YouthProAktiv conducted the transformative project titled “Youth Work as Key Enabler of Self-Employability” in Brussels from June 19-24, 2023. This initiative brought together 29 youth workers from various EU and non-EU countries, including Albania, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Armenia, Lithuania, and Belgium. The participating organizations were KKS (Slovenia), EIG (Turkey), Daj mi Ruku (Serbia), TAVO Europa (Lithuania), Leadership Development Association (Albania), AIDE (Romania), and Youth for Development Foundation (Armenia).


The project aimed to address the high youth unemployment and underemployment rates exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. By equipping youth workers with the necessary tools and methodologies to promote self-employability, the project sought to create better employment and
self-employment opportunities for young people. The primary goals were to enhance the competencies of youth workers, ensure the empowerment of young people from disadvantaged groups, and foster international cooperation.


During the five-day training program, participants engaged in practical exercises, debates, and interactive lectures. The sessions addressed essential questions such as how to promote self-employability, effectively reach disadvantaged groups, and understand the significance of green entrepreneurship. Special guests provided valuable insights into various aspects of entrepreneurship and opportunities available at national, European, and international levels. Additionally, there was an emphasis on the importance of digital skills and competencies in today’s world.


One significant aspect of the training was the focus on emotional intelligence. Tests were conducted to empower participants’ self-esteem, a crucial element in enhancing self-employability. Through these activities, participants learned to cultivate qualities such as creativity, adaptability, resilience, and a willingness to take calculated risks, all essential for an entrepreneurial mindset.


The project’s success is evident in several key outcomes. It significantly increased the knowledge and practical skills of youth workers, enabling them to better promote self-employability among youth. It also led to the creation of new tools and actions aimed at reducing unemployment rates in local communities. By deploying non-formal educational methods, the project ensured the real empowerment of young people from the most disadvantaged social groups, fostering reflection, critical thinking, community building, and civic commitment.


Moreover, the project strengthened the international cooperation capacity of the consortium, comprising partners from nine diverse EU and non-EU countries. This newfound strength will enable the partners to deepen their impact within their local communities and flourish at an
international level. The project emphasized inclusivity, actively involving nine disadvantaged profiles and providing opportunities for those with fewer opportunities.


Based on post-evaluation survey responses and reflections on Youthpasses, the non-formal sessions had a positive impact on how participants approach labor market issues when working with disadvantaged youth. The project successfully empowered youth workers, enhancing their ability to support young people in overcoming employment barriers, thus promoting inclusivity and contributing to positive change at both local and European levels.