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Learning from the Best - A Study Visit on Professional Education and Measures to meet Youth Unemployment
Start date: Aug 1, 2014, End date: Jan 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Youth education and (un)employment are a driving political issues in Europe. While several European economies are experiencing even higher rates of youth unemployment, the pools of young qualified workforce in other countries are drying up. Underemployed youth leads to shrinking economies, while uneducated youth deprives societies of desperately needed innovation. The European Union has therefor taken several measures in order to address this issue. At the same time European countries develop their own mix of educational and labour policy – with differing results. How to make it possible that the different policies of vocational training, higher education and labour market support measures and EU initiatives achieve the best possible results? Germany has currently the lowest youth unemployment in Europe. A decade ago it was EU average and twice as high. In the two federal entities Berlin and Brandenburg unemployment has almost halved. But still youth unemployment is thriving here. So, is there really a German success model that other countries in Europe can learn from? We will take the test. During our Study Visit we will explore the field of vocational and higher education as well as the support structures for employability of young people in the federal entities Berlin and Brandenburg. We will encounter scientists, employment agencies, educational enterprises and NGOs that support of youngsters with handicaps and fewer opportunities as well as mobility advisors for EU financed programs. We will answer many questions. How does the dual education in Germany work? How has liberalisation of the labour market improved offers in higher education? How does inclusion work for young people with fewer opportunities work? How successfully are youngsters with migrational background integrated? And how has European policy influenced German labour market and education policy? We will give the participants of our Study Visit the insights into what is happening on these different levels. On the other hand participants in our Study Visit will bring their own input into this project by examples from their countries and communities. We will compare our experiences and critically assess how to do successful lobbying and advocacy for unemployed young people. We will attempt to define future projects with our partners, in which we can learn from and with each other. Our Study Visit will take us to several places in Brandenburg and Berlin, but our main location of stay will be Potsdam.
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