Author Archives: chris

Want to Know How to Set Up YouPro? Listen to the YouPro Podcast!

Thinking of setting up or joining the YouPro programme? Listen to the YouPro podcast, which features a project manager, tutor and learning discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the programme.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

YouPro Project Final Dissemination Event

The YouPro project’s final dissemination event took place on the evening of Wednesday 24th September 2014 in Nottingham, UK. The event was attended by over 30 people who have been involved with the project as learners, business managers and members of government agencies. The event was also attended by representatives of six of the seven European partners who have executed the project in their respective countries.

The event kicked off with a presentation by the partnership on the results of the project. Attendees learned, for example, that over 80 young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) had completed the project and that over 100 small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe have benefitted from a YouPro work placement internee.

Dissemination Event

The evening then took an unexpected turn as attendees were informed that an urgent missive had arrived from Ion Dunga, founder of new European company, seeking advice about creating a social media presence for the new brand. Mr Dunga told the audience via a YouTube message about his innnovative ‘Stripey Paint’ product that he hoped would be a hit in the UK home improvement market. Attendees split into teams and were asked to write down a slogan, hashtags and an introductory Tweet for Stripey Paint.

Next, a YouPro learner shared her experience of the project with the assembled audience. Responding to questions from a member of staff, Lizzie Freeman explained how the project had allowed her to gain new skills in social media for business. Lizzie went on to gain permanent employment with her work placement company, All About Tourism.

Before the end of the evening, the winners of the Stripey Paint marketing challenge were announced. In a further twist, Mr Dunga (role-played by a member of the partnership) arrived in person to share his unique brand vision, personally debrief the audience and select a winning team. The lucky winners walked away with an enhanced CV and bag of goodies containing a small memento from each of the partner counties.

Finally, learners from the most recent iteration of the project in the UK were awarded their certificates of completion. The evening was a great success and the partnership would like to thank everybody who attended, and everybody who has supported the project to date.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

The Norwegian View: Building on Previous Projects

By YouPro project partner John Heier, Managing Director, ADC Consult AS

The global economic downturn has affected the economy across Europe, and has impacted disproportionately on the most vulnerable groups of people in society, especially the unemployed. Norway is no different to other European countries: there is an increasing number of unemployed persons, mostly first job seekers without any work experience, and young disabled persons. Systems for vocational guidance and training are hindered by inadequate coordination between public entities and key players in the labour market, each of whom responds rigidly to different parts of the legislative framework.

Although Norwegian government policy does promote vocational education, evidence shows that the efficacy of existing programmes can be improved; the Statistics Norway (www.ssb.no) website demonstrates that of the 31102 young people who began secondary vocational education in the period 2008-2013, only 57% obtained their qualifications within five years. Clearly, the number of young people who are not immediately suited to conventional educational pathways is significant.

YouPro Promo Graphic

The YouPro project has enhanced employment opportunity and created work possibilities for disengaged young people, by customising a programme both to the needs of the individual and the needs of the small employer, in small-scale settings at the local level. The project covers both personal development and participation in the workplace. The project has replicated and built on the concept of collaboration between labour market and educational institutions established in Norway during a previous Leonardo Da Vinci Transfer of Innovation project called Job Circuit (www.jobcircuit.net), pictured).

The extension of this concept in the shape of the YouPro project offers young people who are out of work the opportunity to use social networking skills to achieve a vocational educational qualification, and to embark on an accelerated pathway to employment, self-employment or an apprenticeship. Of the 22 young people who participated in the project in the UK, for example, half went straight into employment at the end of the programme, of whom eight took up social media marketing roles. All of the participants had an improved CV and felt more confident about entering the labour market.

As the Norwegian partner, our role in the project was to help develop the YouPro project model by applying our experience of the Job Circuit methodology. Although we did not run the pilot project in Norway, the YouPro project model was a success in six European countries and has high potential for adaptation to the Norwegian context. The YouPro project offers vocational training and work experience to young people, but also goes a step further than Job Circuit by offering training and experience in an area vital to the 21st-century economy – social media marketing.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

Lessons learned in Berlin: German SMEs still struggle to grasp Social Media Benefits

By Erik Malchow, YouPro Project Manager, EUROPANORAT Berlin.

