During the period 2-4 October 2019 the training meeting for local stakeholders (LSCs) involved in the SEPAL project was held in Athens/Greece. It was attended by representatives from the partner countries involved in the implementation of the SEPAL Project: Romania, Spain, Lithuania, Greece and Poland, as well as their local stakeholders from each country. The three-day training was conducted in a room that was kindly made available to us by the Serafeion Foundation of the Municipality of Athens.
During the first day the event was opened by Greek SEPAL project manager, Christos Makliri, and all were welcomed by Myrto Mirialli, president of KOISPE Diadromes, Greece.
We had the opportunity to get to know each other in a playful way and then a more formal presentation of each SEPAL project partner: Bucovina Institute (Romania), Fundacio Privada Pere Closa (Spain), ZISPB (Lithuania), KOISPE DIADROMES (Greece), Collegium Balticum (Poland) took place.
Then the local stakeholders of each countryintroduced their work, as follows:
- ROMANIA: BUCOVINA INSTITUTE
- FONSS – National Federation of Social Services Providers
- SUCEAVA LABOUR OFFICE, AJOFM – Apprenticeship, accreditation of social enterprise
- HUMAN CATALYST – National Roma Association focused on advocacy
- SUCEAVA OMBUDSMAN OFFICE- conflict mediation, human rights
- SUCEAVA PREFECTURE – governmental body of the county, supervising policy implementation on a national level
- SPAIN: FUNDACIO PRIVADA PERE CLOSA
- BARCELONA CITY HALL – community projects manager
- SOM ESQUEIX – social economy, employability improvement through work in eco-agriculture
- GATS – Cooperative association advice and organization of music events
- ASSICIATIO JOVES ATANOS DE GRACIA – Supports young people by creating events for the Roma community
- PLA DE BARRIS – strengthen neighborhoods in Roma areas through education and sport
- LITHUANIA: ZISPB
- SIAULIAI YOUTH CENTRE – governmental organization of youth services
- JONISKIS MUNICIPALITY – social services provision department
- SIAULIAI MUNICIPALITY – social services provision department
- EMPLOYMENT OFFICE – employment service Siauliai department
- SIAULIAI CENTER OF SOCIAL SERVICES – social services provision
- GREECE: KOISPE DIADROMES
- STEPS – street work, one stop shop for people in need/the streets (homeless, people with substance dependence, migrants)
- KOISPE PLORI, EPSYME – addressed to citizens of Piraeus and surrounding suburbs, affected by mental disabilities, psychiatric problems and autistic spectrum disorders, targeted to avoid their social exclusion, works toward prevention, internal training and social care
- ASTROLAB, ODYSEA – vocational training for vulnerable people
- PEPSAEE – social integration of people with psychological difficulties
- SOCIETY OF SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY AND MENTAL HEALTH – provides comprehensive psycho-social services to adults, adolescents and children through the operation of Mental health units, residential homes, semi-autonomous protected apartments and day centers, implementing programmes for their vocational and social integration
- POLAND: SSW COLLEGIUM BALTICUM
- FOUNDATION “TULPAN” – Works with ex-offenders and prisoners to support them to find a professional path
- YOUTH CAREER CENTRE – Helps young people create a professional career and find employment
- POLISH FOUNDATION TO PREVENT ADDICTION – Works with youths in the field of addiction prevention
- CENTRE OF SOCIAL ECONOMY SUPPORT – Coordination of social enterprise work in the region of West Pomerania
- MUNICIPAL CENTRE OF SOCIAL NEED – Working with youths that have difficulties
The second day started with a presentation on: NEETs in Europe. Statistics, profiles and analysis. Developing Emotional and Community Skills as Guarantees of Success in the Labor Market. We identified that across countries the profiles vary somewhat but mostly have similar traits. Ages in studies center from age 15 to 29 mostly while gender numbers tend to be equal in most countries. Low self-esteem, a difficult job market and low income families tended to be part of the NEET profile in most countries.
We had the opportunity to develop slogans, to have a photo shoot and video recording to promote SEPAL and access NEETs from all countries. This allowed for creativity and fun moments to emerge.
A presentation and workshop on Challenges in Social Entrepreneurship to integrate NEETs, allowed us to think of different parameters that come into play when considering how to create job opportunities for vulnerable people.
The workshop facilitated by the SEPAL WISE expert from Fundacio Privada Pere Closa from Spain, on Vulnerability in the workplace. The Importance for Employers to Recognize vulnerability, helped us think of difficulties around retaining NEETs in a training/work environment and consider possible solutions.
During the last day of the training there was organized the workshop on Supported employment workshop in working with vulnerable groups and solutions. Relationship and cooperation with employers, facilitated by the SEPAL WISE expert from Lithuania, which led to discussions on work demands and how to support NEETs to fulfill them.
Following this, there was a presentation and workshop on the Importance of apprenticeship. Benefits of Business Apprenticeship Programmesand a presentation and workshop on The contribution of LSCs to the apprenticeship and internship stages, facilitated by the SEPAL WISE expert from Greece. These workshops focused on the benefits of apprenticeship from different points of view and encouraged thinking around possible problems and solutions as well as creating services that can aid this process.
The event was successful and enjoyable during our work and all other activities. The meeting allowed for an extremely productive process to unfold. The interaction of all parties involved was necessary and useful for the implementation of the SEPAL project and we look forward to more opportunities to exchange ideas and plan our work together with all of our partners.