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Youth participation in policy-making

Over the last two years, Rinova has been at the heart of an innovative cooperation project, EP-DeM LABS, which has been focusing on Equity, Participation and Decision-Making.  We've taken a leading role on the design of the LAB format and the training of the facilitators.  All partners would agree that the success of the LABS has been down to the approach taken to building the capacity of the facilitators (many of which have a background in youth work) through peer-to-peer learning and developing creative practice in facilitation.


As this short film about the project shows, the "LABS" (creative and participative workshops) have been providing an opportunity for young people, youth employability providers, and policy makers to come together to debate specific policy issues relating to the challenges faced by young people, and the issue of youth unemployment across Europe.  

Back at the very first meeting in 2016, the partners, who are from Italy (CIOFS/FP, Regione Emilia-Romagna, Regione Autonoma de Sardigna) , Austria (ZSI) and Ireland (Ballymun Jobcentre and Department of Social Protection) as well as the lead organisation Metropolisnet - a European Network headquartered in Germany and Rinova engaged in a lively debate to challenge our understanding of 'equity' and 'equality'; the difference between the two and why 'equity' was to be a key driver for the project.  After a much needed break, one pro-active member of the group asked for a minor change to the agenda - his only request was to show an image that simply shows the difference between EQUITY and EQUALITY.  For the group, seeing this image (below) was a 'game changer' and defined our shared understanding of what the EP-DeM LABS project was setting out to achieve.

Equality Equity

In London, as a result of the eight LABS (three youth, three provider/policy-maker, and two mixed) we have worked together to co-produce a 'blueprint' employability service model for young people and a framework of good practice for youth employability providers. Now, we are forming a Steering Group with representatives from London Youth, the Partnership for Young Londoners and the Greater London Authority  to take forward the EP-DeM LABS City Action Plan, which we are aligning to the Vision for Young Londoners.  In this City Action Plan, we are focusing on (i) developing an authentic approach to co-production, (ii) working with employability providers to shape and adopt a youth-led employability model, and (iii) youth inclusion and decision-making in funding panels.


EP-DeM LABS is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme, specifically the Key Action 3 stand concerned with Forward-looking Cooperation Projects. It is promoted by the European network Metropolisnet, of which Rinova is a member. More information about EP-DeM LABS can be found here: http://www.epdemlabs.eu/


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NB: The European Commission support for the production of this communication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which 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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