it offers the company the opportunity to train employees for the vacancies, taking into account: their skills, work experience and learning ability. The young adults

noticed that the employees work in a team and accomplish easy tasks. Following this meeting, the young adults have expressed their desire to work part-time with this company. On the 12th of May, seven young beneficiaries of the LEAD project had the opportunity to meet with Cătălin Bălan, administrator of Clean UP Invest SRL. Also, Rocsana Iliescu, the psychologist of the "Antonio" Placement Center and a relative of a young adult with disabilities attended this experience exchange which was held at the headquarters of the Services Centre for Supported Employment from Constanța. Our guest talked about this company which provides cleaning services for residential buildings, headquarters of companies, and after construction works. Cătălin Bălan explained to the young adults that they can work in a team when the aim of the contract is cleaning after construction works. They have different tasks, and the work speed must be high. In this case they are supervised by a colleague. Also, the new employees can work individually, in the case of residential buildings cleaning contracts. In this situation, the work’s complexity is low, so the new employees are trained, and after that they accomplish their tasks without the presence of a supervisor. Moreover, the company’s representative shared interesting pieces of information regarding the professional cleaning machines used by employees. He also provided details to the young adults about: the protective equipment, the work schedule, salaries, bonuses and other benefits. At the end of the meeting, he answered the participants’ questions. Following this meeting, two young adults expressed their wish to work with this company.

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Youth Employment Magazine On the 31st of May, three young beneficiaries of LEAD project (two of whom from the Placement Center "Antonio") participated in a working visit at Cora City Mall, organised by the HAO team in collaboration with Simacek, a company specialized in professional maintenance and cleaning services. On this occasion, Georgel Pătrașcu, working point coordinator at Simacek, told the young adults about: the duties of the cleaning staff, the work schedule (in shifts), the salary package, and presented to them the tools and the equipment used by employees. Additionally, the young adults had the opportunity to observe the employees using the professional cleaning cart, and the automated floor washing machine. They also tested the cleaning equipment. It should be mentioned that, following the meeting, two young women expressed their desire to work in this domain.

Project LEAD

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Youth Employment Magazine

Up to the 31st of march, 138 young Portuguese adults with disabilities benefited from opportunities offered within the LEAD project After 27 months of COVID-19, in Portugal, it is noticeable that the pandemic has had a tremendous negative impact on health, economy and society, causing significant political and social disruption. People with disabilities are the most affected. In this context, measures are being taken in order to reduce the social and economic inequalities which have widened during the Coronavirus pandemic. In the opinion of our colleagues from Consultis, it is important to summarise the recent developments revealed by the study "People with Disabilities in Portugal – Human Rights Indicators 2021", published in March,2022. The research was carried out by the Disability and Human Rights Observatory (Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lisbon). Looking back over the last years, Portugal has made some progress in the social inclusion of people with disabilities. Thus, the number of students with disabilities and that of young adults with disabilities integrated into the labour market has increased. Moreover, the risk of poverty and social exclusion has decreased, because of the Social Inclusion Benefit. However, the pandemic context experienced in 2020 and the successive lockdown of the population increased unemployment among people with disabilities. These are the main conclusions of the mentioned study, coordinated by the researcher and lecturer Paula Campos Pinto. The study includes data in the areas of: education, work and employment, discrimination and social protection, and living conditions. It also covers the differences in work opportunities between men and women with disabilities. Over 2,500 students with disabilities in higher education In the field of education, the results are clear: an increasing number of people with disabilities are attending higher education. For example, in Portugal, in the academic year 2020/2021, the number of students with disabilities increased by 11.7% compared to the previous year. Most of

them study in state universities (89.1%), especially in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (more than two thirds). Also, the study shows that in the academic year 2019/2020, 632 people with disabilities graduated various universities, which represents an increase of 55.7% compared to the previous year and of 108.6% compared to 2016/2017. Based on the study findings, higher education institutions from Portugal seem to be more prepared to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Thus, in the academic year 2020/2021, more than half of the Portuguese universities (64.4%) had specific regulations. The pandemic has raised barriers to employment Between 2016 and 2019, the unemployment rate among the population with disabilities decreased by 8.8%. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, there was an increase of 11.6% of this indicator. The majority (89.2%) were adults aged over 25, looking for a new job (83.1%), and unemployed for more than 12 months (62.3%). Also, the long-term unemployment rate has worsened since the year the virus struck: in 2020 it increased by 21.7% compared to 2019, and in 2021 it increased by 7.6% compared to the previous year. The data indicates that the pandemic crisis was more severe for the employability of people with disabilities (particularly for women), than for the general population. Thus, during the pandemic crisis, the registered unemployment rate among the Portuguese population with disabilities increased by 30.5%; the growth was much more accentuated among women (+63.1%) than among men (+9.8%).

