Here we go with the third issue of our Magazine! Step by step our family is increasing and demonstrating with concrete examples what our projects are doing on the ground.
This time I feel the necessity to present you this issue by summarising the main achievement of these past two months: the construction of the Baseline Study and the Active Youth Annual Seminar, for which we have just returned from Brussels.
The seminar has been an occasion to see again the faces of our projects, a concrete possibility to interact with them (and for them to exchange knowledge about their goals and activities).
Let me spend some words to thank Grethe Haugøy (Senior Sector Officer for Regional Funds and Global Fund for Social Dialogue and Decent Work – FMO), who welcomed our guests remembering the importance of Annual Thematic Seminar, on the agenda since the beginning of the preparatory works for the Fund for youth Employment: “We thought it would have been a very good idea for you to come together and to create some synergies, some shared arena, because all of you started your projects more or less at the same time, you are all working on youth employment; there are different methods, topics and approaches, but you are all working on the same overall topic.” As Grethe confirmed, those occasion are tool to learn something across the projects, in order to have a network to lean on, especially towards the young people we are working for and with.
“I’m reading the Youth Employment Magazine, which was a brilliant idea from the Fund Operator, I’m so happy you are so active in the Magazine, because it gives me so much information on what you do”. Beyond the challenges, “I expect you to strengthen your bond, because we are in this together, for me we are one group, my Youth Employment Group!”.
During these two half days, the seminar has been organised through 3 panels:
- “Vulnerable Groups and Competence Development”;
- “ICT/Digital, Social Economy and Entrepreneurship”;
- “Challenges for European youth – working together towards a more inclusive and cohesive society in rural, coastal and island communities”.
In addition, Iván Martín, our Spanish Youth Employment Expert, had the occasion to meet in person the people behind the contributions received for the Baseline Study, the “voluntary” contributors, reunited into a specific group for a separate initial session: “Base-line Study about Youth Employment in 15+3 EU beneficiary countries of the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment”.
Firstly, let me thank all the participants! And especially the panelists of our projects, in order of name and not of importance: Georgios Avgoustides , Kaja Cunk , Costas Economopoulos, Petru-Vasile Gafiuc, Marievi Gretsi, Stefano Guardati, Erdmuthe Klaer-Morselli, Maria Metodieva, Mark Proctor, Rafael Rodriguez, Mary-Ann Rukavina, Morana Starcevic, Katarzyna Udala, Savvas Vlachos, but aslo Giulia Parola and Stelios Gialis – the rapporteurs, for Ivan, during the panel on the Baseline Study. All of them had the occasion to discuss important topics thanks to the Moderators Agata Maksimowska, Darya Maroz and Małgorzata Nowak (from the FO).
Thanks also to all the volunteers that contributed to the Baseline Study’s creation, and to the future colleagues that will decide to further contribute to its development, in order to give birth to a Tool for all the Fund’s projects and the overall YE Programme, allowing to better coordinate ideas and definitions.
There has been some key words and main issues we have been repeating during those two days of full immersion in youth (un)employment related “inspiring practices”: outreach to NEETs (how to find them?), motivation and engagement, workplace learning, skills development, and a lot more.
We learnt that it is more useful, and innovative, to talk about “inspiring practices” rather than “best practices”: we already have “best” practices, but we need to find “inspiring” practices and examples able to brand the YE Programme and to be a source of inspiration.
With Iván, the Baseline’s contributors had the occasion to find and collect other important topics for discussion: common challenges for the majority of European countries, the problems for young generations aged 25-29, part-time works incapable of solving unemployment, job creation, entrepreneurship, and many others.
Our Małgorzata Nowak, active part of the FO behind the organisation of the Seminar, will tell us more about the results of those two days we spent together, while our friend Iván will go more deeply into the main concerns and topics emergend during the meetings with our Baseline’s protagonists.
Let me conclude in thanking also the Info-Comm Team, which is always trying to stimulate you all in trying to profit as much as possible of our Magazine (and related social media) as a tool, a platform for further dissemination of inspiring practices, to promote your ideas and main results, meanwhile promoting the overall Fund for Youth Employment. The Editorial Team, supported by Raquel – FMO Communication Officer – is waiting for your success stories, discussion articles and any other YE related work!
For my part, I just feel the need to state that clearly we started to enter into the heart of the burning question for Europe: in 2018 approximately 15 million young people aged 24-34 were neither in employment, nor in education and training (NEET) in the EU.
We want to change this trend! Indeed, it is clearer that we are all engaged, and ready, to find innovative solutions to common challenges.
I leave you all to the next contributions of Malgorzata and Iván, followed by our guests’ presentation – Alessandro Chiozza and Benedetta Torchia – which, stressing the importance of non-formal and informal learning, lifelong learning and training systems, are providing a professional point of view on the issues here above mentioned, before entering more deeply into the show reel of our projects’ activities and success stories.
Gian Luca Bombarda