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 | This entry was posted in 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.