Creating an environment closer to youth’s habits and needs: YOUTHShare’s role in the process

Changes are the basis of human existence and consequently of any social structure that affects our daily lives. Change is even more inevitable in relation to the habits and needs of the younger generations, which are experiencing a more complex, faster-paced life situation. On the other hand, the institutions intended to support them often seem outdated, struggling to keep up with the needs of those who are increasingly losing faith in active citizenship.

For instance, Italy is well-known for its complex and sluggish bureaucracy, which often tends to slow down processes and thereby discourage the youngest. Indeed, recent data show a deep mistrust of young people towards institutions. Faced with the question “from 1 to 10 what is your level of trust in the following institutions?”, very harsh judgements were made, especially by young women. The average age of those working in institutions, public administrations, and schools is often identified as a source of concern: today about 56% of public employees are over 50 years old and only 9% are under 35. The generational rebalancing in the public administration is therefore a real need, necessary to create organisational and work models based on complementary and synergic skills, knowledge, and competences, which are essential for a context in continuous and rapid transformation. This is a situation that Italy is slowly trying to reverse thanks to the initiatives promoted by the Recovery Plan for Europe. The need for personnel in the public administration in the five-year period 2022-2026 is estimated at 770,000. This is a precious opportunity to rejuvenate the sector

In the case of schools, on the other hand, and despite some problems linked to teachers not being fully up to date, it is worth highlighting the growth of a positive trend in which families, young people and schools are increasingly involved in building bridges with younger generations through sport, art, digital skills and attention to the well-being of the youngest, which has been put to the test during the last few years of the pandemic.

Change is possible and certainly starts from the need to make services and dialogue with institutions more accessible and efficient. There are approximately 94 million young Europeans between the ages of 15 and 29. Many of them are still attending schools and universities or training courses, others have already found a job and are building a future. Many, however, are unemployed or have even lost hope of finding a job. Throughout Europe, the European Social Fund (ESF) is funding thousands of projects and programmes to help young people obtain the know-how and opportunities they need to enter the world of employment. Particular attention is paid to the so-called NEET young people. Young people, in some cases, are not sure how to go about finding a job. ESF projects support them through individual career guidance, teaching them how to write a CV and preparing them for a job interview. They also often follow them throughout the job search process up to the first months of placement. And it is in this context that the YOUTHShare project, likewise, fits into a series of small bottom up changes with their own dynamic of contribution. The YOUTHShare Key Account Managers are an example of such grassroots commitment, constantly engaging with both NEETs and with the institutions in a position to contribute.


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