The labor market is continually evolving due to factors such as technological advancements, demographic changes, and shifts in consumer behavior. As new technologies emerge, some jobs become obsolete, while new jobs requiring new skills are created. For example, the growth of e-commerce has led to an increased demand for workers with digital skills, while the decline of traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores has led to a decrease in demand for workers in that sector. Demographic changes, such as an aging population, can also impact the job market. As the population ages, there may be an increased demand for healthcare workers, while other industries may see a decline in demand. Additionally, shifts in consumer behavior, such as an increased focus on sustainability, can create new job opportunities in fields such as renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in the job market, particularly with the increased adoption of remote work and the growth of the gig economy. These changes have created new job opportunities and shifted the way work is performed, with a greater emphasis on digital skills and online communication.
As the job market continues to evolve, it is important for individuals to remain adaptable and develop new skills that align with emerging trends and job opportunities. This may require ongoing learning and upskilling, as well as an openness to new job opportunities and industries.Encouraging life skill development that are relevant to the labor market requirements has become a primary goal in the Hidden Likes Youth House.
Adapting to the dynamic changes in the labor market is too much of a challenge for unemployed youths with mental health problemswho are often pushed to the margins of society and prevented from fully participating in it due to the lack of basic skills, or as a result of discrimination. In order to respond to changing market conditions, achieve sustainable employment among NEETs with mental health problems and improve the effectiveness and success of the target group on the labor market, an innovative multidimensional methodology has been developed. The multidimensional program that is being applied in the Youth Houses “Hidden Likes” has become a successfully working system for integration of NEETs with mental health problemsin the labor market and in society. The strength of the multidimensional model and the main reason for its success regarding the specifications of the particular target group is it’s multidimensional approach which works holistically in several directions. On one side it is directed towards the work with NEETs themselves and their families and close circle of people. On the other side the model is directed towards the employers’ sector and the society in order to reduce the stigma and to raise the awareness regarding the target group.
Best practices in working with NEETs which encourage social inclusion and development of life skills:
- Providing greater precision in performing an individual assessment of the needs of every unemployed youth with mental problems as well as identifying appropriate support measures in each individual case. This individualized approach can help address the unique needs and challenges of each individual, promote their well-being, and enhance their chances of successful employment.
- Providing therapeutic services, counseling and support for depression, anxiety, suicide risk, eating disorders, addictions, etc. Providing access to mental health services and support can help individuals manage their symptoms, improve their mental health and well-being, and enhance their ability to participate fully in their community and pursue their goals.
- A range of social and practical skills that will integrate them socially, as well as help their inclusion in the labor market. Such activities include:
- Animal therapy;
- Art therapy;
- Sports activities (yoga, gym);
- Seminars promoting healthier lifestylesand personal growth
Best practices in working with employers:
- Conducting information and anti-stigma campaigns among employers about the specifics of the target group. Young people with mental health problems face various challenges, including social isolation, stigma, and discrimination, which can negatively impact their well-being and quality of life. Feeling like an integral part of the community can help NEETs feel valued, connected, and supported. It can also promote a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and purpose.
- Creating an appropriate work culture and atmosphere, offeringthe opportunity to receive feedback and emotional support. Creating an appropriate atmosphere that promotes a positive and supportive environment can have a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of NEETswith mental health problems. Providing them opportunities to receive feedback and emotional support can help NEETs feel valued, supported, and motivated, which can lead to higher levels of motivation and engagement.
- Introducing a system for integrating NEETs with mental health issues on the labor market in the Hidden Likes Youth House that providesa safe environment for young people with mental health problems and their relatives.
NEETs with mental health problems, as a result of their participation in the activities in the Hidden Likes Youth House, have shown to develop a wide range of social and practical skills that help them integrate in the labor market and the society on the whole.They not only overcome the lack of critical life skills, which is a significant barrier to finding employment, but also gain motivation, confidence and a desire for self-realization and self-actualization that are essential qualities to have particularly in fields that are highly competitive.