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Maximising youth employability.
Start date: Feb 22, 2015, End date: Sep 21, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The youth exchange addressed the issue of tackling youth unemployment with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. By the combined interaction of the participating partners from Sweden, Latvia, Turkey and Bulgaria and the young participants, we were able to increase the capacity of young people to contribute to the well-being of their community and, in turn, their own lives. Our partnership addressed this issue via conducting a project where young people came together in a multicultural inclusive environment and found out the ways to increase their employability by developing self confidence, social entrepreneurship skills, skills for self management, volunteering and other innovative approaches to tackle challenges they were facing. Each partner team consisted of 14 young participants and 2 group leaders who had been selected by the participating organizations and were representatives of different youth groups facing disadvantages by being unemployed and/or socially excluded. Our peer leaders were youth activists experienced in working with young people on a national and international level and taking active part in their organizations. The objectives reached during the exchange: - discovering social entrepreneurship and volunteering as a starting point for employability; - creating the possibility for young people to become visible members of their community; - empowering young people to recognize that they can be agents of change; - opening opportunities to become active and better informed citizens. The following non formal education methods were used: experiential learning workshops, role plays, theoretical inputs, simulation exercises and workshops on various aspects of communication and intercultural learning, sharing of best practice on social entrepreneurship from peers, workshops on project management; Open Space method; Forum Theatre; volunteer work with local community; presentation of the Erasmus+ Programme and opportunities it gives to young people. This project gave young people an opportunity to organize informal peer led activities for their peers and local communities, while accepting feedback on the chosen methodology and to be active citizens through developing social entrepreneurship initiatives and community volunteering. This approach has also facilitated a more inclusive and informed attitude towards the notion of active citizenship in European countries. The participants and partner organizations were able to share the skills and methods learned during the exchange with their networks and communities back home. Through further dissemination of the project's results we were able to valorize and sustain experiences to increase youth employability as well as a sense of civic responsibility.

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