Report on the Erasmus+ project Build Your Future, Romania

Description of the project

Ekpedeftiki Paremvasi participated as a partner in the Erasmus+ mobility program “Build your Future”, organized by Asociatia Be You, in Targoviste, Romania from the 1st to the 10th of August 2019. The project included participants from eight different countries (Romania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, Italy, Greece and Spain). The project aimed at improving the level of knowledge of young workers in the area of employability and soft skills in order to promote participation to the labour market. More precisely:

  • To develop soft skills of youth workers in order to facilitate the entry of young people, especially NEETs, to labor market and broaden future perspectives;
  •  To improve the quality of youth work in favour of young people;
  •  To empower youth workers with new tools in the area of youth employability, especially NEETs;
  •  To understand the dynamics of labor market and the skills that young people need in the new working context
  • Profile of the participants

Ekpedeftiki Paremvasi offers vocational training courses to youth workers and organizes campaigns in order to motivate and involve NEETs in various projects. Our organization participated in the mobility with four adult trainers, each one with a different level of experience as a youth worker. Fotios Zygouris is an adult trainer with more than twenty years experience working with young adults and NEETs alike. Aggeliki Ketenli is an adult trainer with vast experience working with young people and especially unemployed young people from rural areas. Aikaterini Nikolaou and Dimitrios Sidiropoulous, the youngest from our team, both are in the beginning of their careers as youth workers.

Youth workers

Young people in Europe today are facing many and different barriers and problems. In many respects the only certainty is uncertainty. It is essential that young people are supported in developing their own identity, in creating a social network (including family and friends) and are included and respected by society. This also assumes on an individual level that they are healthy, confident, autonomous, motivated and have access to personal resources. Among the key elements of a flourishing society are respect, good relationships and mutual trust. On a societal level it is important that young people have access to quality education, training, guidance, jobs and social security. Likewise it is crucial that society enables young people to express their opinions and to participate fully in their community, social developments and in political life.

Youth work seeks to create a safe, supportive and flexible environment for personal development and offers non-formal and informal learning opportunities, personal advice, guidance and support. It is essential that young people are supported in developing their own identity, in creating a social network (including family and friends) and are included and respected by society. This also assumes on an individual level that they are healthy, confident, autonomous, motivated and have access to personal resources. Among the key elements of a flourishing society are respect, good relationships and mutual trust. On a societal level it is important that young people have access to quality education, training, guidance, jobs and social security. Likewise it is crucial that society enables young people to express their opinions and to participate fully in their community, social developments and in political life. All of the above aspects and challenges faced by young people are intrinsically linked: to be part of a social network, to feel part of and included in society, to have a positive outlook for the future, are important preconditions for the successful transition from education to the securing employment.

Youth work is based on a set of values, including an approach which views young people positively rather than as a problem to be solved. Youth work seeks to strengthen individual social competencies, believe in the young person’s capabilities and give them the chance to take on responsibilities. The expert group believes that this approach which is a value deeply rooted in youth work, helps to build self-esteem, confidence and character.

Finally, youth work can reach young people other services cannot. It has a long tradition and employs best practice in working with diverse young people, including those in difficult life situations, those who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) and young people with no or limited qualifications.

Activities during the training & core competencies gained

During the training, all youth workers had a chance to take part in various activities that aimed at strengthening their skills and competencies as youth workers. More precisely, participants had the chance to learn and develop their skills and competencies in the following fields:

  • Conflict Management
  • Team Work
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Soft and Hard skills
  • CV building and preparation for job-hunting and job interviews
  • Leadership

Through team activities, interaction with peers from all other countries, discussions and thematic presentations, from both trainers and participants, all participants learned about:

  • The right ways of handling NEETs in order to facilitate their entry into the labour market and vocational education
  • The various demands by employers during the hiring process
  • The importance of soft and hard skills
  • Coping in a constructive way with conflicts
  • Being an active European citizen.
  • New ideas and methodologies for working with art and culture
  • Ways of increasing motivation and self confidence
  • Being creative and innovative while ‘taking the initiative’ and ‘being active’
  • Project management, action planning, teamwork and cooperation, taking risks and flexibility

Dissemination of activities

Closely following the project, our organization organized dissemination activities before, during and after the implementation of the project. More precisely, we reached our vast network of public and private organizations, former students and social media followers through an online campaign, including:

  • Newsletters
  • Social media updates
  • Website articles

From the analytics of our campaign, more than 10.000 people were informed about the project and its activities. Most of the audience reached comes from urban and rural areas of Northern Greece. It is interesting to note that since the participants from organization represented all branches of our company in Northern Greece, the added value of their participation in the project will be evenly and easily distributed to their colleagues, safeguarding a standardized application of the acquired skills and competencies in our training approach.