Between December 1-10, young people from ten countries will participate in Sfântu Gheorghe in a non-formal education course implemented by the StartUp Covasna Association, through the Erasmus + Youth Exchange program. The project is hosted by StartUp Hub – Center for Entrepreneurship Development, Adult Education and Vocational Training.

The overall goal of the Startup in Employment project is to draw the attention of the 13-30 age group to opportunities for improvement and knowledge acquisition, as well as to highlight the important role that this age group plays in shaping the world and changing it.

As project manager Norbert Béres pointed out, one of the objectives of the project is to improve participants’ skills for easier integration into the labor market in their home countries. Participants also receive perspective on the place of imagination and creativity in business and social life.

Young people, although they have abilities, need help to grow, to understand that by experimenting in areas such as storytelling, black-poetry, improvisation theater, film making, role play, group work, they can gain useful experiences. At the same time, by interacting with people from other countries, other cultural, social backgrounds and joint participation in learning processes based on impressions, direct experiences gain knowledge that broadens their horizons, and offers opportunities for integration, increased assertion. The Startup in Employment project gives participants access to this world, and the knowledge and experiences they have can use successfully to improve both their own careers and the situation of their community. The project is being implemented with partners from Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Bulgaria and Slovakia – pointed out the project manager.

As the name of the program suggests, the longer-term goal is to increase the chances of young people integrating into the labor market and therefore, to help reduce unemployment for this generation. In order to fight unemployment, the project organizers consider it extremely important to develop the key skills of young people, which includes, in addition to knowledge, knowledge of attitudes as well as strengthening skills and abilities. In addition, the development of creativity and entrepreneurial skills also plays an important role, because strengthening individual independence and prosperity – even by creating and operating a – business is one of the objectives pursued by the program.

The project aims primarily to provide assistance to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds (members of ethnic minorities or others, living in difficult financial conditions, members of marginalized communities, immigrants), therefore their opportunities to assert themselves and gain knowledge. they are much more limited, and do not have the opportunity to develop their skills without adequate support. In their case, it is extremely important that the program gives them the opportunity to self-knowledge, to identify their strengths and weaknesses, to learn about the possibilities of developing their skills, to get a more detailed picture of business life and society.

Startup in Employment also completes a gap, as it offers a specific and effective alternative to the methods generally used in public education in the participating countries. Formal education continues to focus on the transfer of theoretical knowledge, is based on mandatory patterns of behavior and attitude, and by forcing theoretical knowledge prevents the development of creativity. One of the consequences of this is that many young people who graduate from compulsory education have difficulties in integrating into the labor market, or developing a career, even through entrepreneurship. Through the project, participants have the opportunity to develop these fine skills – creativity, behavioral patterns, specific interpretation and implementation of ideas. The specific character of the non-formal training offered through the project also emerges from the fact that the knowledge acquired at the end materializes in a story, respectively a „ story book ” (a brochure), which encompasses the most important conclusions, effects, results of the program.

In parallel with non-formal training, the project also focuses on analyzing medium and long-term possibilities. Therefore, strategies aimed at reducing unemployment, situational analysis, knowledge and evaluation of positive and negative examples of different participating countries are among the topics processed.

Between October 11 and 13 in Sfântu Gheorghe, inside the StarUp Hub, the preliminary meeting of the project partners took place. „ From what was discussed, it was clear that there are huge differences between different countries in terms of the level of youth employment. In the case of Greece, for example, the youth unemployment rate is around 55 percent, but in other southern European countries the situation is not much better either. One of its consequences is that young people try to assert themselves abroad, they choose the path of exodus. Erasmus + Youth Exchange programs are very helpful, as the chances of young participants using the knowledge thus acquired to assert themselves at home increase, and use their experience to help others in their age group ” – said Pablo Andrés Pandolfi, representative of the HYP Learning association in Greece, one of the StartUp Covasna partners, in the implementation of the project.

StartUp HUB Press Office