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Boosting youth participation and career opportunities through peer education
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Mar 1, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Boosting youth participation and career opportunities through peer education” is a project designed by the European Peer Training Organisation (EPTO) in order to provide more personal and professional opportunities to youth in Europe. Through this project, EPTO wants to mainstream the dimensions of participation and employability through peer training in its activities. We strongly believe that non formal education has a very significant impact on youth employability and socio-professional insertion, enhancing in particular 5 of the 6 soft skills which are the most looked for by employers on the labour market: self-management, problem solving, communication, leadership skills and competence in working with others. It aims more specifically at: -Strengthening a pool of certified quality peer educators; -Supporting youth in their lifetime personal and professional development; -Having more impact on vulnerable youth through our local multipliers; -Reflecting on and advocating for the impact of peer education on youth employability; -Positioning EPTO as the European leader of quality peer education. To achieve these objectives, EPTO and its partners will implement 2 main activities: -A Certification training for peer trainers in Cluj Napoca (RO), a 5-day training for participants who previously attended an EPTO awareness-raising training on anti-discrimination, risk and well-being to complete their train-the-trainer cycle and be allowed to use the EPTO manual for workshops (up to 3 days) in their local environments. The activity aims to: -Further train peers in the fields of anti-discrimination, risk and well-being education; -Improve their soft skills on facilitation and social action; -Strengthen EPTO's pool of certified quality peer trainers; -Initiate a snowball effect of social change through local multipliers. This training will be attended by 20 youth leaders (mostly trainers and social workers from the youth sector), who want to explore further and acquire more skills in peer education, facilitation and social action. The team will be composed by 2 professional trainers, an apprentice trainer and 1 person in charge of the logistics. This first activity is also an important step of EPTO's new certification process. It will build upon the quality peer education programmes' development (2014) and will enable EPTO to fully launch its new certification process (2015) towards new peer trainers. -A Peer Forum : "Peer education, a spring-board to employment' in Hollenfels (LU), aiming at advocating for the impact of peer education on youth participation and employability. Its objectives are to: -Anchor EPTO's new certification process -Link several generations of peer trainers in order to increase awareness on working possibilities in the field of peer education -Provide concrete opportunities for youth professional development -Reflect on how to indentify and value soft skills gained through peer education -Better equip and follow up peer trainers dealing with the issues of youth participation and employment at the local level. This 4-day seminar will be attended by : - 12 youth workers, educators, facilitators, etc., certified as EPTO peer trainers in the last 3 years. We will give priority to participants from our member and partner organisations. - 8 older EPTO peer trainers, certified as EPTO peer trainers in the last 15 years. These participants can still be working in the field of non formal education, or having evolved in their careers and be active in other sectors (formal education, business, politics, etc.). - 20 local peer educators working with other youth. This number includes for each local organisation at least 2 local peer educators, accompanied by at least one person from the local organisation's staff. The working methods used during the events will be highly participatory and interactive, using non formal education methods: experiential learning, role plays, small group discussions... Also, this project will provide professional opportunities to 2 volunteers from UK and Estonia by offering them an experience of a 6-month European Voluntary Service. The expected results of the project for the participants are the development of new skills in the field of peer education addressing youth participation and employability as well as the development of professional training skills. On a longer term perspective, we want the participants to use peer education to take action and to implement peer education projects in their local environment. Peer education is powerful in the sense that it has a strong long-term multiplier effect: it is a means to achieve a broader impact through “catalysts”, i.e. people trained on a certain level who will be able to inspire other people in their local contexts afterwards.
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