As a core aspect of our work, the team here at Rinova has developed an extensive programme of work around fostering effective practice and co-production in order to improve the quality of life of young people, especially those 16-24. From programmes such as Talent Match in London, to our Erasmus+ projects such as EP-DeM LABS, Euro-IVET, Health Points, CREUS and many more, we have recently added to this portfolio with the Youth Employability Competences (YEC) project, which is led by our fellow Metropolisnet member and established Irish partner, Ballymun Job Centre.
YEC aims to collaborate across Europe with youth-focused organisations, employers and most importantly young people, to address a well-researched gap in young people’s employability competencies. As such, our focus remains on promoting youth empowerment and promoting quality youth work through the following objectives:
(i) Increase the employability of young people
(ii) Increase validation of young people’s employability competences
(iii) Increase engagement of young people and employers in competency tool development
(iv) Increase the focus on young people’s employability from a youth-led perspective by developing the competences of their employability practitioners, including those in a youth work role.
So why YEC? It is widely reported that young people are often encouraged to develop the technical skills needed to enter the labour market, but competencies on how to conduct themselves in the workplace, as well as create opportunities for employment mobility (for themselves) is often neglected. Some specific examples of the competencies identified by employers, young people themselves, along with employability practitioners are as follows:
- Motivation & autonomy
- Communication skills
- Perceived or actual discrimination.
Together with our YEC partners Ballymun Job Centre, Turku, STRIM and Ciofs-FP we are committed to bringing employers and young people together to develop and participate in the Advisory Boards set up to co-design the ‘Employability Competences’ Train the Trainer course and Guide for local youth workers and practitioners to map the modules from the train the trainer course onto current validation systems. Within the project, the Advisory Boards provide a creative and dynamic space for dialogue between young people, employers and the project partnership to address the key issues: (1) Allowing an exchange of learning and insight between young people and employers, and (2) Providing employers an opportunity to express the gaps they are witnessing in young people’s employability skills. Importantly, the involvement of young people at all stages of developing and implementing the project is in keeping with the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027, which also seeks to encourage young people to engage in civic and democratic life.
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.