The ITER project partnership brings together organisations/institutions that have the shared commitment, knowledge ,skills, experience and complimentary expertise that will drive the project and ensure it delivers high quality results.
GEMS NI is a company limited by guarantee and charity registered in Northern /social enterprise organisation. Since our launch in 2002 we have developed and delivered best practice in employability/employment services and are recognised as delivering excellence in IAG and VET and our development of models of best practice in employability interventions that support long-term unemployed/economically inactive people and in particular marginalized and disadvantaged groups including lone parents, migrants, young people who are NEET, older people, people with disabilities and health conditions, who experience disadvantage in the labour market.
In 2010 we undertook an analysis of the issues and challenges for young people who experienced complex barriers to engaging in education, employment or training. We engaged extensively with young people and young adults who could help us to understand their experience and the contributing factors leading to them disengaging from education/learning.
Quite simply we went on the road and asked! Holding focus groups with young people/young adults and finding out their views and experiences – the good the bad and the downright ugly! From this we were able to determine both the issues and challenges but also some of the positive aspects. These almost unanimously were reported as the people who provided encouragement and support - teachers, youth workers, peer support, sports, faith and many key people who made a difference to a young person.
It isn’t rocket science to work out that young people already struggling in the school environment were highly likely to continue to struggle after leaving. The answer for us was to design a programme that built on the one-to-one mentoring relationship
Instead of expecting the young person to negotiate their education or training pathway within a process-driven, timetabled structure, we would deconstruct this and create a journey planner that would respond to the individual needs of each young person.
The Mentor supports young person to “bank” their time across 4 Zones: Learning Life Leisure and Work and Develops a personal Action Plan with the young person that reflects their situation and context and the changing nature of this – starting where the young person is at. GEMS has delivered CO-MENT in NI since 2012 and currently delivers the model through ESF funding
GEMS NI wants to build on the CO-MENT model and the work of two previous Erasmus+ projects EC-YP led by GEMS NI which was to transfer the CO-MENT model to other European countries and Day Plot led by Antares which was focused on using gamification as a tool to support the integration and inclusion of new communities to European Countries. We want to work to develop ITER as a model to support NEET young people (using gamification) and to prepare them and their chosen VET organisation in the transition from customised assistance as a NEET young person to a successful transition to VET or another positive destination.
To engage with a collaborative partnership and build upon existing approaches for NEET young people and develop existing materials and resources and design new materials and resources that will support young people who are NEET including their transition to mainstream VET or another positive destination.
The University of Huddersfield is a public university located in the north of England. It has been a university since 1992, but has its origins in a series of institutions dating back to the 19th century. It has over 18,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, and world-leading applied research groups in biomedical sciences, engineering and physical sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities. The University won the inaugural Higher Education Academy Global Teaching Excellence Award in 2017, and achieved a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold Award in the same year.
Academics from the University of Huddersfield – principally Robin Simmons, Lisa Russell and Ron Thompson – have been involved in a series of research projects investigating the lives of NEET young people, and the role of support services and practitioners working with them. This has taken place over a period of more than ten years and includes research funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Wavehill Social and Economic Research.
Simmons, Russell and Thompson have a strong track record of publications in this area, including books, reports and academic papers on NEET and related issues.
The University of Huddersfield was invited to take part in the ITER project by the lead partner, GEMS NI. This invitation stemmed from previous work between the two organizations and collaboration with other voluntary-sector partners in the UK
To engage with academics, practitioners and policymakers from different national contexts in order to share and develop ideas about how to engage or re-engage NEET young people in education and work.
To think critically and creatively about developing and implementing vocational training and other initiatives to help practitioners work with NEET young people.
To help develop and disseminate best practice and evaluate interventions and initiatives.
To develop collaborative partnerships which can be further developed going forward.
Extern Northern Ireland established in 1978 as a charity and believes that everyone should be able to ﬁnd stability to change their lives and contribute to the community in which they live. Extern has grown, to now support over 19,000 individuals each year, at our 40 bases across Ireland employing over 500 dedicated and committed staff. Extern has developed bespoke services to meet presenting complex needs and has supported some of the most vulnerable children, young people and families to empower positive change and support family unity.
