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.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Breakfast. This day was special. Turkish team preparedtheir traditional meal Menemen. It includes onion, peper, tomatoes and eggs. It was very tasty. It was a kind of intercultural experience for all of us. We will try to prapare it in our homes.
Then we had bicycle trip. All group was divided in two groups. First one went after breakfast, another one went after lunch. We traveled much in Hiiuma forests, all around local villages, discovering Estonian nature, rural culture and beauty. We visited the oldest lighthouse in world at Kopu, the one that works still. We felt, that this house could be used for defence as well, becouse it has small holes in the walls for snipers. The stairs are high and very narow, it makes climbing difficult. On the top of the lighthouse you can feel on top of the Hiiumaa, it is good to see all the island, it is all green, very different from other countries.
It was so nice for all of us to travel in one of the most beautiful paradises in the world.
Also, during of trip we felt the feeling of common spirit, the sense, that all we have something common, not taking into account our cultural background, religion, race, other diversities. We understood, that we will meet again, in other projects, in our counties, in our life.
In evening sauna party is waiting, it was the first time for some of participants on Sunday and it is judged both wise, also for cultural background. Of course, it is good after tiring bicycle trip.
Ignas Dzemyda from Lithuania and Sercan Sahin from Turkey
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
After the breakfast, we spoke about our voluntaaring day and shared our experiences of this work. It was a really interesting discussion because we realized that everyone was so happy of this day ! It made us also realize the importance of volunteering as it benefits everyone : the volunteer as well as the people you help. We discussed a lot about volunteering especially how it can help a person find a job and how to make volunteers more attractive for employers.
Following right after the lunch, we had some free time, so we decided to go to the beach ! Sun bathing, swimming in the Baltic sea, playing volleyball – it all felt too good to be true, yet it was.
We started the evening doing some theatrical sketches to show different sides of unemployment and how it can be solved, but the real surprise came after, when we organized a surprise thank-you party for the Estonians ! We built a huge bonfire at the end of the pier, tried to sing their national anthem, but could only manage one verse, yet the thank-you speech practically moved everyone to tears ! The night was long, but at the end everyone finally went to bed to prepare for the new day.
Caroline from France and Sarunas from Lithuania
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
In the morning we had a quick lunch, grabbed some sandwiches to go and hopped on the bus. We were the first team to go off from the bus at Tohvri retirement home, where our voluntary action was to take place. After meeting the manager, we put on the gloves and headed for our mission – stack firewood. First task was to put the winter wood into woodpile of 3 meters. We made a human chain to make the task easier and work was progressing well. Only angry wasps didn’t like our effort and give us some hard time, stinging Oleg twice.
We made a little break to have a short chat with Estonian minister of social affairs, who just happened to visit Tohvri on the same day as our action took place. We told him about our project, our mission, shook hands and made a photo together. After that we continued our work with the woods.
We had delicious lunch and after that we continued with different task, but still making stacking firewood. When we finally finished, we were really tired, but happy with the result. Volunteering gives satisfaction for the soul.
We also discovered a little bit surrounding areas near Tohvri, visiting the Sõru harbour and old ships. It was a good day :)
Monday, July 11, 2011
We are on Monday 11th July and we starting the day in the bus going to the Kardla. We arrived to the city centre around 11 and then we have our first shopping experiences in Hiimuaa. Later we went to beautiful restaurant with nice grass fields around and the beach. Before waiting to eat, some people played football some others were lazy and some made funny games.
Finally at 13:30 we got a tasteful lunch attended by beautiful waitresses. It was nice taste of Estonian foods, afterwards in a hurry to participant cafe.
There two women made a presentation of Estonian unemployment insurance fund. Also Heleri gave us a more interesting presentation about EVS and Toomas talked about career consulting.
We were divided on five different groups to talk about: What government should do to decrease unemployment?, How does volunteer work increases the possibilities to find a job?, Higher /Vocational education, Promoting volunteering and the last one was basic education. Every twenty minutes we changed to different topic and the people taking part in the debating.
The topics were difficult because 20 minutes is not enough for finding solutions. At the beginning we were bored a bit but we were getting more interested on during the process.
Then back to Kalana.
Ending the day we were ready to have beach party with locals but we just found wind in our faces.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
In the afternoon we had an workshop, where every country presented the situation with unemlpoyment with a focus on youth unemployment from their countries, statistical data from European Union and different practices to fight unemployment. Some of countries have now bigger problems with unemployment, the others are having very low unemployment rates, like Belgium. Our conclusion was that in each country we can find both good and bad practices, that cpuld be easily implemented on European level.
In the evening, our wonderful Estonian hosts organized for us a barbecue in the forests of Hiiumaa Island, which have been an excelent opportunity for socializing and to know each other better. The night ended with a traditional Estonian Sauna Party. It was a quite extreme experience for some of the participants, taking into account that sauna was combined with baths into the cold waters of the Baltic Sea. At the end of the day everybody was happy :D
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Five people, one car and 9 hours on a road. That’s how Lithuanian team arrived at the Hiiumaa island. Finally! Amazingly beautiful sunrise while waiting for a ferry to Hiumaa. Just couple more hours and…PARADISE!
Lithuanian (Vaida’s) team was the first one to show up on a camp – sorry - a piece of heaven in the middle of nowhere called Kalana Holiday Resort: hot sun, blue skies, rocky beach, green trees and plenty of adventures ahead! For the rest of the day Lithuanian team was enjoying all the pleasures of Kalana resort and waiting for the rest to arrive. Estonian group was the first one. Four chatty smiling girls arrived and started showing us where our home for the next 10 days will be: small wooden houses situated among high trees, facing the coast of the Baltic sea.
Belgian (Ian’s) group showed up late in the evening, together with the rest. Plenty of smiling, excited and couple of serious, kinda lost faces came out of the bus. Lithuanian and Estonian group met them at the main house. It was a late evening already so everybody just dropped their stuff in the small houses and got together to the main harbor house to start getting to know each other. The evening started with name games and lasted for couple of hours so afterwards we managed to remember at least couple of names. There are many left to learn. Hopefully we will learn a lot throughout the next 9 days:) Everybody had a long day today, so we’ll keep it short. Goodnight and see ya!
Ian and Vaida