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Youth Employment Magazine Social Benefit for Inclusion helps the fight against poverty and promotes autonomy of people with disabilities If we refer to income and living conditions, despite the decline that has occurred since 2016, the report's data indicates the maintenance of social asymmetries: in 2020, the risk of poverty or social exclusion rate in households of people with disabilities (16-64 years old), still was 11.7% higher than in households of the general population in the same age group (28.5% compared to 16.8%). In addition to these figures, it should be noted that women with disabilities (26.8%) and people with severe disabilities (31.5%) were those who faced the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion. The introduction of the Social Benefit for Inclusion, in 2017, seems to have contributed to poverty alleviation by promoting the autonomy of people with disabilities and their integration into society. The results of the study indicate an exponential growth of the number of persons who have benefited from the Social Benefit for Inclusion. Thus, in 2020, the number of beneficiaries increased by 438% compared to 2017, the year when this benefit came into force – 114,726 compared to 21,307. Discrimination – an unsolved issue In the field of discrimination, the study shows that in 2020, 1,023 complaints were made regarding discrimination on the grounds of disability or aggravated health risks, down 20% compared to 2019. The data shows that access to health services was the issue with the highest incidence of complaints, with the pandemic crisis being the factor justifying this affluence. Companies have created more job vacancies, but employed people with disabilities do not reach 25% of those hired According to the data provided by the Portuguese Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, in 2021 there were 3,713 job offers for

people with disabilities, an increase of 65% compared to 2020. However, paradoxically, the percent of people with disabilities employed does not reach even 25% of the total number of those registered at the public employment services. Concerning placements, i.e. job offers for which there was an applicant, whether through the public employment service or self-placements, the Ministry states that there was an increase in the number of people with disabilities employed. Thus, in 2020, 2,547 people with disabilities got a job, both through job offers and self-placements, a number that increased to 3,463 in 2021 (+ 36% compared to the previous year). But at the same time, according to the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training, 13,583 unemployed people with disabilities were registered in the public services in 2021, increasing by 1.2% compared to 2020. Progress of LEAD project in Portugal Since the last quarter of 2021, the pandemic situation has significantly improved in Portugal, despite the great number of infections. In this more favourable context, the LEAD project's activities have naturally increased, although face-to-face support has continued to be difficult to manage. Therefore, the LEAD team in Portugal are satisfied with the results achieved. Our colleagues report that on the 31st of March, 2022, 138 young Portuguese adults with disabilities looking for a job were registered as beneficiaries on the LEAD project and got involved in the employment programme. Of these, 52 are involved in the Supported Employment programme and 14 are already employed. Also, our colleagues from Portugal have continued to organise experience exchanges between young adults with disabilities looking for a job and potential employers. Consequently, between October 2021 and March 2022, four such meetings took place. These events facilitated interactions, and built natural relationships between employers and potential employees, increasing employment opportunities for young adults with disabilities. Six employers and 14 young adults attended these meetings. !72


Youth Employment Magazine The Consultis team considers that the activity of spreading information about the Supported Employment methodology, its advantages, and its implications is particularly relevant within the scope of the LEAD project. It is envisaged to promote this methodology in Portugal, through various activities, with the aim of ensuring its implementation by other entities. In this context, both Portuguese Centres – The Integrated Centre of Resources in Supported Employment, and The Centre of Supported Employment Services – deliver consultancy and provide information to employers and human resources specialists to raise awareness on general issues concerning disability at the workplace. This is a particularly successful activity. Up to the 31st of March 2022, 95 organisations / companies from different regions of Portugal (from the Porto metropolitan area to the Centre and South Regions) benefited from consultancy services, provided by Consultis specialists in this way. In parallel, 35 employers and human resources specialists had the opportunity to attend five training sessions organised by the Consultis team in October, November and December 2021, in order to prepare them to include young adults with disabilities in their teams, as employees.

Until the 31st of March 2022, 144 representatives of public authorities and 4,052 members of the civil society (young adults with disabilities, members of their families, employers, representatives of non-governmental organisations, VET and CVET centres representatives) were informed about the opportunities offered by the LEAD project, and the action of the National Network of Supported Employment Services Providers. Our colleagues also worked with the municipalities from the Bragança and Vila Real districts, in order to raise awareness and articulate the issues of disability. Project LEAD

At the same time, the process of expanding the National Network of Supported Employment Services Providers has continued. This Network was created in February 2019 in order to facilitate the implementation of Supported Employment methodology throughout the country and to ensure the exchange of information between professionals in the field. According to our colleagues from Consultis, so far 36 organisations from different regions of Portugal have joined the National Network. The Portuguese LEAD team has been informing the representatives of public authorities and the members of the civil society about the role of the National Network of Supported Employment Services Providers: raising the level of community awareness on Supported Employment services and demonstrating that young adults with disabilities are able and are willing to work.

