A Friday morning brief: some considerations on our everyday work with the youth

Our daily work leads us to cross the lives of hundreds of young people.

Young people who are looking for their way in a universe of relationships, opportunities, conflicts and contradictions, hopes, illusions, very often a difficult reality of the job market in Italy.

We have met young people who are looking for work after a brilliant student career and who are now disappointed by weak job prospects and light-years away from their skills and expectations. Others with training courses interrupted for the most diverse reasons, who at best wish to set new energies in motion by seeking new training and job placement opportunities. Still others have lost the motivation towards any path and remain “suspended”, wrapped in a feeling of uncertainty.

In recent years, the weakness of an adequate response to the serious situation of youth unemployment in Italy has turned into the embarrassment of placing all these young people, between 16 and 29 years old (in Italy up to 34) in the “NEET” category.

As if they were a uniform and well-defined universe, even the profile of an entire generation, given the vastness of the phenomenon: the NEET generation.

We often think about how we can make a better, more effective and more adequate contribution to the expectations of the young people we constantly dialogue with, throughout our days.

Among others, there are some aspects that we consider particularly relevant in this context:

  • The importance of valuing local contexts and contextualizing the path of our beneficiaries in relation to the environment in which they live;
  • Analysing all the family and social relationships of the young people we work with;
  • Fully addressing the issue of the different economic, social and cultural geographies that make up our country, which is still so different inside its own, and with extremely diverse youth employment rates;
  • Objectively assessing the reality of the fragmentation of the labour market in Italy, which leads to deep-rooted conditions of precariousness, which eventually translates into a widespread sense of vulnerability of our youth.

It is clear that such a complex and heterogeneous community cannot be supported in its needs by standard tools. On the contrary, we are increasingly aware of how important it is to find paths dedicated to each and every one, customized ways, characterized by high flexibility.

The coaching activity must necessarily include aspects relating to the search for motivation and the strengthening of confidence, even before orientation, training and job-search advice. And this will have to be a work of proximity, closeness and free from the traditional bureaucracies of institutional services. A creative work too. To ensure that young people first gain confidence in those who are serving them.

There is a need for innovation and great dedication to bring out the enormous potential of youth, so that it translates into new positive energy, not only as a contribution to the development of our local economies, but also as a cultural engine for our country.

April 21st, 2023                                                                                                                                                 Davide Libralesso, Microfinanza


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