Discussion on topic “Education is a value, not just a piece of paper(?)” took place in Lithuania, November 2022. Employers, students, NEETs, educators, and teachers, as well as Lithuanian partner ZISPB from project SEPAL, funded by EEA and Norway grants Fund for Youth Employment were invited and sought to find out what the benefits of education (diploma) are, what is the attitude of employers towards students who have just graduated and have no experience, what educators and students think about the education situation.
Key points of the discussion:
“Young people who have just graduated want everything here and now. With no experience, they want to get a high salary right away.” – says representatives from business sector. “Young people who have just graduated do not yet know what they want from life, they are constantly changing jobs. We, as employers, invest our time and effort in them, and they leave the job after a few months. We need stability. When writing a CV, people often state what they want to get from the workplace, but do not show what they can give us, how they will contribute to the company’s well-being.”
“Getting a job is not a dream come true for me, it’s just a necessity.”– says students and NEETs. “As a student, I understand that you don’t need to immediately ask employers for a salary of thousands, first you have to prove your worth, what you can give to the company. A diploma gives you the opportunity to participate in a job interview, but it does not guarantee a job. When you come to a job interview, you must show your strongest skills and prove that you are worthy of this job. In this case, your diploma does not matter, everything depends only on you.”
“Why don’t students know what they want when they finish school? While children are in elementary school, almost all their educational subjects are taught by the same teacher. This means that you work with the same children for four years, you get to know them well and see which qualities are the strongest or weakest and you know what that child needs to discover him(her)self. In higher grades, children study with different teachers, each teacher has many different students, so it is much more difficult to follow the personal needs of each student.”– declares teachers.
On the first impression, it seems that the employers, young people, and teachers’ opinions contradicts each other, but on the other hand all of them talk about the same things from very different perspective – skills. Employers ask for skills that complement to organization’s values and standards, teachers – personal skills to develop and capacity to recognise strongest and weakest points, and the young people agree upon the most important skills as presenting themselves, ability to be rational, recognise what you are capable of. The discussion was very productive, we are happy to have made new connections and we want to thank all the participants of the discussion for their courage, ideas, activity, and the desire to pave a better way for future generations!
To conclude, the most important thing for Youth in the labour market is SKILLS – looking forward to developing more about it during the Year of Skills – 2023!
ZISPB (Lithuania), SEPAL PRO Project