Globalization of business and industry has led to an increase in movement of young people across continents resulting in our cultures becoming more diverse. In Europe, for instance, mobility of workers and students is increasing due to the widening of the European integration. Consequently, the demand for skilled workers who have international competences such as language and social skills, knowledge of other cultures and of working conditions in other countries is growing.
There is greater emphasis on the development of the so-called international competences. It benefits the whole society if our future professionals possess the competences needed in the increasingly international world of business and the increasingly diverse societies. It is necessary to be able to work in a multicultural environment and to provide services to customers from different cultures in different jobs. There is also a need to promote social inclusion and tolerance, develop solidarity and foster mutual understanding among people in different countries. Moreover, there is a shift from the traditional, formal approaches to education as provided by meducational and training institutions towards non-formal and informal education.
OPAD, and partners proposed a comprehensive project whose aim was to enable youths have access to non-formal and informal learning opportunities in order to equip them with key competences, knowledge and skills relevant in today’s world, and increase their ability to overcome the challenges of unemployment and underemployment.
The specific objectives of this project were:
1. To deepen the understanding of obstacles and challenges that youths face.
2. To develop youths’ skills and competences in setting up and managing a
3. To increase youths’ knowledge and awareness of advancements in
information and communications technology.
4. To promote inter-cultural dialogue among youths.
5. To develop youths’ skills and competencies in participatory peace
6. To increase youths’ knowledge on their role in governance and democracy.
7. To develop innovative approaches among youths to promote sustainable
environmental use within their communities.
8. To develop new competencies among civil society actors and professionals
that work with youths.
The Partners involved: Sweden the organization for poverty Alleviation & Development (OPAD), Greece (Praxis) and Attitude and Alternative (Romania). The project activities took place for 12 months, in three countries, Sweden, Romania and Greece. The partnership was built as a “melting team” made by complementary competences and expertise, background and missions in
order to achieve a common goal: willing to implement and disseminate innovative and effective educational tools tailored and made on youth workers needs and their target needs.
The participants to the project, during its whole cycle, included people with fewer opportunities. The participants actively took part from a focus group phase, to the testing phase, to a series of dissemination labs in youth centers and NGOs (involving at least 100 individuals youth and youth workers) and to the meetings for insiders “and professionals that are going to be a medium to valorize, within a multi-target network, the importance of the high quality of youth work.
The project main results were the release of the project outcomes on the main Open Educational Resource platform (OER platform) , on SALTO tools area, and on each partner’s website; a strong local dissemination plan of actions supported by the most popular media among young people; the direct involvement of about 230 people; the establishment of an alliance network
among all people involved in youngest education and the development of a “word of mouth” network on the project topics.
The project will go a long way in fostering equity and social inclusion in youths in Europe, and enabling quality learning for all as well as to prevent drop-outs and promote participation of disadvantaged groups in society; and promoting entrepreneurship education to develop active citizenship, employability and new business creation (including social entrepreneurship).