Estonian Group Interview on the Training Course “From NEET to Compete: A Comprehensive Approach to Youth Employability.”

Which relevant information did you learn during the training course? What was new/the most relevant and interesting for you?

The NEET project was a noteworthy and significant effort designed to address the challenges NEET teenagers faced. It acknowledges the significance of this issue for Europe’s younger generation. It’s particularly noteworthy that the team chose to use a hands-on, experiential learning approach. The concept not only makes studying more interesting by including sports-based activities, but it also recreates real-life circumstances that require teamwork, discipline, and personal growth. This strategy goes beyond theoretical knowledge to teach practical skills that are immediately applicable to employment. Furthermore, the project’s emphasis on fostering a strong sense of community among youth workers underscores the value of collaboration and mutual support in addressing the NEET challenge. The participation of multiple organizations and the endorsement of the Erasmus+ program showcase a united stance against this societal issue, holding the potential for all-encompassing solutions that cater to various facets of the problem. From our standpoint, we was already acquainted with the characteristics of NEET youth but engaging in conversations with individuals from diverse regions offered novel perspectives on potential enhancements. The interactive activities and role-playing simulations were particularly gratifying and aided in forming clearer mental images of the scenarios.

What do you think makes this topic critically important these days? 

The importance of addressing youth employability and the NEET challenge is significant. A rising number of young people not in education, employment, or training can lead to social exclusion, lower self-esteem, and economic hardships. Tackling this issue prevents a generation lacking skills and confidence from contributing to the workforce and society. Economically, high NEET numbers result in reduced productivity and potential labor shortages, with governments spending more on social welfare instead of productive investments. Disengaged youth can also hinder a nation’s economic growth. By addressing the NEET issue, societies can strive for a future where young people are empowered, productive, and actively involved citizens. It’s important to note that the transition to adulthood, marked by shifts from education to work, social independence, and other life choices, is a critical phase. Given the considerable flexibility and variability in these conditions, young individuals often struggle to navigate them and make informed decisions. This underscores the necessity for extra attention and support to guide and empower young people during this pivotal stage.

How can you apply the knowledge gained during the training in your own personal way and raise awareness about this topic in your community? 

The knowledge assimilated from the training course presents a valuable opportunity to drive positive change both at an individual and community level. As a career counselor engaged in daily interactions with NEET individuals, coupled with our organizational collaborations with youth centers, local authorities, schools, and various institutions, the insights from this training can prove invaluable. Incorporating the newfound skills, youth workers can elevate their roles as mentors, adeptly guiding NEET youths through personalized growth trajectories. By crafting tailored plans, offering mentorship, and providing well-informed direction, the likelihood of these young individuals transitioning into meaningful education, gainful employment, or productive training substantially increases. Equally imperative is the dissemination of awareness within the community. Organizing workshops, seminars, and educational events helps to emphasize practical actions that both individuals and the larger community can take to support NEET teenagers while also shedding attention to the particular issues they face. The scope and effectiveness of these initiatives can be greatly increased by working with nearby schools, community centers, and governmental organizations.