EU4Youth - Employability and Stability
EU4Youth: Employability and Stability in Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine
A new project implemented by SOS Children’s Villages aims to contribute to creating better prospects for employment and entrepreneurship for disadvantaged youth and increasing their active participation in the labour market in Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine.
As unemployment among young people is one of the most complex issues faced by almost all countries in the CIS region, SOS-Kinderdorf Ӧsterreich / SOS Children’s Villages Austria together with its partners SOS Kinderdorf International, Aflatoun International – developer of the training programme, SOS Children’s Villages Armenia, SOS Children’s Villages Belarus, SOS Children’s Villages Ukraine and local partners: BELBIZ in Belarus, BSC Business Support Center in Armenia, Alliance for Civil Rights in Ukraine propose a project that focuses on empowerment and development of the employability and entrepreneurship potential of socially and economically disadvantaged young people. In order to promote gender equality, at least 60% of project participants will be women.
As a result of the project, approx. 740 youth in 3 countries will improve their foundational life, social, vocational and employability skills, including 240 young people in Ukraine. They will learn about the competitive labour market, about the professions in demand, and where to seek a job and how to properly prepare for a recruitment process. Through to the comprehensive personal assessment, they will get to know their strengths and weaknesses and will also learn how to define personal and professional goals. For the training programme to be effective, it will be combined with on-the-job experience. In cooperation with business and state-run companies, the project will offer various internship / apprenticeship opportunities, as well as will link young beneficiaries with potential employers. It is planned that at least 54% will receive the apprenticeship or internship and/or acquire a job.
The project will also work in the direction of improvement of entrepreneurial skills of young people. Through an adapted training programme, approx. 200 young project participants in 3 countries – at least 90 people in Ukraine – will learn how to set up, manage and grow own business. In addition, young people with the best business ideas will get start- up funding and regular support in the pre-, incubation and post-incubation phase of their businesses. It is envisaged that at least 45 businesses will be established by the end of the project (15 businesses in Ukraine).
Thanks to the project, the young people will be integrated in the labour market – they will acquire decent jobs, or they will launch their own enterprises. Finally, they will start to earn for their living and will have better prospects for their future, become equal, full-fledged and contributing members of their communities.
The project will use the "Next Economy" comprehensive training programme addressed to young people who want to increase their basic life and social skills and seek employment. The "Next Economy" programme was developed in the frame of the pilot project, implemented by SOS Children's Villages Netherlands and co-funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and aimed to create employment for young men and women. In collaboration with the private sector, adopting and innovative approach, vulnerable youth was inspired, schooled, coached and financially facilitated to achieve gainful employment or start a private enterprise. Since the project occurred to be a great success, it was decided to build upon the lessons learned from the pilotage in other countries and to implement a similar project for disadvantaged young people in participating CIS countries. The “Next Economy” programme consists of 3 training modules: Core Life Skills (11 sessions), Employability (12 sessions), Coaching (8 sessions).
The programme will be adapted to the CIS context at the regional workshop and later, even further adjusted to the local context at the national workshop where the leading specialists in this area will participate.
The Next Economy business development model will be spread among state and non-state organizations supporting employment and entrepreneurship programmes for disadvantaged youth, and we hope that it will help a number of young people in Ukraine.