The Director’s Editorial – May Issue

Dear Family,

two months have just elapsed from our last issue and … how many news we have to talk about.

I am just coming back from an important live event involving two Youth Employment’s Projects, therefore, I would like to start from this. First of all, as it is one of my first real, live, concrete encounters after Covid outburst (even if hybrid). This means that we, step by step, are moving to go over it.

Secondly, because I am really grateful about this initiative. How many times I talked about clusters, knowledge transfer, dissemination, etc. Well… I have been in Potenza for a joint event with two of our Projects and, once more, since we are together with all of you, those theoretical words were transformed into concrete actions. I said ‘once more’since our SEPAL already did it. Do you remember the ‘Let’s NEET together’? I do. I remember it has been, and still remains, a successful concretisation of the direction we already wanted to set. The only ‘disadvantage’ (in quotes because it was really a success), was its online nature. Like it was our Regional Funds Week, where you all collaborated creating synergies between the Youth Employment Fund and the Regional Cooperation Fund, and we reached more than 900 visitors to the exhibition. Not sufficient, we deserve more!

Last week, involving two YE Projects, while tackling also some of the same topics and issues, we were physically together. And, while returning back by train, I wonder how success would have tripled if pandemic hadn’t been among us. However, we cannot change our past. But, considering these initiatives, we can only look forward.

And that is what YOUTHShare and COWORK4Youth did: organising a physical event to talk about solutions for local NEETs. And with a national (therefore, global) prospect.

That is exactly what I meant, already some years ago, when talking about the Projects’ natural thrust, and also need, to ‘cluster’. Clustering activities, therefore the necessity to put together activities and objectives following the same directions while arising from different specific goals, are that. If the Fund for Youth Employment is still able to do that, and additionally in presence, this means that my/our assumptions were a reality.

In Potenza (Italy), old best practices from a more mature Project were transferred with the intention to create new inspiring practices: the Projects worked with respect to the same target group, NEETs, trying to find innovative solution towards an issue to which we have been living together for years now.

And the best part, apart from the fact that all those points could be transferred to a national/global (therefore glocal) dimension, is that I am sure that all of you can recognise its activities as a concrete part of this specific work. Clustering is this. I hope that all of you can follow this direction. As usual, the Fund Operator is here to support you, as well as it is supporting all the rest of your several activities in relation to the Youth Employment goals.

And, now that the clustering among Projects seems to be an understood concept, I have to ask also our research Projects to try to be less ‘jealous’ about their data and start to cooperate and share also with the other projects. Don’t miss the Youth Employment Forum! CLICK to go to the forum:!!

Now, please let me call you for another challenge. The additional 8 projects of the “Unlocking Youth Potential” call are now all in full operation. The YE website will be soon updated with all their links. We are now with more than 225 partners operating in 25 Countries. It is now time to enhance also national dialogue among partners. I will call all of you, Country by Country, for a short networking meeting as soon as possible.

Not surprisingly, indeed, scrolling the contributions coming from all our Projects for this issue, I see that everything is linked. This means that you are working towards the achievement of the same goals. From schools to the actual change of labour market’s dynamics. Not forgetting that, even if now we can start living without masks, the consequences of the pandemic are still affecting our society, especially young people. Please follow some reflections linked to our project monitoring activities written by our new junior colleague Victoria.

Also notice another success story: after Alina, we have now also Claudia; welcome!

But we continue to be full of interesting news coming from all our Projects. For example, during the Annual Review Meeting with our Donors, we remembered the Social Innovators Projects,

included as one of the best practices examples by project SHOUT! (Erasmus +), BeeCounsel Project, which is visible on tv and radio, and again YOUTHShare recognised by CEDEFOP (and finally, in this issue, we also include two more academic deliverables of the Project which are currently online, published in two of the most prominent Journals for Youth Studies).

And last but not least…. Go and have a look about the most recent updates coming from Tirana, 2022 Capital of Youth.

Just an anticipation, considering again youth: as in relation to our Donors engagement to participate to the EYY2022, you know already that our colleague Mateusz will ask you for some additional works and contribution. We are consolidating the ideas with the FMO and will try to publish a special edition of the MAG: be ready, be inspired!

At the same time, I see with pleasure that a lot of Projects are re-starting physical trainings: that is the best way we have to continue our mission.

While we all have to recognise, talking about the theme of this month, that school is one of the institutions that suffered the most. Without mincing words, our friend Tom (shall we call him Uncle Tom from now on?) is making the point: «Children entering education now will be young adults in 2040. Innovative educational and employment strategies need to be devised to prepare for the new and emerging landscapes. Schools and educational establishments must prepare their charges for an ever-evolving employment sector, to train them for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, to solve problems that have not yet been anticipated. It will be a shared responsibility to seize opportunities and find solutions».

If we think about that, I trust we all agree that finding solutions is part of our duties.

Gian Luca Bombarda
The Fund Director


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