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San Sadurniño's youth asks for better communication with the city council

2017-03-27  |  Posted by Cesar Galdo

 
The City Council of San Sadurniño carried out a project of locating and identifying the possible NEETs within the limits of its territory. Therefore, this service was divided into four phases:
  1. Implication of the key agents.
  2. Investigation of the youth.
  3. Management of two participative meetings.
  4. Communication and spreading of the service.
First of all, it should be highlighted that San Sadurniño is quite a big town within its geographical area, with a low and spread population. These geographical characteristics shape the social dynamics, influencing the ways of relating, communicating and mobility. That’s why it is necessary to know this territorial configuration when starting a research-action process with the young people of the council.
Being aware of this context, it was essential TO INVOLVE KEY AGENTS from San Sadurniño. There were four meetings in July: with several associations and sport clubs, local experts, local politicians, and the educative centre. It was necessary to ask for collaboration in order to create a database with young people from San Sadurniño, and also to spread the participative process.
The next step was visiting sport clubs, cultural associations, and other strategic and informal points where young people meet (i.e. bars, pubs or parties like “Sons na Cortiña” Festival) in order TO INVESTIGATE THE YOUTH. This was an attempt to contact as much young people as possible by going to their meeting points, taking into account that usual ways of communication would not work due to the spread of population and the apparent indifference young people have towards the activities promoted by the council. Young people found in these places were individually asked about their present situation (working, studying, working and studying, studying and looking for a job, etc.), but also to find out their concerns about activities, equipment, and local services.
By the end, the database was formed by 121 youngsters, of which 48 were between 18 and 29 years old, and 73 under 18. Once the database was created, every person was contacted both through calls and instant messages to invite them to the participative meetings. It is worth mentioning the innovative communication, at least in this council, since it was adapted to the habitual ways of communication of young people (texting and social networks). In particular a video was created (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxJeWaO6d4w) and was sent through an instant message app to those people on the database, so they could be informed and could resend the video to their own contacts.
TWO PARTICIPATIVE MEETINGS(“opportunity cocktails”) were held and in order to make easier the attendance of many youngsters, they took place at different times (morning and evening) and days (weekdays and weekend). Thus, the first meeting was placed on the Monday 24th of October at 5pm, and the second one on the Saturday 29th of October at 11am.
At the two meetings held, some interesting information was detected. On what refers to the term “NEET”, at first it seemed to be a confusing definition for the participants. They wouldn´t know which characteristics defines a person as a “NEET”, but at the end they all agreed describing a “NEET” as a person with a lack of interest to find a job. This means, a person who doesn´t study and has no job but is trying to look for one, should not be considered as a “NEET”. Only those who “do not study, do not work, and do not want to” due to a lack of motivation, or even because it is more comfortable (“their parents allow them to”) can be defined as NEETs.
Apparently the young people who answered the survey and attended the meetings were not NEETs, but they show worries about their future. We found a growing worry due to the lack of opportunities and the difficulties to find a job after finishing their studies. They also think that this lack of opportunities may end up in less motivation, and therefore, inactivity. Moreover, the transmission of preconceived ideas through family and school is another factor for lesser motivation. These ideas spin around the supposition that University offers more job opportunities than occupational training courses. Anyway, technical and health degrees have more reputation than arts and social sciences related degrees. That may be one of the reasons why young people find an extra pressure that, added to the few opportunities, leads to becoming a NEET.
This research on the youth of San Sadurniño resulted in 21 proposals to respond to these scenarios of future, which can be summarized in the following topics:
  • Training and employment
  • Activities
  • Municipal activities and services
  • Sports and cultural facilities
  • Communication
  • Mobility
A way to fight youth inactivity is to offer job training, courses, and also cultural and leisure activities. However, it is useless to have a great offer of activities if that information does not reach the audience, which seems to happen in San Sadurniño. In fact, the youngsters pointed out both in survey and meetings, that the communication is not effective. They don´t know enough about the offer of activities and services the administration has. If the information does not reach its audience, the activities will not have enough attendance and, therefore, will be cancelled. In this sense, people attending the meetings gave possible solutions to improve the communication from the council towards the youth. In particular they suggested the use of images with almost no text through apps like Instagram or Whatsapp, that is to say, adapting the ways of communication that young people have.
As important as improving the communication is to adapt the offer to what the youth demands. In that way, the meetings were also used to find out what the young people from San Sadurniño are interested in. It was easy to see, with differences between sex and age, the interest in sports, information about employment, tourism (travelling abroad, languages courses), shows (dancing, music, theatre, etc.), computer science, videogames and workshops for artistic expression, among other activities. In order to encourage the attendance to the activities offered by the council, it was suggested to create a meeting point, for example the Youth House. It would be ideal if it was filled with contents, to be used for the younger ones (under 18) for leisure, and also for those over 18 with a job training focus.
Another way to encourage the participation of youngsters is to let them participate in the decision-making process of politics and activities. The people who attended the meetings wanted the Council to co-desing the local youth politics, activities and services. This idea consisted in regular meetings of youth sector-based committees with political workers, or the reservation of an item for youth policies in the participatory budgeting among other ideas.

