About the project

IEY project

There is a general consensus that the area of youth work has barely been developed and is greatly undervalued in many European and European partner countries. Currently, in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Georgia, there is a 12.8%, 5.8%, 22.3%, 27.1% youth unemployment rates respectively.

According to the “Youth Strategy” proposed by the European Commission for 2019-2027, one of the four main priorities for the European youth is to create and implement an “Agenda for youth work to further improve its quality, innovation, and recognition and to allow other sectors to capitalize on the potential of non-formal learning”. From this, it became evident to us that something needs to be done, that countries like the Czech Republic are working in the right directions and that one of the largest issues that many European countries are facing is youth unemployment.

This issue is being battled on several fronts – formal education and apprenticeships, however, it has become apparent from our research that these measures can have a somewhat slow long-term effect and can be built upon. Currently, in many European and partner countries traditional educational institutions rarely help in career development and our research points that they often lack the capacity and training instruments to help guide young people in the areas of life regarding their future careers.

We have found that many schools don’t have career counselors. This has led us to believe alternative methods need to be used. That is why the “IEY” project is aimed at youth work and youth workers, specifically working in the prevention of unemployment (coaching, counseling, training).

Using the aforementioned non-formal training methods, this project aims at decreasing youth unemployment and increasing interest in social entrepreneurship among young people by promoting youth work and helping to inspire further development in the field of youth work.

At this point in time, everyone from the participating organizations is actively engaging in youth work activities on a national level and wishes to continue doing so on an international level, furthered by the instruments provided by the European Commission. While taking into account the fact that, following the Erasmus + program, the next program 2021 – 2027 is predicted to grow the range of its reach in terms of learning opportunities from 4 million to 12 million, many of whom young people, participating in trainings, youth, school, university, and VET mobilities, there will be a high demand for trained and skilled youth workers to provide qualified assistance; to train, inspire, support and coach them into achieving what is best for them, their future development and the European economic conditions.

Project Objectives

To create new approaches and integrate new practices by using ICT based methodologies and therefore giving youth workers the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills and become effective supporters and helpers in the self-improvement and professional and personal development of the young people.

To improve the competencies that are linked to professional profiles like teaching, training, youth work.

To create more attractive non-formal training and coaching program that can be utilized freely and easily by youth workers.

Last, but not least, our objective is to move ahead with the times and integrate ICT technologies further into the daily activities of youth workers.

By acknowledging the lack of recognition of youth work in many European and partner countries on a national and regulatory level, it is evident that the project requires transnationality, in order to further the effects and push the development of youth work forward on a general European level. By implementing this project new practices and methods will be devised and integrated, which will increase opportunities for youth workers’ professional development across countries. Furthermore, through international cooperation and ICT resources, the effect of the project can be greatly multiplied, due to their open source nature and effect that technology has had
on European youth.

About the Partners

The Economic Development Union is an independent, public, non-political, non-profit organization, which represents, protects and assists the
realization of its members’ interests. The Economic Development Union (EDU) was established to assist the development of Bulgarian economics, to
represent and protect the interests and rights of its members before state and municipal authorities, public and business organizations, and other
national and international institutions, to build the common interests of its members and to assert them in all areas of social and economic life. The
main objectives of the Association are: education services and youth work – to support, promote and develop the democratic values and
manifestations of civil society and to protect the freedom, dignity and self-confidence of young people, vulnerable communities and communities at
risk, support personal fulfillment and improve quality of life; to provide social inclusion activities and to help increase public engagement, professional
development and employment opportunities.

Czech Youth Association is an NGO established by experienced youth workers in the Czech Republic. Main fields of the organisation are social
inclusion, youth unemployment, discrimination, democracy and human rights. The goal is to connect young people from different countries and
cultures and build friendships and partnership to fight racism and xenophobia and to provide better employment and social opportunities. The
organisation is especially active as well in the field of entrepreneurship, working on social entrepreneurship projects and projects that supported
start-ups. Another goal is to offer possibilities to develop youth through national and international projects as Erasmus + . The organisation is one of
the biggest youth NGOs in Prerov and its activists and volunteers work with young people in the area and helping them in their adaptation and dayto-day activities, organising seminars, trainings, workshops communication and education campaigns.

According to the aims of the organization, the topics of the ADESI activities are quite varied. There are seminars and workshops that are organized
periodically using non-formal learning methods. Those include effective communication and teamwork, project management, social inclusion,
leadership, entrepreneurship, human rights, environmental issues, European values intercultural dialogue etc. The youth workers of the organisation
are working with youth from marginalized communities. The main aim is to prevent discrimination, empower and help them to be socially active.
Regular group sessions, charity events, language clubs, craft workshops and other activities are organized to reach aims of the Association.
One of ADESI’s main projects is a seminar-workshop about art-therapy. The seminar includes students who study in the field of psychology,
education, inclusion, social working and art and wanted to develop their competences as future facilitators and trainers in art-therapy in the field of
non-formal education.

The university has almost 50 000 students participating in a wide variety of programs taught by 1450 academic staff in 15 faculties, 3 polytechnic
colleges and 13 vocational colleges. The COMU Faculty of Education is one of the oldest teacher-training institutions in Turkey, first established in
1955 as a school to train primary school teachers, providing three years of teacher-training education.
The basic components of undergraduate programmes consist of courses with a practical focus. Graduate programmes focus on advanced
theoretical knowledge in the field and on specialized applied research; a well-balanced emphasis on theory and application is maintained throughout
the programmes. Each programme has a range of elective courses compatible with students’ interests and abilities.

The planned outputs

in line with the objectives are four:

The research into youth work and the establishment of good practices in the sector of youth work as a guideline to future development

The creation and distribution of a guide to youth work prepared with the feedback from youth workers on an international level

The development of a cell phone application, which is aimed at youth work and will provide numerous materials for youth workers

The creation and popularization of educational videos for youth workers and additional video materials that can train, develop and improve thequality of non-formal education

Through these outputs

the project will create a lasting long term effect by improving the quality of youth work and in turn, the employment prospectsof young people, thus improving the European market.