Diversity and inclusion: YOUTHShare diversity a “huge machine” for labour market integration

Skills come in all forms and can be obtained by any individual with the means to access education. The Key Account Managers (KAMs) of YOUTHShare’s Transnational Employment Centres in Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Greece give us their own perspective in the value of including all young people in the labour market, regardless of one’s religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and other characteristics that do not interfere with the actual intellectual capabilities of the person.

At the YOUTHShare project, inclusion is a constant value!”, says Ms Aimilia Markaki, KAM of the Greek branch of the Transnational Employment Centre. “In the YOUTHShare Project, all these years we have been working on trying to be open to all new variants of diversity that emerge in today’s society. The constant interaction with NEETs throughout the years has enabled us to remain alert of changes that may occur” she comments, and adds: “YOUTHShare is an example of open-mindedness and acceptance of different groups! Our selective criteria were targeted to women, migrants, aged 24-29, and other groups of society that were usually isolated from the labourmarket. More than this, in practice all these groups were free to express themselves during training activities and we empowered them to do so. As an example, Muslim trainees needed during the classes a short break for the prayers. Naturally, we happily accommodated their request and adjusted the e-learning classes accordingly with the consent of all trainees”.

Ms Mari Badenes Galiana, the KAM of the Spanish branch, refers to the successes of her branch in including young people in the training cycles: “The Spanish Employment Centre prepares young people with learning difficulties, migrants, refugees, low socioeconomic class for later inclusion in the labor market. Preparing them to face up to the challenges and fostering their future employment opportunities through individual sessions,workshops and accompanying them” and she concludes, “The YOUTHShare project in Spain has reached over 200 hundred young people and engaged them in the Spanish employment centre, taking part of different workshops, events and coaching sessions, helping them to improve their skills and abilities to get a job”.

As a “huge engine” the Italian KAM, Ms Claudia Caggiano, refers to the YOUTHShare project, that combines all its forces with the goal to provide young NEETs with the skills to enter the labour market: “The first step towards an increasingly inclusive world of work starts right here: from the management, to the KAMs, to the beneficiaries (NEETs), people from different backgrounds with different goals, of different ages, genders, interests: a huge engine that, despite the obstacles, works together to create and offer opportunities”, and continues “For the past four years, YOUTHShare has represented an innovative dimension of inclusion and opportunity […] Indeed, the project, in both the training and internship phases, has created spaces for discussion, inclusion and enrichment that will certainly continue to open doors to a new world of labour in the future” […] “Nearly a thousand young men and women, including migrants, have had the opportunity to be trained for free, have had the chance to do national- but also (and especially)- transnational internships”, Ms Caggiano concludes, underlying the work that has been done in the framework of YOUTHShare.

“The KAMs supported all the individuals without any of the social categories having a negative aspect to recruitment. In addition, the project gave people from all socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to participate, explore the platform, network, do internships and generally improve their employability in an inclusive way”, says Ms Foteini Sokratous, the KAM of the Cypriot branch of the Transnational Employment Centre, highlighting the inclusiveness of the YOUTHShare project. Ms Sokratous concludes: “Intersectionality is the connection between social categories (e.g., gender, race, disability, sexuality) for a person who may belong to more than one of the above-mentioned social categories. For example, a Queer Black woman, often identifies with one element of her identity (for instance by the gender or race or sexuality) and this can be problematic because that person may experience discrimination and marginalization for multiple reasons within society. In the labour market, individuals often are discriminated against not only for their gender or ethnicity but for multiple reasons. The project achieved to help people to enter the labour market without facing any discrimination regarding any of the social categories they may belong”.

Aimilia Markaki, Key Account Manager, Greek branch of the Transnational Employment Centre
Claudia Caggiano, Key Account Manager, Italian branch of the Transnational Employment Centre
Foteini Sokratous, Key Account Manager, Cypriot branch of the Transnational Employment Centre
Mari Badenes Galiana, Key Account Manager, Spanish branch of the Transnational Employment Centre


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