Within our Young People and Families portfolio, Extern delivers a range of projects that support young people with transitions and those who are Not in Education Employment or Training (NEETs). We are contracted by the Education Authority to delivery a full-time, alternative education provision through our Pathways Project to 30 young people across Belfast each year. Our ESF funded Moving Forward Moving On (MFMO) Project provides wraparound transitional mentoring support to 120 young people aged 16-24 years who have previously attended Alternative Education or Education Other Than at School provision and/or have a history of offending. Established in 2013, MFMO has successfully developed a range of individual and group work interventions based on assessed need which enable participants to begin to address their multiple barriers to progression and build their soft skill set. Since 2018, Extern has also delivered out on our Third Space programme, which is part of the Peace IV funded Peace for Youth initiative, working with 200 young people aged 14-24 each year who are NEET across Belfast, Portadown, Derry/Londonderry. Fermanagh and the Border Regions.
Extern believe that the needs of our young people are best served through collaborative and partnership working. The aims of the ITER project, - to fight social exclusion and poverty and enable NEET young people to participate fully in economic, social and cultural life, fit well with our current three-year strategy – ‘Transforming Lives, Transforming Society’ Our NEET services are research informed and evidence based. We are participating in the ITER project to further inform our service provision and share our own knowledge and experience at a European level.
Extern hope to learn from the EC-YP and DayPlot projects and how this may fit into our own model of wraparound transitional support, in particular, on developing an improved initial point of entry NEETS needs and barriers diagnostic. We would also like to share and build on developing guidelines and practical solutions to support young people in successfully transitioning and sustaining placements throughout their education, training and employment journey.
Time is a management consultancy that was established in 1998. Our work is values-driven with a focus on:
Our team of partners and associates have a range of specialisms delivering:
Time has worked in partnership with GEMS NI since 2010 in the design, delivery and management of the CO-MENT Project with specific tasks in relation to the quality management of this collaborative mentoring project for NEET young people. We were also partners in the EC-YP project and the EnGage project both of which had a focus on young people who were NEET.
Time wants to be part of the design and development of innovative approaches to working with NEET young people. We are particularly interested in the work that will be undertaken to improving transitions for young people from NEET to mainstream VET,
We welcome the opportunity to work within a pool of expertise and experience through partnership and collaborative working at EU level. This will add value, improve credibility and the developmental aspects of our current work with the NEET target group. It will also give us access to innovative, relevant learning resources to integrate into current/new programmes.
Antares is a company active in planning and managing European Project in the fields of socio-organizational research, training for school-aged students and for employed and unemployed adults, vocational guidance and life-long learning.
We have participated in more than 50 partnerships in Italian and EU complex projects, specializing in innovative areas for management and training.
Antares is part of a network of organizations including Universities, public bodies and private firms, operating in social research, vocational education and training, organizational analysis, with an eye on learning technologies and quality systems.
We are experts in international networking, europlanning, management and reporting of projects funded through the main European programs: Life, Adapt, Horizon2020, Equal, Erasmus +, COSME, Cost, ENI CBC Mediterranean, Rights Equality, and Citizenship Program.
Our headquarters are based in Rome. We belong to a strong corporate group named “CONSORTIUM”, which is based in several Italian cities: Rome, Milan, Florence, Pescara, Campobasso, Naples, Bari, Cosenza and Palermo.
We are very experienced in social research, eg. strategic scenarios in social and organisational field, research on the labour market, labour/profession analysis in the socio-economic context and technological changes, analysis of learning needs for individual and organisations.
For over 15 years, Antares has been a partner in projects co-financed by the EU in the field of vocational education and training (VET), many of which are specifically aimed at innovation and exchange of good practices in training methods and tools, skill development and coaching for disadvantaged people (especially youth and women in situations of hardship, NEET, long-term unemployed adults) and at defining Quality models and tools consistent with the European frameworks.
At the moment Antares is leading 2 Erasmus+ KA2 Projects: LEI and MELODY, based on preventing early school leaving with a focus on newcomers (LEI) and students with learning disorders (MELODY).
Among the most recent, Antares participated to related projects to the new Erasmus+ ITER Project:
DAY PLOT proposes to the main target, such as those working with young people in disadvantaged conditions, a series of adequate support tools in specific training, education or apprenticeship activities, to facilitate their inclusion in the appropriate VET channel that enhances the final beneficiaries, such as NEETs and migrants, their skills and increases their chances of integration into the labor market.
The new ITER project will consolidate and improve the work done in EC-YP with a collaborative mentoring model with specific emphasis on developing an improved initial point of entry NEET needs and barriers diagnostic and developing guidelines and practical solutions to improve the transitions of YP who are NEET to mainstream VET; the ITER project will develop a web-based platform and interface/dashboard using the Day Plot.
Antares will be responsible for the gamification methodology and content, with the aim to encourage the engagement of NEET YP in the initial assessment, action planning and transitions readiness stages.
