Learning about cross-border career opportunities in Saxony and Lower Silesia

With the opening up of the cross-border labour market, new career opportunities have arisen for residents of the neighbouring parts of Saxony and Lower Silesia. In the “Karriere ohne Grenzen” (Career without borders) project, schools, businesses and employment agencies joined forces to raise awareness of these prospects among children and teenagers.

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" The project has greatly improved the cooperation between the schools, businesses and employment agencies in the German and Polish parts of the Neisse-Nisa-Nysa region. This synergy helps to highlight employment opportunities in this area and boosts local youth’s chances of building careers without having to leave. "

Ralf Ostrowski, project coordinator

The existence of a border can easily eclipse tempting employment opportunities in a contiguous territory. As a result, young people in border areas may be unaware of skills that may be in great demand just around the corner, and thus of exciting careers they might pursue nearby. Instead, many who might have preferred to stay may choose to move away, depriving the region and its businesses of much-needed human resources.

What will you be when you grow up?

The “Karriere ohne Grenzen” project set out in September 2010 to help tackle this problem in the German and Polish parts of the Neisse-Nisa-Nysa region by promoting early career orientation that embraces the cross-border nature of their labour market. It involved a number of institutions and businesses in a bid to create a common approach and provide local career inspiration to young people attending schools in these adjoining territories.

The project enabled teachers to exchange experience, gain more insight into the career orientation system operated on the respectively other side of the border, identify opportunities and contribute to the development of a detailed handbook.This resource, which is available both in German and Polish, includes comprehensive information and guidance along with a variety of teaching materials.

The proposed approach and practical exercises were subsequently tested and refined in a series of workshops where groups of pupils were invited to explore career prospects and get acquainted with local businesses and employers. A number of these workshops were also accessible to youth from the Czech part of Neisse-Nisa-Nysa.

Fostering human resources

The synergies created between schools, businesses and employment agencies were central to this effort to educate the area’s rising generation about the opportunities associated with the cross-border labour market. Particular attention focused on creating networks and cooperation structures that would outlive the end of the project in March 2015.

The project thus enabled pupils to choose their prospective careers with greater awareness of possibilities in their area. As a further benefit, it created closer ties among youth growing up on both sides of the border and helped to break down barriers in their interaction with their teachers.

The project was led by Pontes, a network that promotes cross-border cooperation on education throughout the Neisse-Nisa-Nysa region.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Karriere ohne Grenzen – Grenzüberschreitende Berufsorientierung in der Euroregion Neisse-Nysa” is EUR 618 597, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 515 333 through the “Germany (Saxony) – Poland” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Cross-border social integration”.

Draft date