EU4Youth: Cooperation between Georgian Youth & Local Authorities

Investing in young people is investing in the future, claims EU4Youth, a European Union financed program in Eastern Partner countries that fosters the active participation of young people in society and their employability. EU4Youth was launched in 2017 in Eastern Partnership countries of the EU (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine), with a budget of €22.75 million, EU Investment being €20 million.

‘SAY YES Skills for Jobs’ is a project within the EU4Youth program that was implemented in Georgia and Armenia. The project facilitates and contributes to the self and general employability of young women and men aged between the ages of 15 and 35 in Armenia and Georgia, particularly those with fewer opportunities and from vulnerable groups. The project has a three-year duration between 2018-2021, and a program budget of €1.53 million.

The project in particular aims to enhance formal and non-formal education to increase opportunities for youth to develop adequate professional competences demanded in the labor market. Via cross-sectoral cooperation and through strengthening support structures for youth employability at local and national levels, the program will additionally aid the development of formal and non-formal education for fostering youth (self)-employability.

The SAY YES Skills for Jobs project has six specific actions through which it hopes to reach the goal of employing more Georgian and Armenian youth.

1. Research, good practice reviews and target group mapping to identify required skills that match labor market demands, and for the design of formal and non-formal educational programs.

2. Multi-stakeholder development of and advocacy for gender- and ability-sensitive formal and non-formal educational programs, including VET curricula development in compliance with the Work-Based Learning (WBL) approach;

3. Capacity development programs for public institutions, public VET colleges and private companies involved in WBL programs;

4. Implementation of formal and non-formal educational programs for competence development of youth within and outside VET institutions, including complementary e-learning programs;

5. Event-based exchanges of practice and awareness-raising campaigns connecting VET institutions, youth-led structures, private companies and VET graduates/ students;

6. Coordination meetings and advocacy measures for improvement of youth support structures for employability.

The project is implemented by World Vision Deutschland VE (DE) in partnership with the Global Development Fund (AM), Association Anika (GE) and the Georgian Farmers' Association.

The Georgian team involved in this program holds meetings as required to make sure they are on the right track. The last such meeting was held in late December in Mtskheta.

The coordination meeting held between youth organizations at Mtskheta City Hall discussed the past activities and analyzed the need for new ones. Youth clubs created under the EU4Youth ‘SAY YES – Skills for Jobs’ project outlined their activities, while youth organizations and the Mtskheta City Hall discussed ongoing and planned activities. The meeting highlighted specific areas of future cooperation between young people and the local authority.

Additionally, successful leaders and members of the SKYE Club set up under EU4Youth were awarded with certificates. SKYE (Skills and Knowledge for Youth Economic Empowerment) clubs give an opportunity to young people aged 16-25 to learn and take care of their community together. They are designed to run on an 18-month cycle, and provide practical and customized support for groups of 10-25 young people.

SKYE clubs have been set up within the framework of the EU4Youth SAY YES Skills for Jobs project, further ensuring and facilitating the goal of the program: to open opportunity doors to youth who eventually determine the country’s future.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image source: European Union

13 January 2020 16:56