Antares will work in close contact with Eulab Consulting, in order to provide:
Eulab Consulting operates in Knowledge Management, offering services within the entire knowledge cycle through four areas of intervention: Training, Research, Consulting and Technologies. Eulab’s Knowledge Area is experienced in supporting customers in the knowledge production process, aimed both to self-growth (individual and group coaching activities) and business growth (social and market research).
Eulab Consulting is leader in Italy in social research, studies and marketing surveys (Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, Brand Positioning and Benchmarking). Our staff uses an integrated approach between quantitative methods (CATI, CAPI and CAWI interviews) and qualitative ones (narrative interviews, focus groups, participatory observation).
Eulab’s Knowledge area helps companies to grow by offering specialized on-demand consulting services (HR management, communication and marketing), also through temporary management. Eulab specializes in individual coaching (top and middle management) and group coaching (to support the achievement of the objectives of the production team or the sales team). The interventions that are carried out are inspired by positive psychology to improve well-being, define career plans and career guidance.
EULAB belongs to a strong corporate group, named “CONSORTIUM”, which is based in different Italian cities, like Rome (headquarters), Milan, Florence, Pescara, Campobasso, Naples, Bari, Cosenza and Palermo.
Eulab Consulting offers a wide range of free courses for Neets and unemployed people, supported by the largest Italian and Multinational HR companies.
Eulab’s Technology Area is specialized in the computerised management of digital training knowledge (CMS and LMS systems). The Tech Area provides multimedia products and e-learning training courses, developing innovative technologies for businesses, including websites, portals, software and applications, with the aim to facilitate learning processes.
Since 2019 Eulab is leading partner for CALLING - An Innovative Approach in School Guidance and Vocational Orientation, a new Erasmus+ KA201 project. This Partnership includes partners from Spain, UK (GEMS NI), Italy and Germany.
Eulab worked on DAY PLOT project as Responsible partner for IO2, a Toolkit & Platform aimed to support teachers and final beneficiaries using a Game. The new ITER project will develop a web-based platform and interface/dashboard using the previous Day Plot experience.
Eulab will cooperate with other partners in the 5-stage feedback and process iteration 1. Analysis 2. Design. 3. Development. 4. Implementation. 5. Evaluation that is required to introduce the gamification methodology into the Needs and Barriers Self-Assessment process. engagement.
With Antares’ support for content, Eulab will provide the technical expertise and input required to design the online platform and virtual environment and create the suite of tools/diagnostics and mechanisms to generate reports from the programme content developed by the partnership.
Eulab Consulting will work in close contact with Antares, in order to provide:
DESINCOOP is a services provider cooperative, established in 2005. Its mission is to provide services in the areas of economic, social, educational and cultural initiatives.
The main activities are studies, consultancy, training, elaboration of projects, support for the creation and operation of Proximity Services and other cooperatives, social cultural and sport interventions.
Between 2006 and 2008 developed two studies about Social Economy sector. In one, developed at European level, wined three best practices (social responsibility, social marketing and work inclusion of people with disabilities).
Since 2008 Desincoop associated the participation in European programs (Leonardo and Grundtvig), to improve the skills of its collaborators, to internship opportunities for young licensees and / or looking for their first job. Also provided mobility experiences and training for other youngsters through the European Youth in Action Programme.
Between 2010 and 2012 was partner in a Grundtvig project “For the Shared Archaeology”, who intended to use archeology as a tool (a tool of all possible tools) for the rehabilitation of people with intellectual disabilities and other disadvantaged groups.
Between January, 2010 to December, 2011 Desincoop, in partnership with French and Italian organizations, developed the Project LUCUS within the PROGRESS programme of the European Union, which had as main areas of activity training in the fields of Construction / Rehabilitation, Agriculture, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Transports, in the sense of rehabilitate extinct or endangered professions. LUCUS aspired to carry out experimentation in order to create qualified jobs for people in need and for people with disabilities. The main result of this project are the professional and inclusive courses running in Desincoop facilities until nowadays for people without qualifications.
Between 2012 and 2013 it was a partner in the Transnational Cooperation Against Violence project (Daphne Programme) aimed to increase knowledge and directly raise awareness among 15 institutions, 15 specialists and 15 social workers from the 3 working groups involved on different and innovative methods for preventing violence against children, young people and women. In Portugal, Desincoop approach was made through sport as a mean of awareness in the prevention of this problem. As a result of this project the cooperative established a strong cooperation with the coordination of the National Plan for Ethics in Sport. Desincoop members were trainers of the PNED / IPDJ and University of Values / LED on Values networks and until the end of 2017 facilitated 90 minutes’ sessions about Sports values to around 900 students of School Cluster Francisco de Holanda.
