Work placements and active participation are crucial to youth projects

A placement or work-based learning is a method that as such encompasses several methods. We review the methods used by projects in Theme Group Youth’s report Meaningful work-based training.

I praktiken sänker vi trösklarna [4:31 - TEXTAD]

Placements – a step into the labour market

Placements are crucial to young people entering the labour market. However, many ESF projects testify to how hard it is to find placements. It is particularly difficult in large organisations and municipalities. This also applies in districts where the municipality itself owns and operates the youth project. It is slightly simpler with small private companies, especially if the employer has been told about the advantages of having students on placement.

Active participation yields results

Youth projects must actively seek to be where the employers are. There are different ways of doing this. The Transit and Trans-Sam projects are run by Activa, which has used marketing companies to establish good relationships with employers. It is also important for the young people themselves to be present at the initial contact with the workplace and learn to establish their own relationships. Here, counsellors can provide support to project participants who are unable to achieve this on their own.

Individual support increases self-confidence

Many young people in ESF-projects have little or no work experience and they often find it difficult to function socially. The projects have different strategies for dealing with this. A high proportion of participants in the Transit project have intellectual disabilities or for example Asperger’s Syndrome which means that they need adequate individual support. Participants in the Trans-Sam project can start by trying out easier placements abroad. Coping on their own with some support and also in another country is a big step. As a consequence it boosts their self-confidence so much that they often are ready for a longer placement when they return home.

Work simplified by documentation methods

Youth projects in the region of Östra Mellansverige met in Örebro to share experiences about how cooperation between private and public employers is being developed and run. Although there are many good practices, there has been no summarised documentation of the methods used. All projects must thus undergo the same learning process over and over again. The learning process can be facilitated by a competence development project within Operational Programme 1.