YouPro Promo Graphic

Already half a year has passed since the YouPro Project was carried out in Berlin. Enough time to look back and see how our learners are doing and how the SMEs, where our learners applied the gained theory, are progressing with their online marketing campaigns.

Our learner Ellen (pictured) completed her internship at g+h communication. The agency, set up by two journalists in Berlin, combines many years of experience in different media – print, radio, TV – together with proven expertise in the areas of developmental co-operation and topics connected with globalisation. As Ellen was very interested in becoming a media designer, this was the perfect opportunity to get experience of media projects in and around Berlin. After the project, Ellen shared her impressions:

“With the help of the project, I gained the needed theoretical and practical experience to apply for a higher school in media design. I´m so happy to have been accepted at the Berlin school of creative arts, where I will start in October.”

Ellen´s internship at g+h communication boosted their initiative to launch a new website by implementing social media including Facebook and LinkedIn. CEO Rhan Gunderlach said that she is sure Ellen will turn out to be a great media designer.

The last time the website of g+h communication was updated is about five years ago. The situation is similar in many SMEs. In a small business, there is no extra workforce to update and maintain the site. Many sites are initially made for a pretty good price, but costs for maintenance often explode. Furthermore, SMEs usually don´t have the time to catch up with the latest trends. An additional Facebook page is a great way to keep up to date and inform (potential) customers about recent projects and special offers.

Our learner Ellen still had a hard time convincing the executives at g+h communications of the benefits that come with using social media as a marketing tool. Many decision makers in Germany still see social media as new media, even though it is around for about a decade. Now is about the last time to jump on the social media train and to benefit from easy access to potential customers. For many established managers in Germany, there is a division between private and business spheres, with platforms such as Facebook seen as private tool.

Now, as g+h communications is about to launch their Facebook page, the impact of Ellen’s internship is undeniable, even though it took about half a year for the decision to be made. Our lesson learned: You need lots of time and patience implementing social media marketing in German SMEs.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

Like Facebook? Make It Your Job! YouPro Selection Day in the UK

Do you use Facebook, Twitter or YouTube? If you are aged 18-23 and not currently employed or in training then the YouPro project could be for you. We are holding our next selection day on Wednesday 23rd July 2014.

YouPro Promo Graphic

What is it all about? For six weeks, you will learn about the latest in social media and online marketing techniques. Short, snappy promotional videos? We cover them. Effective Facebook campaigns? You got it. Taking promo shots and creating marketing slogans? You’ll learn about that too, with the support of experienced professionals who have been there and done it.

So it is another internet marketing course? Yes, the course covers cutting-edge social media and internet marketing techniques. But, you will also gain valuable experience in the world of work: we have partnered with Nottingham business to provide each learner with a work placement that runs alongside teaching and learning. This means that in the morning you could be learning about effective blogging; in the afternoon, you could be writing a blog post for a local business that is depending on you to increase their online visibility. To date, YouPro learners have worked for big corporates such as Coca-Cola, public sector organisations such as Rushcliffe Borough Council, and micro-sized organisations in a range of sectors. So, not only will you gain the knowledge and skills, you will also pick up valuable workplace experience.

OK, but what happens to learners at the end of the course? To date, almost all YouPro learners have achieved positive outcomes from the programme. Some have been offered apprenticeship positions or part-time work, others have been offered full-time positions. You will interview for an apprenticeship with one of our partner businesses at the end of the programme; this does not guarantee you a position, but we are confident that you will be ready to enter the world of work after the programme.

How do I get involved? Get in touch with us on you.pro@centralnottingham.ac.uk, or call the College recruitment team on 0115 9146414. The next selection day takes place at the College’s Maid Marian Way site on Wednesday 23rd July 2014.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

VIDEO: YouPro Transforms Young People’s Lives in Berlin

The residents of Berlin represent a diverse mix of national, ethnic and religious backgrounds. In this context, the need to promote social cohesion and workforce integration is paramount.

