Youth projects in the ESF

ESF projects often work with young people who have ‘multiple problems’, which means that they have several different kinds of problem.

They are not just outside the labour market. More than half did not complete their compulsory or upper secondary education. Many have mental and other disabilities. Many have problems at home. Half of the participants have been outside the labour market for a year or more.

ESF projects work with young people in tough circumstances

As a consequence of the young participants often being far removed from the labour market, many of the projects work to bring structure to the young people’s everyday lives. This represents a necessary first step before young people can go on to, for example, education, training or work placements.

With the aim of motivating participants to continue or complete their education, the work of many projects involves alternative forms of education or letting young people try out studying. This helps them to regain their self-confidence and have the confidence to embark on education or training.

Most young people in the projects have no work experience. With school failure, often combined with low self-confidence, a work-based placement represents a tough situation for them to cope with. A lot of support is required from the outset, both for the young person and the employer. Projects resolve this in various ways through collaboration with employers, checklists, and help lines for employers if they have problems.