Shutterstock/ EF Stock

In practice

YOUTHShare: Online Guidance Platform

Summary

The YOUTHShare project is primarily focused on addressing youth unemployment in disadvantaged areas of the Mediterranean European Economic Area (EEA), especially in the coastal and island regions of Greece, Italy, Spain, and Cyprus. The initiative, financed by the governments of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, provides digital tools to help students to understand and engage with new forms of work enabled by the Internet. It aims to empower disadvantaged groups by providing them with access to its e-Learning platform and networking opportunities through its Sharing Economy e-Platform. These digital tools include e-mentoring, career coaching, an online co-working space and online training courses to open up career opportunities for young people.

Published on the 20/02/2024

Launch year2020

CountriesCyprus, Greece, Italy, and Spain.

How many schools are currently making use of it?6-10

Other tagsRecognised by peers, Funded by government, Free of cost

TechnologySocial media, Video streaming

Career developmentEngaging employers, Accessing information/guidance, Workplace visits, Labour Market Information, Mentoring, Managing transitions

Age groupUpper-secondary (ages 16 to 18)

Download PDF

Resource overview

Website: Sharing Economy e-Platform and eLearning platform

The primary goal of YOUTHShare's digital tools is to improve youth employment prospects by encouraging virtual career development and skills improvement in the realm of the Social and Sharing Economy (SSE). This SSE is an internet-driven economic model centred around the exchange of goods and services facilitated by online shopping, mobile apps, location-based services, and other technological platforms across various industries. It involves individuals participating in both compensated and uncompensated transactions and covers various aspects such as the sharing of residences, vehicles, personal talents, and more. This collaborative system not only reduces service costs but also fosters a sense of trust among all participants.

The Sharing Economy e-Platform is a hub for social enterprises, professionals, and stakeholders. It offers:

  • e-mentoring, career coaching, and networking to connect young individuals with mentors.

  • an online co-working space matching tool to help identify job opportunities.

  • Key Account Managers (KAMs) from Transnational Employment Centres (TEC) who collaborate with schools and education stakeholders to recruit students. They offer information sessions to upper secondary students and educators about YOUTHShare digital resources, SSE sector trends in youth career development and the importance of social and emotional skills. These briefing sessions can be integrated into career education programmes, fairs, workplace visits, and other activities to familiarise students with the world of work.

YOUTHShare’s eLearning platform, is a platform that offers a 120-hour training package in areas like agri-food, tourism, and the circular economy, guidance to transform business ideas into reality and pathways to employability in the Mediterranean European Economic Area (EEA). The eLearning platform facilitates coaching, internships, and skill development, leading to a certificate of completion.

The YOUTHShare Employment Centres are located in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain. They provide virtual information sessions and career counselling, using virtual tools such as Viber, Zoom, and Skype. They aim to engage and inform youth about innovative job opportunities, foster partnerships with local stakeholders and employers to identify and attract new participants, and work with educational staff to implement workshops and training sessions for their students using YOUTHShare tools. These information sessions can be part of vocational guidance and career education programs and actions, workplace visits and other experiential activities to help students and young people better understand the working world. The programme is designed to support both vulnerable school students at risk of poor outcomes and young people who have dropped out of school and are Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET).

Description of technology

YOUTHShare combines digital tools and interventions to engage young people in career exploration, focusing on strategic regional needs.

The Sharing Economy e-Platform includes e-mentoring and web-based matching tools for mentees and mentors, connecting them regardless of location. It facilitates online collaboration in various mentoring areas, such as business plan development and social innovation. Additionally, the e-learning platform incorporates digitalised modules, handbooks & manuals for training in resilient sectors of social and sharing economy.

The Youth Employment Monitor (YEM) presents labour market trends in resilient sectors of the social and solidarity economy and regular updates on youth employment trends in Southern/Mediterranean EEA countries (Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Malta, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal) with a focus on the employment rates of NEETs aged 15-29.

The YOUTHShare Transnational Employment Centres offer online career coaching services through video streaming tools like Viber, Zoom, and Skype, benefiting both NEETs and upper secondary education students.

The YOUTHShare Project’s social media accounts, consist of the YOUTHShare’s Central Page, and individual pages for the Greek, Spanish, Italian, and Cypriot TEC's. Via these social media accounts the project shares updates on YOUTHshare’s activities and training opportunities, sparking conversations about the challenges young people face. By promoting the project’s initiatives, YOUTHshare aims to attract a broader audience, thereby offering NEETs and upper secondary education students the opportunity to participate in the training programs and further develop their career opportunities.

How the resource makes career guidance more effective, efficient and/or equitable for students

YOUTHShare aims to enhance career guidance by offering updated labour market trends through the 'Youth Employment Monitor' (YEM). The YEM webGIS platform provides data for education providers, guidance practitioners, and policymakers.

The platform also integrates digital workshops and employer experiences into career guidance, connecting education to the workforce, particularly benefiting students in disadvantaged areas.

YOUTHShare places special emphasis on regions grappling with specific challenges, such as insularity and the influx of refugees. By providing tailored digital solutions and fostering local and regional opportunities, the project aims to broaden career knowledge, aspirations and opportunities for students and NEETs up to 29 years old. This strategy was chosen due to the sharp rise in youth unemployment across the EU since 2008.

Challenges or potential barriers to use

Our Potential barriers to usage may include:

  • limited digital literacy skills of disadvantaged youth

  • limited access to internet connectivity, as a result of low socio-economic status (digital divide)

  • the combined efforts needed to identify and reach early school leavers/dropouts

  • the difficulties to get inactive young people engaged in the use of the digital tools

  • the difficulties to get more schools and teachers engaged in extra-curricular activities (possible infrastructure limitations may exist in disadvantaged areas)

  • the combined efforts needed to engage more SSE businesses, social entrepreneurs, expert professionals at local level.

The resource is free of charge.

Additional details

Has the resource been…

Yes or No?

Description

Link

…informed by research?

No

…funded by government?

Yes

The YOUTHShare project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment

http://www.youthshare-project.org

https://www.youthshare-project.org/transnational-reports/

…recognised by peers?

Yes

YOUTHshare is recognised by several platforms for its contribution to empowering NEETs and career development: it is featured in Cedefop's VET toolkit, cited as a good practice in Greece's lifelong guidance inventory, included in Euroguidance's collection of 'Good Guidance Practices' in Europe, and recommended as a valuable resource on the e-STADIODROMIA portal by the National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP) under the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.

https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/tools/neets/resources/transnational-employment-youthshare-centre-greek-branch

Cedefop (2023). Inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices - Greece. CareersNet national records.

https://euroguidance.eu/youthshare-project-a-place-for-youth-in-mediterranean-eea-resilient-and-sharing-economies-for-neets

https://e-stadiodromia.eoppep.gr

…evaluated?

Yes

YOUTHShare's digital tools underwent thorough testing involving end users, expert professionals, and stakeholders. All user categories expressed high satisfaction, with recommendations ranging from 90% to 100%.

https://www.youthshare-project.org/transnational-reports/

https://www.youthshare-project.org/papers-2/

This resource is government supported.

Disclaimer: This content is provided by the submitting organisation.

TwitterFacebookLinkedInEmail