Finally, must be mentioned that the COMMUNICATION OF THE SERVICE was based on a continuous creation of contents for social networks and council’s webpage. In fact, there were posted 11 news and events on web page, facebook, twitter and local press, with 3.340 followers in social media channels. Besides that, every person of the database was contacted both through calls and instant messages to invite them to the participative meetings.


Testing of new services dedicated to NEETS in Piatra-Neamţ Romania

2017-02-14  |  Posted by Eleonora Dragomir

 

 

ASCETIS association created a local network in order to test the NEET services that had been created during ECMYNN project .

This network is composed by rural halls , high-schools , associations and youth organizations from Piatra Neamt  - Romania . Inside of this network Colegiul Tehnic ”Gheorghe Cartianu” is the most important silent partner.

The project ECMYNN ,Enhancing Competences to Meet Needs of Young's NEETS” has as  final beneficiaries young people NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) young people who are not working and do not attend school or training.

With the support of Gheorghe Cartianu Technical College  management team and with volunteering  teachers help we created an open educational club dedicated to NEETS in an educational space belonging to the college.

The service we developed is an “Open club” with a daily program of 8 hours where youngsters looking for support , education , counselling and skills development can come any time they need.
The club was organized inside  Gheorghe Cartianu  high-school because it has to be easy to be found by the youngsters . The management team of the high-school  offered the space and the logistic of the club for no tax in order to develop this service dedicated to NEETS sustainable for a long time  .
Objectives of the services :  
                 - To offer a permanent support to NEET youngsters that are encountering difficulties
                 -To offer coaching for self development of NEET youngsters
                 -To offer language training for NEET youngsters
                 -To encourage NEET self development
The program of the club was flexible , each activity was organised function of the participating NEETs , their skills and learning needs .

The other partners involved in the project San Giovani Teatino City Hall from Italy  ,coordinator of the project at European level, Asocaţia non-profit "Caritas" from Poland, K.D.V.M. Atom from Patras, Greece Lynx Social Territory, S.R.L from  Italy, the  City Hall of San Saduriño Galicia-Spain collaborated with us for the design and planning of the new activity. 
The need of granting more attention segment of the youth population (15-29 years) which are not engaged in education, training courses  and are not engaged in a legitimate form of work was put in evidence during out NEETs counseling campaign .

 It is necessary to strengthen social inclusion of young people (NEET) it was proved  a very objective and stressed need of young NEETs for a proactive approach by  stakeholders of the youth sector, including  educational and training institutions, formal and non-formal education associations, employment services and  youth organizations in order offer combined services: education-counseling-socialization-entertaining and job finding assistance .
In our local partnership created for implementation of the  project we  identified as young NEETs   that needed career  counselling 27 youngsters .

Among them we recruited 16 people which could  be considered NEETs  that could benefit from professional counseling, support and development of skills that would help them find a job or to continue their studies.  Moreover, we organized a talent and skills  contest for NEETs .

 The contestants  had filled  a form online, and we selected  young people that could be considered NEET from  Neamt county, and been happy to  benefit of our dedicated services.They received counseling and guidance for developing talents and soft skills and their hard skills had been tested , especially in their use in obtaining a job or to go in higher education institutions for  further studies.

 In talents and skills  competition  the evidence of their activity (photos, movies, documents) attesting their effort for gaining and improvement of  their skills and talents been taken into consideration in order to offer them awards and job offers.
Awarding was made inside the  Festival, of Frameworks,Talent and Friendship in 
16.12.2016.

The jobs , skills and friendship festival had been organized with all the contestants and during the festival the youngsters with best progresses been awarded , and job offers for them been made by the enterprises that accepted our invitation to participate to the festival.

In this festival, NEET young people involved in this project showed their talent to an audience of teachers and students of Gheorghe Cartianu Highschool and  representatives of companies  that offered them jobs. During the interviews the youngsters told to mass media  how participation in the project helped them to evolve by getting a job or further studies in the area of their skills and talents.

 The jury settled following winners:

-Petrică Motfolea Daniel (Web-designer) - received a job offer at the festival from a representative of an IT company
- Claudiu Micu (event organizer and environment protection specialist ) - continue his studies in the economics area
- Alberto-George Teodorescu (cameraman and IT specialist ) - achieved contracts for footage and web promotion  in  various events
- Ciomeică Ana-Maria (writer) - continues studies in entrepreneurial domain 
- Mariana Toma ( food specialist ) - obtained a job in a small enterprise 
- Cristian Ursache (writer and technician ) - obtained a job in a Sports and Bet company
- Almăşanu Tudor (translator and sales specialist ) - continues studies in the health domain .

-Ana Elisabeta Farcas (writer and technician) obtained a job in the advertising domain.