NESET Project Partners reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic

Credits: NESET

Bulgaria (VCCI – Todor Todorov,, Cluster ISBSTB – Ekaterina Ignatova,, Tora Consult – Ralitsa Todorova,

The requirements for social distancing, wearing masks and sanitising the premises make the delivery of the trainings more costly. We are responsible for the training of 60 people in Bulgaria and make our best to deliver the training sessions face-to-face because of the specifics of the training. We have to divide the trainees into groups of 15 persons and make more training sessions, than envisaged primarily.

On the other hand, we have a lot of applicants for the trainings and the following activities since all graduates from the tourism college and the Bachelor and Master degrees in the Tourisms from the higher schools and universities cannot find a job, neither can they start their own business, and are actually NEETs and eligible for our youth support activities. We intend to compensate the higher costs for the trainings from the budget for business trips and using more voluntary work, following the co-financing waiver offer from the Fund Operator.

We are also willing to make changes in the mobilities that follow the trainings since we are concerned about the possible international travel bans in late 2020 and the months to follow. If this were the case, we would try to arrange mobilities between the summer “sea” staff and the winter “ski” staff but inside Bulgaria.

Croatia (Association ECHO – Melanija Mežnarić, & VEGORA – Violeta Crnogaj,

Due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, we were unable to organise National publicity event with all relevant stakeholders, which was foreseen for the first quarter of 2020. We will hopefully be able to organise events this autumn. We will use them for the dissemination of the project, invite local and national TV and radio stations and also use it as an additional tool to attract the target group.

In addition, currently we cannot organise face to face trainings for the NEETs as NESET target group. We have conducted first set of trainings in the beginning of July and we will continue with this activity in September. Having in mind that in the last few weeks the registered numbers of COVID-19 positive cases is raising and that our government is resuming back some of the measures, we will probably continue to organise the trainings online.

We are not so sceptic about the implementation of the trainings, as we are for the mobility activities. There is an order from the Ministry of education and science, that prohibits all international travel for pupils and students. Our government is stating that it is preferably also to implement this order in all travels/mobilities within projects. This order has no expiration date at the present moment. Together with the mentioned national restrictions and challenging local situation, we are quite concerned to send young people abroad and be responsible for their safety and wellbeing. Besides, during the Social and communication skills training we have discussed this possibility with young NEET’s and they have stated that they are reluctant to travel outside Croatia.

We would like to propose that the foreseen mobilities are organised on national level, and instead of traveling abroad, young NEETs will have the possibility to experience internship in their own countries. Also, this could widen the possibility for those young people who do not speak English since they are more marginalised and less employable than the ones who do speak English or another foreign language.

Cyprus (Enoros – Stella Papatheodoulou,

On the 30thof June to the 3rdof July 2020, Enoros Consulting Ltd. organised online the 1st Workshop of the NESET project, regarding the “Social and Communication Skills”, with the participation of 15 young people in NEETs situation. The Workshop was divided in 4 sessions, including diverse virtual activities and discussions based on the subject, in order to keep the audience attention. Considering the preparation stage, Enoros was communicating and sharing the 1stWorkshop (posters with the dates, the link for the participants’ form) along with information about the NESET project, by elaborating some Dissemination Actions, namely through relevant social media accounts, groups and pages as well as via Email, in order to reach the project’s target group.

However, taking into account the situation of Covid-19 as well as the summer period which has already started in Cyprus, the recruitment process was extremely hard, as Enoros didn’t have the opportunity to reach our contacts properly due to the social distancing measures. Moreover, Enoros faced difficulties to manage and keep the participants focus and concentrated during the virtual training because “Social and Communication Skills” is a topic that could be better presented through a face-to-face workshop rather than online. Nevertheless, through an effective and constant communication with the rest of the partners as well as receiving the correct advices on behalf of the project manager, Enoros managed to reach the project’s goal. Therefore, Enoros will continue the project’s implementation with more positive thinking, trying to organise the forthcoming trainings face-to-face, if the future situation allows us to do so.

Greece (SARONIS – Joseph Hassid,

Conditions created by COVID-19 in Spring 2020, their persistence till now and uncertainties for the coming months, have affected economic activity and people’s lives and behavioural patterns in various ways. NESET project related activities were also affected and, therefore, project partners were compelled to revise planning and implementation arrangements for some of these activities. So far, activities mostly affected are: dissemination activities and training of NEETs. In particular:

Dissemination activities: Because of Government imposed restrictions on people’s mobility and strong suggestion of “social distancing”, organisation of Information Day(s) was not possible. Such activities had to be deferred, while dissemination of project related information has so far been restricted to a number of entries in social media. The same practice will be continued in the coming months, supplemented by intensified use of the project’s website, the production and distribution of the project’s multilingual Brochure and Newsletters (Newsletter No.1 has already been distributed, while No. 2 is expected in September 2020).

