The transition from school to work is one of the most difficult periods in the life of a young person. Even from a European societal perspective, the difficulties for young people to establish themselves in the labor market is one of our major political challenges.
School to Work is a process, so called flagship, within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Policy Area Education. In this flagship, stakeholders should work together, within networks and projects, to find common solutions and good examples of policies that lead to better transition from school to work. The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) leads the Flagship School to Work.
Three platforms focus on different groups
The work at the Flagship is organized in three knowledge platforms. They have a focus on three different groups of people. One of the knowledge platforms is acitve in area of prevention of early school leaving and thus has a focus to young people who are 16 to 20 years old.
The second Flagship has a focus to those young people who are in a situation when they have no employment, education nor training.
And the third knowledge platform, which is also the latest one, assembles knowledge and expertise in work with integration of newly arrived refugees.
The knowledge platforms on prevention of early school leaving and integration of newly arrived refugees is led by the Division of Education of City Turku. The knowledge platform on integration of young people in NEET situation is managed by Norden Association in Sweden.
New membership levels
At the beginning of the summer, a large number of stakeholders, public and private organizations and civil society representatives, were invited to find common denominations for continued cooperation. At this time, three levels of membership were also presented.
- The first level, Associate Members, can include stakeholders, municipalities and schools that are interested in projects and in learning something new, says Inta Edgarsson at SALAR. The second level includes among others, those who already work with projects and who need more expert support and knowledge about new methods.
Stakeholders at this level may be interested in running projects under the ESF, who announced a call for transnational cooperation within youth employment.
The third level is strategic. This level consists of, among others, ministries, employment agencies and ESF, working together to support the development of new methods. In a first part of the work, a mapping of current activities is done to see what's actually been done.
- We are learning more about specific activities conducted by our members, how they are organizing them, what kind of personal approach they have towards the young people and how they are doing the follow ups, says Inta Edgarsson.
This autumn, many activities are being planned within the framework of the Flagship School to Work. One example is a visit to Turku, Finland, where around 20 participants from the Baltic Sea countries will study good examples of labour market integration, with focus on one stop shop for young people who need support and on how to increase the attractiveness of Vocational Education and Training.
More information about Flagship School to Work may be found at SALARs website.