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

Tell us your opinion about the project. Which relevant information did you learn during the training course? What was new/the most relevant and interesting for you?

The topic of this project is quite relevant in Lithuania, where we face young people who do not know how to establish themselves in the labor market after graduation. During the project, we heard the opinions and experiences of different people based on the cultures of different countries. We never thought that youth unemployment could be influenced by the regions they live in now. We realized that it is important to at least try to create conditions for young people who cannot work because of their geographical location. Mental health is also an underestimated factor when it comes to youth unemployment issues. It is important to talk about it aloud and break the stigma about the care of your mental health. Safe space also has a strong impact on young people. Especially nowadays, when the flow of information and social networks is limitless, and sometimes life is presented in it as if through rose-colored glasses. This has a significant impact on the formation of a safe space for young people, which often has positive effects on youth employment opportunities. The focus on fostering a growth mindset and building resilience was noteworthy. The integration of practical workshops and experiential learning opportunities added a hands-on dimension to the training. Overall, the training provided valuable insights and strategies for addressing the challenges faced by NEETs.

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

The first thing that comes to mind after hearing this question is lost potential. Youth are the main force that has the most potential to change this world because of their new ideas and youthful thinking. Society should focus on the personality of the person and not extraneous factors like race, citizenship, standard of living, etc. This problem should be tackled from the roots and not expected to find solutions only after becoming a part of NEET. Education on the topic of youth employment must be more actively carried out both in educational institutions and in the social space where young people spend more and more time. This topic also requires more individuality, which we learned during the project by looking at hypothetical situations of a young person. Each of us should remember that anyone can find themselves in such a situation. The business sector should be more interested in providing opportunities for young people, and young people should be motivated to take advantage of these opportunities. Addressing NEET challenges is essential because it contributes to reducing unemployment rates, fostering economic growth, and minimizing the risk of social exclusion. Furthermore, the disruptions caused by technological advancements and the ongoing pandemic have exacerbated the vulnerability of NEETs.

How can you apply the knowledge gained during the training course to your personal path, as well as raise awareness about this topic in your community?

First of all, this project changed our thinking about the need to look at the problem more broadly. We have a large circle of acquaintances with whom we will share the acquired knowledge. We should also delve deeper into this problem on a local scale and analyze why such a problem arises in our city. In terms of personal experience, we realized that there are many opportunities beyond the job market where you can improve your knowledge and grow as a person. These are Erasmus+ exchanges or training courses, additional courses, or studies in areas that we like so that we can try out certain areas. Mental health touched us the most because we think it is one of the most important factors that prevent a large number of young people from achieving their goals. Regardless of the person’s situation, it is very important not only to listen but also to try to understand and guide such a person in the right direction. The most important thing is to make a change in the personal circle of acquaintances, this is the best way we could contribute after this project.