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The opportunities offered within the LEAD project, presented at School Centre for Inclusive Education "Montessori" At the same time, Olivia shared information about how our team collaborates with the parents and the relatives, and with the employers. At the end of the meeting, she answered the participants’ questions. Cristina Serbanescu Project LEAD

On the 8th of April, 13 parents and relatives of pupils of the School Center for Inclusive Education (CSEI) "Montessori" alongside Roxana Giubernea (director of the Center), Cornelia Mareș Panait (teacher), and Aymone Angheluță (social worker) had the opportunity to find out from our colleague, Olivia Grigore, valuable information regarding the services provided to young adults with disabilities within the LEAD project and how our team can support them in order to be integrated into the labour market. Our colleague talked about the benefits of enrolling in LEAD project. Also, she gave details regarding how our team works with the young adults, starting from the identification of their skills and desires, in order to establish the areas in which the young adults could work, counselling and assistance pre and post employment and up to support for the development of independent living skills.

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Youth Employment Magazine

LEAD project, promoted by HAO in the academic community A day later, our colleague, Olivia Grigore, had a working meeting, at the Ovidius University, with another group of students from the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, (Special Psychopedagogy specialization). The third-year students had the opportunity to find out useful information regarding: the LEAD project, the Supported Employment process, and about how our team works with the young adults with disabilities, especially those with retardation and autism spectrum disorders. At the same time, Olivia talked with them about the possibility of volunteering in a non-governmental organisation as HAO, and shared information on how they can get involved in the mentioned project.

Project LEAD

On the 11th of April, a group of first-year students of the "Ovidius" University (Constanţa), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (Special Psychopedagogy specialization), coordinated by Ph.D. Damian Totolan, visited the headquarters of the Services Center for Supported Employment from Constanța. The socio-professional integration of young adults with disabilities through the Supported Employment process implemented by HAO within the LEAD project was the main topic of the meeting. Our colleagues also shared examples of good practices and they discussed the internship and volunteering opportunities offered by HAO Romania to psychopedagogy students.

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Start with yourself! about a safe environment, sustainability and social responsibility", highlighted Marija Markina. The conference was initiated and organised by the director of DSP Plius, Irma Januševiciene - Spudiene. She is a good example to follow in the field of social responsibility, being involved in many social activities and in promoting the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market. The director of DSP Plius believes in change by the power of example, so she hired a young man with disabilities, with the support of VRC. He was employed two and a half years ago, and he is very well integrated. The young man still works with DSP Plius.

Project LEAD

On the 19th of May, the representatives of the Valakupiai Rehabilitation Center (VRC) Marija Markina, the coordinator of the LEAD project in Lithuania, and Dovile Kuzmiate, labour market expert, were invited to attend the "Safe Worker – Healthier Society" conference. Over 200 representatives of companies from all regions of the country participated in the event. On this occasion, our colleagues from VRC talked to the participants about opportunities for corporate social responsibility and about the integration of people with disabilities into the open labour market. In this context, they presented the Supported Employment model, which they have been successfully implementing for over three years. "Speaking not only about the employment of people with disabilities, but also about the well-being of all employees, it is important to seriously talk !76


Youth Employment Magazine

Young beneficiaries of the LEAD project – special champions On the 31st of May, 14 young beneficiaries of LEAD project attended the "Special Champions", activity which was held at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports of the "Ovidius" University in Constanta. On this occasion, young people with special educational needs were involved in non-formal activities, with the support of teachers, and of volunteers among students at the Faculty of Sports. The young participants received prizes, medals and small gifts, after a day full of joy, sports and well-being.

The event was part of the social project "I'm learning to be a champion", coordinated by the Constanța County School Inspectorate and carried out in partnership with the School Centers for Inclusive Education from Constanța, the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports –"Ovidius" University, and the Football Academy "Gheorghe Hagi".

Project LEAD

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Youth Employment Magazine

Blue Generation Project updates Blue Generation Project awarded with the 1st prize Navy Blue by the European Commission initiative EU4Ocean in Action. So far, Blue Generation Project has attracted more than 19,000 youth NEETs to the Blue Economy through promotional visits organized at 283 organizations (high-schools, universities, VET schools, NGOs, and local communities) in Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

BlueGeneration Project signed the Charter for Blue Education in Europe Blue Generation Partner Sea Teach on behalf of the Blue Generation Project, signed the "Charter for Blue Education in Europe" at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The goal is to address OceanSustainability, promote the inclusion of BlueEducation in the national curricula & develop partnership in Europe and beyond. A first step to bring Ocean Literacy to all EU classes!

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Youth Employment Magazine

BlueGeneration at Poseidonia Events in Athens The strong demand for workforce with technical knowledge and skills was highlighted by representatives of companies active in the ship building_and_repair_and the production_of_maritime_materials, in the context of the international meeting of Poseidonia Events in Athens. We thank our project partner HELMEPA (Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association) for the kind hospitality of the BlueGeneration Project at its company booth.

