The EU Regions Week has begun, bringing cities, regions, educational institutions, politicians, and stakeholders together to discuss pressing issues in sustainability, circular economy, education, energy, transportation, and health.
Our event titled “Young Brains Regional Gains” took place yesterday at the House of the Dutch Provinces in Brussels.
In collaboration with partners like the Northern Netherlands European Office, Greater Copenhagen EU Office, Extremadura EU Office, and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, the workshop delved into regional challenges and best practices in equipping youth with relevant skills for the future.
The workshop provided a platform for candid discussions on successes and challenges in preparing youth for the future job market, especially those who have fallen out of the education system for various reasons.
Need to give chances
The speakers, including Sofie Tønsberg-Jensen, Beatrice Sarto, Frank Emil Moen, Carla Dijkstra, and Sonia Barras shared their insights.
– Young people want to be acknowledged and seen. As educators or those working alongside them, it’s vital for us to truly see them and guide them in realizing their untapped potentials, Sofie Tønsberg-Jensen, Erasmus+ Coordinator of one of 27 Preparatory Basic Education and Training institutions (FGU) in Denmark, said.
– For those who are struggling and appear unmotivated, it is key that we find something that “fuels their fire.” I don’t believe in unmotivated youth; rather, I see it as a matter of them not having discovered what truly motivates and drives them. And that is our daily mission: assisting them in discovering their drive and purpose. And sometimes that includes being “aggressively nice”. Maybe we have to call them every day when they don’t show up, or we have to pick them up at home. Sometimes, that is what it takes: that extra effort, Carla Dijkstra from MBO rebound Frysland added.
Industry is key
Frank Emil Moen from Rogaland discussed the wind technicians program at Dalane VGs in Norway, highlighting a collaborative initiative in Egersund, Rogaland, where industry and educational institutions collaborate to provide youth with practical opportunities.
– In Rogaland alone, more than 5000 young people between the ages of 20-30 are not employed nor enrolled in education. That is an extremely high number. It’s imperative to engage with these young people actively, and there exists substantial potential for industry and the education sector to join forces in this endeavor. If we manage to get these people back in school or vocational training, it not only benefits society as a whole but also holds significant advantages for the individuals themselves, creating a win-win scenario, Moen said.