Youth Solves Unemployment Problems During Erasmus+ Projects


Even though the European Union Statistics Agency’s “Eurostat” data shows that general unemployment level decreased by 0.7% in February this year compared to the level of 2014, youth unemployment is still a huge problem in Europe. Due to little or none at all practical experience, most of the university graduates are struggling to find a job. Gladly, the EU uses different programmes to help solve the situation such as an Erasmus+ youth exchange “Take Initiative to Rock Your Careers!” organised in Kaunas, Lithuania in the end of July, 2015.

Non-formal Education and Internationaly – The Path to Success

The goal of the project that was held in Lithuania was to encourage young people to act proactively, participate in various voluntary programs, join youth organisations and social initiatives in order to gain valuable hands-on experience, which really helps in job search. “Take Initiative to Rock Your Careers!” project successfully united 36 unemployed youngsters from Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia to help solve youth unemployment in their communities. Here participants intensely prepared for job search – created resumes, cover letters, learned how to handle job interviews, and tried to figure out what is actually wanted by the employers across the EU.

According to the Active Youth Association’s Director Gediminas Kondrackis, project activities really helped young people to develop various skills and competencies, and created new partnerships at international level. One of the organizers of the project Paulius Jurgutis also notes that it is best for young people to get information through a variety of non-formal education activities such as games, simulations, workshops or team tasks, which was done during the “Take Initiative to Rock Your Careers” project.

Social Experiments – a Way to Figure Out Future Employers’ Fears

The project has not only improved personal and team-work skills of the participants, but also attempted to review the problematic situations that arise when trying to find a job. Participants from various countries conducted social experiments, which involved the public in Kaunas. Youth tried to figure out how religion, cultural differences, sexual orientation, and financial status shapes public opinion and what could create barriers to employment opportunities. “Will people tolerate Muslims, or label them as terrorists?”, “How people in Kaunas responds to gays in Kaunas?” – these are just some of the questions, which the international teams analysed. Young people compared and discussed how different the situation is in Lithuania and their home countries, as well as looked for possible solutions.

EU Projects Give You a Fishing Rod, Instead of a Fish

Successful Erasmus+ projects such as “Take Initiative to Rock Your Careers!” do not find young people a particular work, but help them to develop skills, gain new experiences, establish international connections, and encourage volunteering, which is so important in job search. After all, proactive behavior helps to prevent crime and undeniably contributes to positive social change across Europe. “We are pleased to contribute to raising young people’s motivation, and helping them to move closer to the labor market. Our association organizes a lot of different projects; thus, we want to invite youth from all across Europe to participate in them and learn from each other”, – says the director of Active Youth Association.

Take a look on the photos and videos from the project! 🙂

You can also check the results of social experiments made by participants during the project!