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Promoting employability of young people in a changing labour market, with special focus on enterprising skills and attitudes.
  • Economy Economy

New challenges call for new solutions

Today’s news is filled with messages of crisis and change in the labour markets and a prospect of slow recovery. ‘Get a good education, and you will get a job –for life’ was the advice for the former generations. This is not true any more, as there are serious gaps between education and the world of work. My Generation at Work has looked for solutions to bridge this gap: What can be done in education and the curricula, what can be done in career counselling, how to provide spaces of creative connection of stakeholders in promoting employment, and how to enrich and transform city policies to better address youth employment issues.

For a short introduction to our project, please watch our movies:

My Generation at Work Reports

The key policy message coming out from My Generation at Work is that the entire journey from education to self-sustained careers needs to be transformed – education needs to be transformed into enterprising curriculums, career counselling needs to embrace enterprising and relations to work in new ways, and creative spaces of connection need to be established to connect young people, educators, mentors and business people. Not only for the already well off, but for everybody.

Do you want to know about new ways of becoming an entrepreneur? About new ways of educating to be an entrepreneur? How to inspire young people? We have three stories to inspire you: Be Inspired by My Generation at Work Stories - Enterprising Curriculums, Ideas and Connections to Work.

Do you want to learn more about the journey of the My Generation at Work project? Here you find a reader with the main points of My Generation at Work and a lot of references to materials, tools and websites: Enriching Youth Policies in Cities.

This paper explores and explains some of the key ideas and suggestions of My Generation at Work concerning this transformation of the ecosystem of career counselling - how to cocreate careers with spaces of connection: Cocreating Careers.

Mid term report: Promoting Enterprising Relations to Work.

Figure: A youth policy and actions covering the transitions to work

The cities - Local Action Plan (LAP)

Each city has had it’s special needs and emphasis, some have concentrated more on education and enterprising curriculums and career counselling, some more on developing creative spaces of connection, and some have identified special gaps in their otherwise quite rich youth policy ‘cityscape’. Each partner city in My Generation at Work has produced a Local Action Plan, where the key findings and next steps and initiatives for the promotion of the employability and employment of young people are spelled out, and all cities have made important discoveries and steps forward. Please find below the Local Action Plan Summaries of every city:

Social Innovation Pilots = Go For It (GFIs)

In order to emphasise the ‘doing’ and discovering, we took the cue from the work on Open Book of Social Innovation of Nesta and the Young Foundation. Development work is seen as an opening Social Innovation Spiral. The ‘doing’s was called Go For It’s (GFI’s) in My Generation at Work, small experiments, which would be launched as soon as possible to explore new possibilities of cocreation with young people, and other stakeholders, to promote youth employment. The My Generation at Work cities launched altogether about 40 GFI’s during the 2,5 year project span covering different aspects of education, enterprising curriculums, spaces of connection, counselling and business development. It turned out to be a very inspiring and fruitful way to get new ideas, learn from mistakes and fill in gaps. All the GFIs can be found in the library.

Source: The Young Foundation

Please find here the report "Supporting Urban Youth Through Social Innovation: Stronger Together", written for URBACT by Eddy Adams and MGatWork lead expert Robert Arnkil, where this Innovation Spiral will be explained more thoroughly, and with concrete examples.

Meetings and multi-stakeholder approach

All through the project My generation at Work has pursued an engaging multi-stakeholder approach, emphasising the need to connect young people, educators, public officials and business to promote the employability and employment of young people. The first, and most important learning point from My Generation at Work was that we need to take the young people on board as real cocreators to transform our actions, services and policies. This means the ecology of engagement needs to be transformed from traditional ‘ lecturing with talking heads and endless slideshows’. So something different is needed.

My Generation at Work demonstrated that transforming the ‘target group’ into a co-creator requires a fundamental transformation of how to design and run the project: the way of communicating, the way of running workshops, the way of delivering results.  In order to enhance the learning process we used what we called Digital Memory Aids (DMA), memos of the workshops using pictures and quotes, picking out highlights and conveying the atmosphere of the meetings – to elicit memories, to help using tacit knowledge and to embody your knowledge.

  1. Rotterdam 4-5 October 2012
  2. Maribor 18-19 April 2013
  3. Braga 12-13 september 2013
  4. Thessaloniki 21-22 January 2014
  5. Tampere 18-19 June 2014

Concepts, toolkits and methods