Training activities: While various types of Training material (for which SARONIS was the Coordinating partner), i.e. Training Modules for a number of “priority” Skills Groups (translated in partners’ national languages) are ready (or in the final phase of completion), the implementation of training itself – especially “face-to-face” workshops – was, under the circumstances, considered not feasible! Instead, SARONIS organised (29 June – 11 July 2020) a series of online training sessions attended by a group of 10 participants from across the country, on the “Social and Communication Skills” modules’ group. Five sessions were successfully organised, of 5 hours average duration each. Evaluation by participants was very satisfactory. We predict that “on-line” training will also be used for the remaining number of Skills Groups (i.e. “Employability Skills”, “Entrepreneurship Skills” and “Validation of Skills”, plus for the remaining 50 participants for Social and Communication Skills, starting September 2020.

Other project activities expected to be affected:

  • Transnational job placement mobility schemes. Depending on COVID-19 related situation in the various NESET partner countries and the evolution of target group members’ disposition towards international travel, the feasibility of such activities will, most probably, have to be reconsidered and re-scheduled probably by replacing (at least partly) the transnational element with national job placements.


  • Counselling activities. Online group or individual sessions will most probably have to be organized in order to ensure the necessary social distancing and the confrontation of NEETs’ hesitation to participate in physical meetings.

Italy (TUCEP – Catia Trinari,

As far as the impact of the COVID-19 in Italy is concerned, the long lock-down period has certainly affected all our activities, even if we have tried to draw opportunities from this period of crisis.

More specifically regarding the NESET project, during the months from March to July 2020 all face-to-face activities were cancelled. In any case, however, we went ahead with the project activities both through the translation of WP3 reports and the translation of WP4 teaching materials.

The NESET trainings involving NEETs as project target group started in mid-July in online sessions and will continue until the first days of August and in September. The positive aspect of online training form has been that young people from different Italian regions attended the training sessions, creating a very proactive exchange spreading at national Level. We hope to be able to resume the delivery of the remaining NESET modules in September face-to-face.

Portugal (APSU – Pedro Casal, Dialogue Diversity – Ana Ribeiro,

Concerning APSU’s reactions to Covid-19 pandemic, in terms of changes to our activities, the change in routine was quite noticeable, as all staff was forced to work from home. APSU’s modus operandi, like what was supposed at this stage of implementation of the NESET project, relates to face-to-face contact with various groups of stakeholders. Thus, we were forced to create new communication mechanisms, such as webinars, online chat rooms, increased use of ICTs, among others. Even so, the feeling is positive, since the technological tools allow the sharing of information and knowledge to be ensured, and this has given more elasticity to the NESET training periods, although it requires more creativity to hold the participants’ attention in the activities of formation. The response to the pandemic on our part has been made using ICT, namely through online meeting platforms (Skype, Zoom, Teams), in addition to more usual tools, such as e-mail, telephone, etc.

As far as Dialogue Diversity Lda is concerned, the COVID-10 pandemic brought obstacles to the implementation of the ‘Social and Communication skills’ training, in a face to face approach. However, we did our best in order to find solutions to carry on NESET project in a successful way.  We were still able to organise a face to face meeting with a local stakeholder (Tourism VET school, early March, with its director, to disseminate the project among their students of the last grade and respective staff). At that time, we distributed the enclosed Flyer with information on the project and training. This flyer was also sent via email to different stakeholders (mainly VET schools and youth associations) and distributed on 18thJune, during a conference mainly held online, organized by Europe Direct Aveiro European Information Centre, and with a few people in person (the maximum allowed in the room – 30 and some speakers). This conference was addressed to individuals aged between 18 and 30 years old, whose purpose was to share among them jobs, projects, internships and mobilities opportunities. Institutions such the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal, being the respective CEO, Sofia Colares, one of the speakers, EURES and the Job Centre were represented with key note speakers and also me, Ana Ribeiro, who shared some training & mobilities opportunities for the youth, including the NESET Project. This event reached 2500 viewers, during the whole event and, 14 000 people, that only viewed it partially. You will find links to the video and dissemination of the event below.

Since then, we have been able to disseminate the project and the training through our Social media, in a VET school webpage and in the European Information Centre – Europe Direct Aveiro. Please, check the following links:

In conclusion, as since March, it has not been possible to have in person meetings nor the training, face to face, we agreed to organize it online, using TEAMS software.

So, two trainings were organized, involving two trainers.

The first was held in the following days:

6; 8; 13; 15 e 17 July 2020 and had the participation of 15 registered participants. However, this type of participants are not easy to get involved in activities and even less in online ones, on their own. The whole group did not participate in all the 5 sessions. The minimum participants attending one of the sessions was 12.

The second training was held on the following days:

9, 13, 15, 21 and 23 July with the participation of 15 registered participants. Most of the participants participated in all sessions.

In September, we will organise two other training groups, in order to reach, at least, 60 participants in total, for the Social and Communication Skills modules.

The training related to the other modules will be held in October.

Romania (Geo Club Association – Alexandra Ionescu,

As far as Geo Club Association is concerned, the COVID-19 pandemic brought some challenges to the implementation of the ‘Social and Communication skills’ training, in a face-to-face approach. However, we did our best in order to find solutions to carry on NESET project in a successful way.

First training organised was delivered by two trainers.

The first was held:

7,8th of July 2020 and had the participation of 14 registered participants.

The second training will be held:

11,12th of August 2020 with the participation of YY registered participants. (We are in the recruitment process)



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