Summaries of event & activities

Welcome to our events page – here the EC-YP partners will share a brief summary of the events and activities they have undertaken as part of the project.

Multiplier Event ‘Connecting Young People with Learning and Work’

Date

8th March 2016

Location

Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast

Host

GEMS NI and Time Associates

The EC-YP partnership held this multiplier event to share the project journey with practitioners, researchers, VET organisations, youth organisations and public employment services; at this event we formally launched the EC-YP web application. The event was very well attended with the keynote address given by Basil McCrea MLA, who spoke on the importance of connecting young people as citizens and as future leaders. We were delighted with the event and the attendance of over sixty people representing the key stakeholders; importantly young people themselves. Other speakers included, Jayne Burns, Ultimate Training who spoke on her experience as a mentor, Lorraine Boyd, Coordinator of the NI NEET Strategy Forum and Rob van den Hoed who spoke about the development of the EC-YP application and formally launched the EC-YP Web Application. There was great energy in the room, lively discussion and real interest in the EC-YP model and the web application. The evaluation of the Multiplier Event was very positive with many enquiries in relation to the project generally and also the model and application.

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Destination Deventer

Date

October 2015

Location

Deventer Netherlands

Host

Edumark B.V.

Deventer in October was very cold indeed! Our colleague Anne had to go out and buy a warm coat as the winter chill was really starting to bite. Our partnership meeting was busy and productive with planning in place for the training of our Master Mentors in Belfast in February 2016. This meeting was principally a planning event where we finalised the action plan for the pilot programme and the programme for the learning, teaching and training events. The Coordinator also had one-to-one meetings with each partner in relation to financial reporting, dissemination and preparation for the Interim Report. We had hoped to launch the EC-YP web application at the planned multiplier event; unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to reschedule this event to March 2016.


EC-YP Update, Dublin

Date

July 2015

Location

Dublin, Ireland

Host

Ballymun Job Centre

As we enter into a seemingly warm summer’s July, we find progress on the EC-YP project developing at a steady rate. Here in the Ballymun Job Centre, we have just hosted our first EC-YP Young Persons Forum, to acquire feedback from the people who are closest to the heart and soul of this project. Without their input, we may not achieve the most from this platform that has so much potential.
As is widely known at this stage of the project, the aim of EC-YP is to develop a flexible web-based application to improve outcomes for young people who experience difficulty in more traditional vocational education and training environments and thus encourage them to build confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

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With the application in its final stages of development, thanks to Edumark, our partner in the Netherlands, and currently being evaluated for subsequent piloting in 2016, it was great to get the suggestions of young people, to observe what they thought about this unique Collaborative Mentoring Model. Although it has been tried and tested under the Co-Ment model in Northern Ireland, what makes EC-YP different is the use of the latest technology to engage with our contemporary youth generation on their own level.

In Austria, Die Querdenker also hosted their first Young Persons Forum, which appeared to be a huge success. From the results of their group, what seemed to come out strongly was an interest in the web-based application, with the four zones also strongly rated.

Here in Ireland, our results appeared to be a little different. We followed a similar model to that of the Austrian Forum, for the sake of continuity, and for a sense of consistency that transcends European borders. Our participants were a lively bunch, to say the least.

They did not rate the web application to be as significant as the face-to-face personalised mentoring, which they thought was essential for the young person in facilitating them in getting the most from the project. They were happy enough to discuss openly their experiences with us, regarding early school leaving and unemployment, and the barriers that they face in this regard. Many seemed hopeful that such an application has the potential to help young people in similar circumstances, although they were still a little unclear about the functioning of the application itself.

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Many were appreciative of the fact that this project was interested in establishing an authentic dialogue of engagement with young people, as they felt that much of the work regarding the inclusion of young people is carried out from the top down, without any guidance from the target group. In this sense, they seemed to get a lot from the forum, and seemed genuinely encouraged by being asked for their opinion.

Overall, the event ran smoothly and went off without a hitch, and we look forward to facilitating another forum in the coming months, utilising many of the same participants.


Die Querdenker Young Person’s Forum

Date

26 June 2015

Location

Produktionsschule, Leonding, Austria

Host

Die Querdenker

The Die Querdenker Method
We used the following structure: first we introduced ourselves and the project - very short and not too complicated, we tried to highlight the key features, that are of interest for the young persons.
Rob, dies is the flip-chart with the dots. We tried to narrow the basic circumstances to 6 aspects, which we rated to be most important for the young persons (one mentor, one year, individual goals, four zones, personal action plan and app/web based platform) and then invited them to rate it out of their point of view. Each person had three stickers to place on the flip-chart.

