Youth exchange "Catch the Opportunity!" takes place from 7-17th July 2011 in Hiiumaa and brings together 32 participants from Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Turkey, Spain and France. The main topics of the project are youth unemployment and voluntary work.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The document we created :)

Letter of good ideas

How to fight youth unemployment and promote volunteering

The following document was created through the youth exchange "Catch the Opportunity!" which took place in Hiiumaa, Estonia from 7th to 17th of July 2011 and was organized by informal group of young people called Hiiumaa Seiklejad. The document consists of ideas approved by participants from six different countries – Estonia, Lithuania, Spain, France, Romania and Turkey. The document is offering some recommendations to change the situation on the employment market to foster youth employment and promote volunteering. This document was created to share the good ideas of young people with governmental organizations, business and NGOs in whole Europe – together we can make the situation better and find new solutions.

The result of the project was a set of recommendations for reducing unemployment rate among young people. The key ideas are as follows:

  • Fostering entrepreneurship, optimizing the legal system to make start-ups for youth more easy. For this there is needed for rising entrepreneurship and sense of self-responsibility, skills of active participation for young people. The small and medium size businesses should be more empowered in the legal system.
  • Encouraging existing companies to employ young people, especially unemployed skilled graduates. This could be conceived by various state aid actions.
  • Youth career counselling should be developed in schools, mixture of different educational methodologies and technologies should be introduced in basic education, as a method to promote life and labour skills, and to exchange good practice.
  • Partnership between businesses (possible employers) and youth through volunteerism and volunteer relations.
  • Intersectoral cooperation between the educational, private and governmental institutions as a possible platform for reducing youth unemployment.
  • Spreading information and social marketing of volunteerism and career counselling and promote youth possibilities to participate in various educational levels and in non-formal education activities.
  • Young people should use career consulting and governmental labour market support services to make better decisions on personal level. For improving this ability the rise critical thinking is needed, so that young people would be able to separate what is beneficial, and what is not beneficial for their careers.
  • There is a need for more effective educational system what would adapt labour market needs. Young people should be encouraged to study professions which are needed on the labour market.
  • The demand for theoretical and vocational education should be balanced. The prestige of vocational education should be promoted to put it on the same level with theoretical education.
  • Young person should take responsibility for his life and career. Young person should understand that the best planner of his future career is he/she himself/herself. Government, parents, career counsellor or labour agents can help, but can’t decide what is best for him or her. There should be clear vision of person’s future and short-term aims for achieving that.

Concrete recommendations:

  1. To create business incubators would give opportunity for active, initiative young entrepreneurs to have better conditions to start their own business rather than try to fit into the current labour market.
  2. To promote various options of employment possibilities to increase understanding of free market with emphasis on vocational specialization and possibility to create a job for yourself rather than stay a job-seeker.
  3. To create various state aid actions for recent graduates, such as tax reductions, compensating a share of salary of an employee who has never worked before and create flexible credit system for young entrepreneurs trying to enter the labour market.
  4. To promote at the primary educational level a mixture of different innovative educational practices, such as discovery and exploration, learning-by-doing and other non-formal education techniques as a method for better understanding of the world and developing one’s personal and social responsibilities as well as critical thinking.
  5. To value volunteerism as an effective way to develop person’s capabilities on a personal and professional level. By volunteering in different activities, a person shows initiative, active participation and social responsibility and gains important skills, knowledge, values and attitudes needed in everyday life. These competences should be regarded as an advantage in the labour market. To achieve this, a common system of non-formal education certification should be created and promoted through social marketing. The existing platform of Youthpass certification system, used in the EU, could be used for this.
  6. To foster close cooperation between the private, public and educational institutions and organizations to reduce unemployment among youth. Educational sector should offer services (concrete competences), which are needed for labour market. Private sector should be more involved as a base for internships for educational sector. Government should support creation of network between other sectors.
  7. To develop one’s career based on personal competences. Young person should seek to develop the competences that he/she already has and become the best at what he/she does. For this young people need to have a mixture of many different experiences as possible, so that he/she would be able to choose wisely.
  8. To reduce the number of unemployed graduate youth by offering public programmes in educational facilities for people so they would know what kind of market trends to expect: which job sectors can be overfilled and which ones are needed. As a result, businesses, educational institutions and students entering them could make their plans accordingly.
  9. To market vocational education. In many countries there is a tendency to seek higher (theoretical) education due to its popularity among employers. In addition to this, majority of young people seek titles instead of qualification thus vocational education is perceived as a less prestigious one – this mentality needs to be changed.
  10. To promote career planning for young people, because as earlier future job seekers know their aims, the more accurate planning they can do. While setting the goals and following the planned career, individual is forced to take the responsibility for his/her own action and thus - act.

All participants of youth exchange “Catch the Opportunity!” truly hope that the societies of Europe could benefit from these recommendations: discuss them and put the ideas into practice. The document is translated into seven different languages and introduced in all participating countries: Estonia, France, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and Turkey. In order to give extra information, our team members are willing to contact anyone, interested in the project or document, by email or in person.

Contributors: Ignas Dzemyda, Edgaras Švagždys, Vaida Bajalyte, Andrius Plindinas, Sarunas Salkauskas, Andrei Babcinetchi, Doina Svet, Vladislav Durnea, Stefan Miron, Oleg Zolotco, Ozkan Uzelli, Mehmet Karakaya, Sercan Sahin, Mehpare Hande Demir, Aliye Tatlipinar, Rosa Maria Bernal Ortegon, Jorge Bernal Ortegon, Jose Antonio Alvarez Pacheco, Alfredo Mauricio Castilla Avila, Omar Alejandro Ledesma Villlacis, Virginie Van Leeuw, Ian Van Geesbergen, Kathe Dewaele, Caroline Dehareng, Katrin Toe, Loore Kääramees, Greete Tukk, Lisette Vapper, Kadri Reidla, Toomas Laigu, Heleri Alles and active citizens of Hiiumaa.

Organizer of youth exchange: Hiiumaa Seiklejad (part of Seiklejate Vennaskond)

This project will be carried out with the support of the European Community programme "Youth in Action" 1

1 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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