Members of the ESF Transnational Thematic Network on Youth Employment met on 7th and 8th of March 2019 in Barcelona. The meeting was hosted by Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC).
After introductory presentations of current national and regional programmes addressing youth (un)employment in Spain and in Catalan region, participants visited 2 projects supporting young people in vulnerable situations and/or at risk of unemployment, school drop-out and social exclusion. AEMA Project offers training guidance to young women with children; ‘Second Chance School’ programme provides pre-vocational trainings tailored to the needs of youngsters between 14 and 16 years of age.
The network also visited Barcelona Activa, the Local Development Agency of Barcelona City Council, that supports young entrepreneurs in developing their businesses and unemployed youth through various training programmes. Furthermore, in the context of growing migration to Catalonia in recent years, Catalan Government – Directorate General of Children and Adolescents Services (DGAIA) presented the initiatives of ‘residential centres’ and ESF co-funded ‘first chance centres’ (managed by 'Fundació Gentis'), both assisting newly arrived children and youngsters with guidance towards social integration. The meeting also highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility in advancing employment opportunities of youth in vulnerable situations with presentation of programmes that are run in partnerships between 'Fundación Exit Barcelona' (NGO), companies (example of Desigual) and regional authorities.
11th meeting of the Thematic Network on Youth Employment was preceded by the meeting on ‘Synergies between ESF and Erasmus’ (6th March 2019) that was jointly organize by Youth Employment and Learning and Skills Thematic Networks. The meeting gathered representatives of the ESF Managing Authorities and Erasmus National Agencies with the aim to open the discussion on possibilities for collaborations between the two funds in the context of support for youth with disadvantaged backgrounds.
Next meeting of the network will take place on 9th and 10th of May in Tallinn in Estonia.