After observing and analyzing some official data and statistics for the past few years, several organizations actively involved in the youth, education and training sectors, have specified severe problems related to the youth unemployment tendencies in Europe. In addition, with the uprising economic crisis due to the current COVID-19 issue, the prognosis is that the situation will not improve immediately in the near future. In these regards, specific efforts and strategic actions are necessary, in order to restart the economy in the most effective way.
The necessity to react and provide solutions to the related issues seems urgent, since the educational processes and economical activities need to be reorganised accordingly and to work hand in hand. As committed bodies within the education and youth fields, the consortium members have decided to undertake action in order to bring their contribution to the current situation. The partnership focuses on offering innovation in terms of consolidation of work based learning empowering environments in the partner countries, in view of achieving a long term impact and securing a positive career future for the young European populations. The current project idea has been developed after the 1st very successful step, already done in this direction, thanks to the project “Work Based Learning – the entrance to professional future” implemented by some of the core project partners.
The overall project idea relates to the creation of bottom up partnerships that will encourage the work in network for national and transnational apprenticeship providers, in view of further improving youth professional competences. The created network and collaborations will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of WBL and apprenticeship schemes across Europe, enhance the impact and relevance of vocational education for the youth, as well for employers. The strategic actions undertaken will also help to build cross-border cooperation, offering greater attractiveness of such educational options. Also, sustainable promotion of WBL strategies will be achieved, thanks to new transnational projects and capacity building actions among youth organisations and other types of educational providers, in particular for countries that have limited representation arrangements within the chain of apprenticeship actors.
The present proposal promotes a deep holistic approach for fostering youth empowerment and
employability by bridging non-formal, formal education and labor market sectors, contributing to the
creation of long term multilevel networking and cooperation in the field of WBL. Such follow up initiative is
meant to upgrade the already achieved results and to further stimulate quality and excellence within the
education, training and youth systems across Europe in the future.
The project objectives, defined for driving those positive solutions, are described as follows:
Fostered cooperation between diverse types of partner entities, as well capacity development through exchange of know-how and expertise in the field of WBL and youth empowerment
The project will bring results that contribute to achieve relevant solutions related to youth unemployment issue through:
Stronger potential of partner entities to support youth empowerment thanks to a WBL Community international network, where it will be easy to reach out local or foreign potential partner organizations working in the field
Increased working capacity and quality of actions of the involved partners, thanks to expertise that will be gained and exchanged by their staff members
Development of quality standards framework for involving youth in apprenticeship schemes at national and international level, and a system that fosters the acquisition of professional competences and learning through engagement in practical working assignments
Based on the research in regards of the existing legislation and tools for WBL and apprenticeship practices, the partner promoters have planned the creation of a practical Guidebook which will provide relevant information on the effective use of EU funding instruments for supporting quality implementation of WBL and apprenticeship schemes. Such an output aims on systematizing the available information on different practices used across the project countries, to be explained in details in view of serving as support for youth organizations or any other interested users, willing to develop such learning patterns within their organizations. The main purpose for the creation of such practical guide is to deliver clear information on the available EU tools, funding opportunities and solutions available for allowing the quality implementation of WBL practices. Therefore, detailed guidance on the use of such tools will be delivered in, in a way to ease youth NGOs and relevant target groups to apply such solutions, augmenting the opportunities for youth to get involved in, and empower their professional career paths through such learning offers. The practical Guidebook produced will give a full overview of the roles of each actor in the work based learning pattern and their importance in each stage of implementation of such educational schemes. This aspect will also help to reduce the gap between the education and real work life. Such output, dressed in a methodic way as guidance, especially for newcomers or users from the youth field has not been released yet, therefore results as highly innovative solution not only for the youth field but also for several others.
The idea of the network is to also support the development of new practices for training and education of young people, in view of enhancing their professional orientation and career development, so as for strengthening youth empowerment through the application of innovative learning patterns.
The research for specific types of partnerships and collaborations is very important for the successful application of the WBL practices, at national and also international level. The idea
of the network is to provide space where regional, national and international institutional actors will be free to register and announce their collaborative offers in this sector. On the other
hand, those who are in need of collaborative entities, could join the network and operate partner search with specific criterias in regards of the practices they would like to operate.
The network will address several target groups, mainly :
- Youth NGOs and fellow organizations, willing to implement WBL practices at national and international levels
- educational institutions, VET, HEI and Adult education centers providing such learning for their target groups
- business actors and relevant structures, SMEs and employers willing to host WBL practices nationally and internationally