It is evident that during the last decade, all Europe was characterized of slow economic growth and of high youth unemployment rate. According to Eurostat (2015), 6.5 million young Europeans were unemployed in 2008 before the impact of the economic crisis. This number increased by more than 40 % in the following years and hit a high in 2013 at 9.3 million unemployed youth. However, youth unemployment was and is still (2015) very unevenly distributed across Europe, ranging from 7.2 % in Germany to 49.8 % in Greece, with an EU-28 average of 20.3 %.
Promoting youth entrepreneurship is the best way to respond to the challenges portrayed above. In the EU’s political agenda, fostering entrepreneurship, and particularly youth entrepreneurship, is considered a crucial means to tackle youth unemployment and social exclusion (European Commission, 2017). Consequently, the European Union and national governments have launched considerable efforts to pursue the objective of promoting entrepreneurship among young people, and initiatives to boost youth entrepreneurship are given a significant role in supporting the main goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for growths and jobs.
In this sense, youth work presents itself as a promising opportunity for combining traditional approaches to the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship with work targeting disadvantaged groups of young people and aiming at social activation and inclusion.
Consequently, our main objective with this project is to provide to youth workers all the necessary skills and competencies in order to be able to understand and deliver entrepreneurial learning. The specific objectives to achieve or goals are:
-To provide youth workers a better understanding of entrepreneurship and the role of non-formal learning in supporting entrepreneurship among young people.
-To give youth workers practical methods, tools and practices that they can adopt and adapt to their context and so make it easier to promote entrepreneurship among young people.
-To promote peer learning activities in order to enhance the skills and competences of youth workers in delivering entrepreneurial learning.
-To compose a set of learning materials as open educational resources (OER).
-To develop a digital guide for youth workers to support youth entrepreneurship.
-To explore existing programmes supporting youth work and youth entrepreneurship.
The project will be managed by partners in a collaborative way, based on collective intelligence and regular communication. Details of the schedule will be contained in the project GANTT chart. This schedule will be used as a base for the overall project management and tracking of the project milestones. This methodology also mean that steps must be realized in time bound manner as any lateness or missing parts can have direct influence on other partner work. The following methodology will be applied: Plan, Do, Check, Act. This aims to constantly monitor the project advancement and to ensure permanent quality improvement. In all project training activities will be applied a non-formal education methodology.
The project will have direct, positive effects on the different participants as they will acquire more specialized knowledge on entrepreneurial education and the importance of entrepreneurship for young people, transversal competences, perception of self-esteem and a positive sense of belonging to the wider community, and through the peer-learning among youth workers there will be concrete opportunities of intercultural contact as well as upskilling professional competences, adding comparative assessment and rating of the results, the perception of a professional growth and greater social recognition of the training, e-learning courses and educational mission by stakeholders.
After the project implementation, the partners will continue exchanging good practices. Indeed, the collaborative networks and cooperation consortiums of the partnering organisations will be an important channel to reach the target groups and disseminate the project further. Each partner is a member in various collaborating networks, which gather regularly to the network meetings to exchange ideas and experiences, review new project proposals and assess the initiative’s progress. Annual and periodical international conferences, seminars, workshops and other meetings, which are based on active working methods with sessions, workshops and seminar presentations, will provide excellent forums for reaching the project target groups and disseminating the project results. Thus, the results of the project benefit not only the consortium members, but also the organisations throughout Europe, even globally.