In 2013 was a partner of the European Project CORE, which aimed to respond to the educational and social needs of Roma communities.
Between 2013 and 2014 was a promoter of a Training of Trainers in Gender Equality. Still in 2014 promoted training for unemployed assets, mostly belonging to the Roma community.
In 2015 was partner in Roma Genocide project (Europe for Citizens) which aimed to raise awareness of Roma genocide, stimulate critical thinking and debate among young and old people. At the local level 916 people participated in the exhibition, 259 in the debates (youth, teachers, seniors, trainers, facilitators and volunteers), 71 in the Human Library (students, teachers, testimonials and staff) and 60 in the Anti-Discrimination Bike.
The situation of Syrian refugees and other migrants and the need of a multisectorial approach at European level was identified by Desincoop members and other project participants in various projects taking place in Turkey and Italy mainly in Sicily. Some applications were proposed about human Rights, Discrimination and Tolerance under Youth in Action later Erasmus+. In 2015 Desincoop hosted the project Art in Action during which several activities about the humanitarian crisis were developed in our city ending in a Final Exhibition. In 2017 Desincoop accept the invitation to participate in LEI project promoted by Antares and financed by Erasmus + and also in one Europe For Citizen project ISLA, about refugees and the strategies to host them. Both projects were approved and will end in 2019.
Regarding other main Desincoop interests they are all focused in the running project Work Inclusion also financed by Erasmus+. The main aim of this project is the exchange of best practices and knowledge on workplace inclusion between mentors working with people with disabilities, mainly women.
In 2005 Desincoop prepared with local partners the first application to a four years’ project to identify and develop a program for NEET. Unfortunately, after the approval by national authorities the new local political elected did not accepted the implementation of the project arguing that this subject was not a priority. The levels of school leaving in our region were among the highest in Europe.
In 2010, it was a cooperative priority to create a network of young volunteers. Between 2010 and 2017 the main strategy was using Youth in Action/Erasmus + projects to attract NEET to non-formal activities and later influence them to return to education or training according their individual situation. In total Desincoop had more than 300 participants in these projects.
In 2012 together with an Italian partner prepared an application to Progress Program about the not well known phenomenon of NEET but was not accepted. In 2013 the same partners tried again a Leonardo project also not approved.
In the same year and again in 2014 and 2015 Desincoop presented applications to the Portuguese governmental programme for national projects related with Roma people and other persons in disadvantage situation called Choices (in portuguese Escolhas). In both applications at national level Desincoop was classified immediately above the last project approved. These projects aimed, in general terms, to work with young people in situations of social exclusion, with difficulties in accessing their first job, stable, contracted. The problems that were sought to solve with these projects were related to the constant stereotypes and prejudices that exist in relation to the population residing in social neighborhoods, to the Roma in particular, in the access to the labor market. Associated with the profile of these young people were many in situations of dropping out of school or lack of interest and devaluation of competences acquired in the context of formal learning, which in turn leads them to vacate. Existing offers of socially useful occupation or training take into account their low qualifications, but do not meet their interests.
Since 2013 DESINCOOP is accredited as sending and hosting organization on European Voluntary Service.
In 2015 stablished a partnership with the biggest school Cluster of the County with which Desincoop works with students in risk of School leaving developing non formal activities and specific project, the issues of Social Responsibility, Equality, Volunteering, Prevention of Violence and Sustainable Development marked the agenda of activities. Students are directly involved in the commemoration of the European Mobility Week, in the commemorations of the Orange Day, “There are Fair”, Living Library, Awareness Actions: celebration and dynamism of "25th November – The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women". Still in the ambit of this partnership Vocational students do internships at Desincoop that supports them on pre- Professional activities. During Summer some of these students develop volunteer activities and the planning for the school year activities is prepared by them and they lead specific projects during the school year 2018/ 2019 they linked all project under an umbrella project “We are all civil protection”.
Since mandatory education change to 12 years and 18 age more students stay at school without motivation and they finish at 18th without finishing the 12 years. We expect to find them again in a few years, without jobs or in vulnerable jobs because they are not qualified. More and more we have in our training courses young people that are in this situation and they have in professional courses the same behavior they had in the education system: lack of motivation and they start courses and interrupt and return again to a new one never finishing what they start.