Training seminar on the specialty of the Maritime Security Operator Militos Consulting S.A. run the training seminar on the specialty of the Maritime Security Operator with the participation of 33 young people to prepare them for a new career with high remuneration in commercial shipping and cruise ships. Modern equipment, such as drones that use advanced technology, were presented to familiarize the participants with cutting edge technology in maritime surveillance and security

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Youth Employment Magazine

Blue Generation International Conference, 29.09.2022, Palma de Mallorca Join the effort of BlueGeneration Project to bring young people in touch with the professions of the Blue Economy. Register at BlueGeneration International Conference on 29.09.2022 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain by clicking here https://bit.ly/3NWpXxm

Project Blue Generation

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Youth Employment Magazine

News from the Regional Cooperation Projects Engaging young people with science Environmental Restoration does not happen in a vacuum!

engaging effectively for young researchers. This implies that youth and adults feel at ease and welcome to themselves.

Relationships with local communities, particularly organizations and locations where children and families live, work, and play, are vital to the advancement of science. This includes schools, museums, childcare centres, churches, playgrounds, local businesses, and numerous nonprofit organizations serving children and families' interests. When recruiting youth for research subjects, it is typical practice in our field to collaborate with local groups. It is also common practice to incorporate them in our strategies to distribute research beyond academic journals. Our influence and effectiveness depend on developing research collaborations with local communities.

We feel that research laboratories might benefit from recognizing the value of youth contribution! Involving young students in scientific research is an issue of growing importance for science. Young scientists can offer valuable information in the development of scientific research. Developing a youth-friendly space defined by a safe, welcoming atmosphere in which the perspectives and contributions of all parties are acknowledged and valued is essential to

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Youth Employment Magazine Within the Laboratory of Environmental Engineering for the BLUEGREENWAY Project, students are encouraged to share their remarks, results, and comments with the rest of the team. The BLUE-GREENWAY Project aims to engage youth in scientific research projects, from the initial planning and grant writing phases through project completion and dissemination of results. A harmonic and productive environment is developed. We ensure that the targets and the objectives of the BLUE-GREENWAY Project are transparent and known to everyone engaged with the project. Our target is to transfer knowledge and experience in the Water Quality Restoration Approaches and broaden the vision of young researchers in an ecologically friendly footprint. In this way, students will remain motivated to pursue science and adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle after such an experience.

There are no regulations or expectations regarding the performance of research students! By reading and debating a book or scientific paper with their mentor, some students gain only limited experience. However, most students are attracted to their first research team and describe the lab as a stimulating workplace. Within the Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, they begin by studying fundamental procedures, such as adsorbance of ammonium and orthophosphate from natural and modified clay-based materials and biochar formations, and the most diligent students end up with their own project. Below is the testimony of Mr. Leonidas Fintzos, undergraduate student of the Civil Engineering Department "I am happy I gained the expertise to work in a Laboratory Environment. Despite the long hours we spent in the laboratory, I made friends under a very warm environment. In parallel, I was under my professor's constant direction, and I was able to share my ideas with the team”.

Project BLUE-GREENWAY Join us in our Social Media Accounts and stay tuned with our updates: Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube !82


Youth Employment Magazine

Contributors & Credits CONTRIBUTORS From the Fund Operators Mateusz Wiśniewski Francesca Bombarda Sara Barbi External Contributors Thomas Mc Grath Victoria Tokatzian From the Projects Stephanie Fabri Meath Partnership Team Mine Tülü Eszter Kósa Francisco Simões Enerida Isuf Carlos Pesquera Alonso Almudena Iniesta Martinez Práxedes Muñoz Sánchez Athina Avagianou Thanasis Kizos Stelios Gialis Nicolae Dobrescu Cristina Serbanescu Magdalena Krasuska Katarzyna Olszewska-Kowalewska

Petru-Vasile Gafiuc Tsvetelina Naydenova Joanna Bochniarz Anna Lipinska Filippos Karamanlis Christos Papadopoulos Laura Pacareu Flotats Costas Economopoulos Kalin Minev Kremena Yordanova Eszter Szonyi Amber Darmanin Marta Messineo Anastasia Vlachou Savvas Pavlidis Alina Adomnicăi

Themes of the month: Projects: 0033, 0029, 058, 086, 0181, 192, 314 News from the Regional Cooperation Projects: Project 0284 DIRECTOR Gian Luca Bombarda !83


Youth Employment Magazine

Cover image: youthforeurope.eu & youth-goals.eu 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. Follow us: www.youthemploymentmag.net

Don’t miss the Youth Employment Forum!

Go to the Forum Contact us: themag@youthemploymentmag.net Official number: 3380/2019

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