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Chance takers and future makers - Youth against unemployment
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

As a consequence of the economic crisis from 2007-2008, more than 5 million youngsters in the EU aged 15-24 are currently unemployed. This represents an unemployment rate of 21.9% among this group of EU citizens, in comparison to only 9.9% of all EU citizens (Eurostat 2015). In several countries, such as Spain, Greece and Italy, almost half of the youth that is available for the labour market is currently unemployed. But even those youngsters who find themselves in employment have to struggle with precarious employment situations: almost half of them (42.7% in 2013) only have temporary contracts, while a third (31.9%) is working part-time. In addition, the entry phase into the labour market after finishing high school or university is 6.5 months (EU-average), but highly depending on the country and the type of qualification (high qualification: 5 months; low qualification: 10 months; Eurostat 2014). Also outside the EU, European countries have to deal with high youth unemployment rates, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina (60.4%) or Serbia (48.9%). In conclusion, these figures reflect the struggles that young people – not only in the EU – are faced with when looking for a job. And taking into account the labour market situation in many European countries, not only finding “any job”, but finding a job that matches with their education, strengths and capabilities is becoming an increasing challenge for the youth. And identifying these in the first place is an important step towards employment. The project “Chance takers and future makers – Youth against unemployment” aims to raise awareness about youth unemployment among young people between 18 and 25 years, who are affected or threatened by unemployment. Furthermore, it aims to arouse their creativity when it comes to different approaches to avoid unemployment. Therefore, the 24 participants from 6 countries (4 per country) will a) reflect about the youth unemployment situation in each of the participating countries. They will create short movies and present them to each other, as well as to an open public. b) learn individual strategies to avoid unemployment from other participants, from the group leaders and from other youngsters who will talk about their experiences and individual approaches, such as self-employment. c) reflect about their own skills, strengths and capabilities. For this purpose, they will create personal portfolios throughout the Youth exchange and participate in reflection rounds every evening. The personal portfolios will be presented in the end of the exchange. The personal portfolios are used as a motivator and a means to visualize one's own skills and competencies, while the short movies give an overview about the youth unemployment situation in different countries. By discussing the common and different problems that exist in the countries and coming up with ideas together, the participants will learn from other European countries and individuals. In order to reach all of the objectives, the participants will alternate between participatory workshops in relation with the topic of the project and ERASMUS+ priorities, field visits and artistic digital workshops. We expect that the youth exchange will help the participants to master school to work transition by learning to identify their own strengths, to present themselves and to brainstorm about different ways to avoid unemployment. They will also learn about the measurements that the European Union has been taken to tackle youth unemployment. Besides the work on the topic, the youth exchange should also give the youngsters the chance to get to know other cultures and build up cross-cultural networks, as well as friendships. The results of the Youth Exchange will be disseminated on a regional, national and international level via different networks. Thus, it is expected that not only the participants of the youth exchange, but also European youth can profit from the results.
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