The biggest expectation is learning with other experiences and find innovative methods to work with young people not only in school, where they are in risk but later giving guidance and support in order they return to training or to the work market with a project for their lives.
The University POLITEHICA of Bucharest is the oldest and the most prestigious engineering school in Romania, which was established in 1818. It consists now of 15 faculties whit an annual admission number of 5000 students, with more than 90 study programs for bachelor’s degree and more than 170 study programmes for MSc studies of which 20 programmes are in foreign languages.
University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest is a full member in several academic organisations, the main ones being Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER), International Association of Universities (IAU), European University Association (EUA), Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF).
The University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest is participating to this project through CTANM () CTANM was and still is involved in many European funded projects involving young people and/or virtual learning environments. Also CTANM were part on project on career counselling for youth. The target groups of some of these projects are not quite NEET but have a high risk of school dropout. The team members of this project, Tom, Paula, Bogdan were also involved in many projects in which they developed virtual learning environments for young people.
Some of the projects in which CTANM was involved are:
Our University was invited to take part in this project considering the experience and expertise of the members of the PUB team (Tom, Paula, Bogdan) in other projects in which GEMS NI and PUB RO were partners.
Although the NEET people was not a targeted group for our university, we are committed to deliver the proper education and training to the young who belong to this category.
We are also committed to participate along with the partners in developing tools and methods to help the NEET people to fight poverty and social exclusion by their integration with our educational programmes.
To work together with the professionals from different countries in order to create the tools for helping the NEET people to integrate in lifelong learning and employment.
To develop long-term partnerships with other organizations involved in the project.
To broaden our team members’ experience and expertise in dealing with the NEET people.
To find new ways to integrate the NEET people needs into our University offer.
On 1st January 2011 as the legal successor of the county’s public administration body, and through the partial integration of the majority of the territorial state administration bodies, the government office was established as the top authority of territorial state administration. The government office harmonises and enhances the implementation of government tasks on territorial level – according to rules of law and government decisions. The Government Office for Békés County is made up of the core office directly managed by the government commissioner and 9 district offices. The Government Office of Békés County’s Department of Social Security and Employment and its divisions of employment – which operate within district offices – play a key role in improving the labour market situation in the county, enhancing employment, in preventing and moderating unemployment. As a state organisation it has been offering labour market services, employment fostering support, and operating complex labour market programmes both for employers and job-seekers since 1991. It is a task of key importance for the organisation to satisfy the demand of employers with a labour-force having the appropriate skills and qualifications and to have job-seekers employed within the shortest period of time. For many years now the department has been implementing various projects in national and international cooperation aiming to develop a VET system better tailored to economic needs and to foster employment.
The Department helps the employment of career starters and youngsters with its special programmes. One of the major target groups of its Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programme 5.2.1. entitled ‘Youth Guarantee Programme’ is that of the career starters and young people under the age of 25. In the Youth Guarantee Programme – launched in 2015 – young people under the age of 25 are also helped in employment with tailor-made services, supports and allowances related to training and entrepreneurship. The guarantee programme helped roughly 58 thousand young people between 2015 and 2017.
The Department has wide experience in implementing national and international projects in the fields of VET, career guidance, entrepreneurship and in improving the employment situation. One of its recently finished Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships projects entitled ‘Work-based Learning in CVET’. The main aim of the project is to develop in an international cooperation a complex methodology applicable in the CVET (continuing VET) of adults concerning work-based learning, based on Finnish, German and Italian models. In the context of the cooperation the international partnership implementing the project aims to develop a complex methodology that is going to be well applicable in each member country of the European Union, it is going to be in line with European Union efforts, and it will be worked out according to the quality requirements identified by the EQAVET working group.
There are several other programmes (central labour market programmes and operational programmes) running in parallel with the ones mentioned above that are aimed at helping the target group with various types of counselling, mentoring and mediation services as well as providing them with targeted trainings.
A new so called ‘reform’ programme was also launched in our region in July 2019 according to a ministry decision with the aim of improving the efficiency of employment departments. Efficiency should be improved via establishing a personal relation and contact with job seekers from all age groups – the aim is to survey employer demands and make a close connection between the potential employee and employer. As a result of the new model (originating from Germany), 2.308 clients have been contacted and become employed from our county.
Besides collecting, testing the best practices and measuring their impacts, it is another added value of our project activities that the further development of the so called ‘4-zone model’ seen as a good practice in Ireland and tested, among others, in Hungary as well could be further developed in our system of tools.
We expect to learn a lot, to have our staff members enriched with new knowledge on the topic and to improve our everyday work.
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