As can be seen from the photograph, the young people rated the app very high. But also the four zones and the individual action plan was rated to be very useful.
One young person couldn’t decide, so he placed his sticker to "6 Besonderheiten"

After this, we asked them about their experiences with youth unemployment (things they heard from friends or their own experiences). The young people wrote these down on cards, which we collected afterwards. They did not want to write it down on the flipchart or to speak about it in the group setting. While writing down their experiences on the cards very interesting discussions arose in the little groups.
We had prepared two more questions, but we didn't want to interrupt the discussion.

It was a very nice first meeting with the young people. They were really interested and shared their experiences with us. We really felt, that they have important things to say.

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EC-YP Meeting Dublin Ireland

Date

17th – 19th June 2015

Location

Dublin, Ireland

Host

Ballymun Job Centre

As June brought the good weather to Ireland, the Ballymun Job Centre brought something far more spectacular to the confines of North Dublin. Between the 17th and the 19th of June of this year, the Local Employment Centre in Ballymun hosted the third Extended Choices for Young People (EC-YP) Transnational Partner Meeting. The participants at the meeting were in Dublin to discuss and work on the latest development of an exciting new platform.

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The EC-YP project began in September 2014 under the assumption that there is a potential crisis on the horizon in Europe, in that young people who are capable of work are finding it difficult to access the labour market. It appears that many young people are excluded from employment under the basis that they lack the relevant experience due to a perceived gap between education and job readiness. This is particularly true of the most disadvantaged communities. The EC-YP project plans to develop a collaborative mentoring web-based platform which will ‘wrap around’ the individual based on 4 Zones: Learning, Life, Leisure, and Work, and cater for the needs of each idiosyncratic young person. It is based on the previously tried and tested Co-Ment model which has been very successful with employment services in Northern Ireland. The EC-YP web-based platform adds a new dimension to the original model and brings it into the 21st century. Hopefully, this platform will serve the function of engaging with young people on their own terms, using a contemporary medium in which they are familiar, and on this basis attempt to bridge the current gap and get these young people into relevant further education, employment or training.

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At the latest transnational meeting the partners discussed the most recent development of the platform, designed by the Dutch Partner Edumark, and made future preparations for the project over the coming months. So far, the project appears to be on the right track and the partners are currently in agreement on the potential success of the updated model. What is needed now is more input from those individuals who will be mostly utilising the platform, the young people themselves.


EC-YP Partnership Meeting
Italy

Date

11th-13th March 2015

Location

Rome, Italy

Host

Antares

Our second partnership meeting was held in Rome with a very busy agenda including the first Multiplier Event held at Institute Armando Diaz. (See the report in the Multiplier Events section for further information)
At this meeting we discussed the findings from the Baseline Audit and Needs Analysis (BANA) undertaken in each partner country; Colleagues in Antares presented their findings in a consolidated BANA. (See the report in the Intellectual Outputs Section for further information). We also worked on the development of the Web-based Application which will be the ‘engine’ for the delivery of the EC-YP Collaborative Mentoring programme in each partner country.

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EC-YP Project Launch
Austria

Date

16th December 2014

Location

Linz, Austria

Host

Die Querdenker

We had 8 experts in attendance at the launch of EC-YP in Austria; We are delighted that we have 7 signed up to support our advisory group and are confident that other key stakeholders will join in the near future.

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Irish kick-off event
Dublin

Date

27th November 2014

Location

Dublin, Ireland

Host

Ballymun Job Centre

The Irish kick-off event for EC-YP was held in Ballymun Job Centre in Dublin on the 27th November 2014. We invited the EQUAL Youth interagency network to our event and used this opportunity to generally inform them about the project as well as to introduce them to the collaborative mentoring model that will be used as part of the project. The Ballymun Job Centre coordinates the EQUAL Youth interagency network, which brings together a number of agencies in the local area working with young people (16-24 years), particularly early school leavers, who are disadvantaged in the labour market including Ballymun Regional Youth Resource, Probation Service, Ballymun Adult Read and Write Scheme, Ballymun Job Centre, Department of Social Protection, Business in the Community, Youthreach, Community Training Centres, Ballymun Youth Action Project (YAP), PACE, Ballymun Garda Youth Diversion project (BGYDP). The participants expressed great interest in the project and in participating in the piloting of the EC-YP collaborative mentoring model. Following the kick-off event the EQUAL Youth interagency network agreed to act as our EC-YP advisory group.


EC-YP Project Launch
Netherlands

Date

26th November 2014

Location

Deventer, Netherlands

Host

Edumark

The Dutch EC-YP expert had a very positive breakfast meeting with the invited experts agreeing to participate in the project advisory group. We had yesterday morning a breakfast meeting and I can share with you that. Our expert group see a lot potential in the EC-YP project and all the intellectual outcomes.

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Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

The EC-YP site went live January 2015; as the project progresses this site will be regularly updated.

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ErasmusPlus Logo

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union