Project L.I.K.E. – Life Investment is the Key to Employment, implemented under the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment 2014-2021, has launched a large-scale comparative study aimed at mapping the prospects for inclusion in the labor market of the target group of young people with mental health problems, the opportunities available and the challenges they face. The uniform questionnaire developed by the lead partner, Association for Progressive and Open Communication, with the expert advice and support of the Norwegian and Icelandic partners, is designed to find out the opinion of young NEETs with mental health problems from Bulgaria, Ireland, Latvia and Hungary regarding their special needs and unique qualities.
The study, covering the quality of life, health status, degree of satisfaction, interests, aspirations, concerns, attitudes and benefits expected by the NEETs target group, will outline new opportunities for employment and full participation in society for these young people. The comparative analysis based on data from partner countries will inform the development of a multidimensional system with a working mechanism to foster the inclusion of the target group between 15 and 29 years of age, with a special focus on the Roma community.
As part of the project implementation, the conducting of in-depth interviews has started with the families and friends of young people with mental health problems following a uniform methodology applied by all partners. The setting up is currently in progress of focus groups with prospective employers to provide more extensive information on the expectations and the capacity of businesses to offer internships and employment to the young.
The outcome from the implementation of the full range of research activities by the project consortium will be the drafting of evidence-based measures to eliminate the isolation of the target group, of various motivation techniques, as well as a positive foregrounding of the individual’s qualities aimed at fulfilling the overarching goal of offering working approaches and support in job- or internship-seeking through employer training and consulting for these young people’s families and friends.