The YouPro project is run in Berlin by training and consulting organisation EUROPANORAT. The project has had particular success in the city’s immigrant communities.

In the below video, put together by YouPro learners, we hear about Alex, Ellen and Sergio’s experience of the project.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

VIDEO: Spring 2014 Update

So, what has been happening on the YouPro project in the winter months?

In the below video, project partners talk about project progress to date.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

YouPro Celebration Event Takes Place in the UK

A YouPro Project celebration event took place at Central College Nottingham in the UK on Wednesday 5th February 2014. Learners who have recently completed the YouPro training and work placement programme attended, along with new learners, representatives from partner businesses, College staff and local media. The YouPro project trains young people in social media and online promotion for business, then arranges work placements for them with local businesses.

YouPro UK Learner

At the event, learners showcased some of the work they have done on the programme. The work included promotional videos developed for local businesses, original concepts for advertising campaigns, and social media / web development initiatives. Attendees from local businesses commented on the quality of the work; feedback from business has been extremely positive.

Learners were then presented with certificates of completion. Lewis Ansell (left) completed the programme in January 2014. All of the learners who completed have provided excellent feedback on the project; several learners will go into apprenticeships relevant to the programme, and one learner has been offered full-time employment by his work placement company.

The project is scheduled to run again, beginning in February 2014. If you are interested in participating in the project as a learner or partner business, get in touch with us.

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

YouPro Project Delivery is Underway!

YouPro project delivery is now underway. In 6 participant countries, around 90 learners and over 100 partner businesses are engaged with the project. The project puts the learners through an intensive 8-week training course in social media promotion and online marketing; the learners are then paired with 2-3 partner businesses where they undertake a work placement with the aim of increasing the online visibility of the business. The project directly supports the priorities of the European Union’s Europe 2020 growth strategy: smart, sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.

YouPro Romania Learners

Delivery is taking place in the project’s 6 full partner countries: Romania, UK, Italy, Austria, Germany and Portugal.

In Romania (pictured, right), delivery at partner organisation CIVITAS began in October 2013. 16 learners aged 19-24 are currently learning about how to promote business effectively using cutting-edge marketing techniques. Feedback from learners has been excellent and the project will enter the work placement phase in the near future.

In the UK (pictured, below), delivery at partner organisation and project promoter Central College Nottingham began in September 2013. The project has already entered the work placement phase, and 10 learners are currently working with local businesses to improve how they market their products and services. YouPro learner Tom Pickard said:

“My experience on the project to date has been excellent. I have learned new, practical skills and learning has taken place in a relaxed but professional environment. I am looking forward to applying what I have learned on my work placement.”

James Mcmeeking, also on the UK project said:

“I feel better equipped to enter the world of work having taken part in YouPro. I would describe it as a unique and challenging learning experience.”

YouPro UK Learners

In Italy, delivery is underway at partner organisation CESFOR Roma. CESFOR received hundreds of applications for the project and selected 16 people not in education, training or employment to participate. The project is progressing well.

In Austria, the YouPro project is being delivered at partner organisation BFI Wien. Delivery began in October 2013 and 13 learners are currently in the training phase.

In Germany, around 20 learners are participating in the project at partner organisation EUROPANORAT. In Portugal, delivery will commence in mid-November 2013 with over 15 learners. The partner organisation is ETIC.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the project. Don’t hesitate to contact us, or get in touch via our social media pages (click on the social media icons above, right.)

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |

VIDEO: Why Businesses Should Get Involved with YouPro

Project Manager Chris Mortimer of Central College Nottingham talks about the business benefits that involvement with the YouPro project can deliver.

Why is social media and online marketing important for SMEs?
How can the YouPro project help?
What are the tangible benefits?
How do learner placements work?

by chris | Categories: Uncategorized |
This project is funded by the Leonardo Transfer of Innovation Programme which is part of the European Union's Lifelong Learning Programme. The content of this website reflects the views only of the author, and the EU cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.