By: Ekaterina Kuznetsova
At the end of October our friends from YouthTime Magazine organized another youth-oriented event in Spain, Barcelona. You can check out all the participants’ impressions about YouthTime Global Forum 2015 through #ytglobal hashtag on social networking websites or watch the videos from the Forum’s live stream (Day I, Day II). Or you can read this article in order to find out more about the event where youth-led initiatives get financed and supported. Sounds like something you might be interested in future? Read on.
Let’s start from the beginning. The event took place over a two day period and focused on the two most prevalent youth issues of today: education and unemployment. Before the actual presentation of the projects, series of experts and speakers attended the Forum and openly discussed the problems that youth is facing nowadays within the job market. Russian businessman and former president of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin shared that ‘The moment you forget to dream is the moment you find yourself dead.’ Nevertheless, Vladimir has encouraged the participants to take real actions, challenging the accustomed views and ideas with their own projects and initiatives. ‘Older generation of professionals should be collaborating with younger generation instead of fighting it’ – believes Yakunin. ‘It is up to us to both generations to create smart system of mutual collaboration and use it as a tool, not a weapon.’
Ekkehard Ernst, an expert in the field of labor market was pondering over the subject of youth unemployment: ‘The unemployment among young people is still very high. Something is clearly not working. Transition from school to work remains a big challenge. How to increase job market for young people and progress with successful transition? How do you incentivize big corporations to include young people in? My suggestion is investing in private businesses where more young people can participate and get hands-on experiences about the job market they want to enter.’
Dimitris Psarakis, EU Economic and Monetary policy advisor was also critical towards unemployment processes within the EU framework: ‘What the EU needs to do is to invest 4 times more than they invested so far – 21 billion euro. It is a big sum of money but it will make sense to invest it into education. The problem is that nobody wants to pay this money.’
Analyzing critical aspects of unemployment was crucial and many participants took part in engaging discussions, asking the experts a lot of questions. The next day the subject of unemployment was swiftly continued by education questions.
Mark Thompson, trainer, an entrepreneur and an academic manager at the ESEI International Business School in Barcelona reveals that in his educational consultancy project the age is not the defining factor when selecting the right candidates for the job position: ‘Whether you are 18 or 80 is not important, but rather the qualities you can bring to the role. Lack of experience can be tempered by creativity and willingness to learn.’
Speakers were impressed with how active and outspoken the selected participants and presenters of YT Global Forum were.European Youth Press decided to ask the participants about their projects and ideas to get an in-depth idea about some of the initiatives.
Kristina Arakelova, became the winner of the scholarship that allows her to study half a year at Anglo-American university of Prague. Kristina is originally from Yerevan, Armenia and her project aims to reduce unemployment in her country. ‘My project is called Bridge of Opportunities. One of the problems, which causes unemployment among the educated youth is the mismatch between the demand of skills (from the employer’s perspective) and the supply of those (from the employee’s perspective). The newly-graduates graduate with a baggage of solid theoretical knowledge, but a lack of practical skills, that are required in the job market. So the Bridge will intend to solve this problem, by creating the link between the two sides. The solution will need 4 steps to be undertaken. The first step is the identification of market demand, which is skills required in the market, found out through the research. The second step is preparing the students to that demand on theoretical basis – teaching the skills through trainings and workshops. It is about organizing internships and voluntary works with potential employers. The third step is to evaluate the achievement of the student through professional and psychological tests, create the database and keep the records. The last one is to offer the CVs with actually measured skills from our database to the employers upon their request, and the most matching ones based on evaluation criteria.’
Dushko Bojoski from Macedonia came to present the project called ‘Prospernia’: “Prospernia” is a matrix of, an innovative online matchmaking network, as well as, real-life job search and professional training platform; bringing the youth, the universities and the corporate entities together.
The project mission aims to bridge the gap between the official education and the labor market knowledge demand, tackle the problem of the huge youth unemployment rate in Macedonia and change the social paradigm of recruitment and professional youth development.
On one side the concept will motivate, guide, support and encourage the young bright minds to enhance their aptitudes and pursue their dreams and career goals. On the other side it will facilitate the corporate entities in finding the most suitable candidates and in shaping the candidates’ skills and competences according to the companies’ needs, in a timely and tailor-made fashion.’
‘The purpose of our project is to create a school for stimulating creative business potential of young people. Every student in our school will study economics, production, and management in tandem with researching and analyzing different industries, markets, etc., along with establishing personal relations with real businessmen. The uniqueness of our project is based on the fact that theoretical economic knowledge will not be abstract, but will be about the present economic reality. One of these “not abstract” theories is neoconomica, or neoconomica, a new economy theory developed by Oleg Grigorev, which studies the development and interaction of different economies. He uses the level of the division of labor, which characterizes every economy in the world, to compare different economies. We will create the school not only for studying but for acquiring practical skills and competence by creating a business environment where students can communicate with each other, share their views about different business ideas, and ask for advice from experienced businessmen and managers. As a result of this complex work, students will have the opportunity to open a personal business or have a share in a partner business, understanding what they are doing and why, and what will be the result of these actions.’ – shares another project presenter Alexandra Firsova from Volgograd, Russia.
Anastasiia Troshkina from Yekaterinburg, Russia presented her project: “KeepOnCasing: Professional Development School”. ‘The main ideas of the project are to promote the importance of the case-study method, self-education, professional development and to give to participants a range of practical professional skills that are useful for the future career development. As the result of the project presentations I took the second place and got a fantastic prize – Scholarship for one academic semester of my choice in any of the bachelor or master programs at Anglo-American University in Prague! It was one of the best moments in my life! I would like to thank once again dear Youth Time Team for giving such incredible opportunities that change our lives! The Global Forum in Barcelona was such an exciting event – it united very unique active young leaders of the world and gave them a chance to reach new ideas and solutions!’ – shares Anastasiia.
The winner of the main prize of #YTGlobal Forum Swekshya Neupane from Nepal will realize her project in the nearest future because it became an unprecedented winner of the public vote, as well as it was supported by the judges of the Forum.
‘My project is a social initiative which aims at mobilizing young doctors like me to educate young females of two areas of Nepal, -Khokhana and Bungmati which are quite near Kathmandu valley but hard to reach. It is a six months long project which will start in January.
Project aims at brining change on attitude of young females regarding child health care.It includes series of training sessions, refresher courses and training of trainers.My dream is to make health facilities accessible to the deprived sections of society.’
It is all about power of dreaming at #YT Global Forum but it is also about the power of actions, of making your dreams coming true by creating projects that will make a difference in your societies or maybe even bigger impacts around the world. We wish Swekshyaand other young leaders all the future success and encourage you to stay tuned about the next events of YouthTime.