Building resilience for youth employability

Posted: 2017-07-11
Written by: EU Network
Category: Europe
Tagged: youth resilience employability

More than five million young people are unemployed in the European Union. This means that more than one in five young Europeans on the labour market cannot find a job. Vulnerable young people without job and social protection often feel excluded and marginalised. Researches have  shown that youth unemployment is significantly associated with mental health difficulties. 40% of jobless young people report symptoms of declining mental health, including feeling of self-hatred, suicidal thoughts and panic attacks.

What youth workers and other involved stakeholders not only in Europe but also other countries can do  to promote youth resilience towards employment ?

Supporting youth workers in assessing young people's well-being in order to better assist them in their personal and professional development three youth workers from Latvia took active part at the ERASMUS+ International Mobility for Youth workers Training Course  ‘’Building Resilience for Youth Employability Programme’’. International mobility was funded with support from the European Commission and the United Kingdom National Agency and implemented in Worcester (United Kingdom)  and gathered together 33 youth workers, youth and community leaders  working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds from Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Macedonia, Estonia, Latvia and United Kingdom.

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Numerous researchers have concluded that how youth respond to stressors is much more important than the stressor itself in determining their outcomes. Brain research shows that some experience in managing stress, including learning from failure, is important for healthy youth development and well-being. Youth who have never had to address challenges or have never experienced failure are not fully prepared for adulthood. But sometimes the pressures youth face are so overwhelming that their ability to manage stress is severely compromised.

There appears an urgent need for more to be done at the ground level, especially building resilience among young people. Youth workers and youth leaders can be an important  change makers and facilitators in this process thus youth workers and youth leaders during the training course gained awareness of the psychological well-being and emotional resilience in order to  help to build young people resilience managing the challenges of unemployment and the search for work.

Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude,  the ability to regulate emotions and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

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The reality is that resilient people experience most of the problems that non-resilient people experience. The major difference between a resilient and a non-resilient person is how quickly resilient people recover from failures and setbacks in their life.

The project developed  capacities of youth work practitioners in using coaching as an effective guidance, motivation and empowerment tool in building young people’s resilience, especially for the job market. Youth  work practitioners gained better understanding of  Cognitive Behavioural thinking,  Neuro-Linguistic Programming and coaching tools which they will  directly be ably to apply within career coaching, empowerment of young people and in the building of their resilience.

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Demonstrating resilience increases youths’ selfefficacy because they are able to see evidence of their ability to face challenges and to make productive decisions about addressing challenges, including when and how to seek help  and to think about and be accountable for their actions and the consequences of their actions.

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Erasmus+  KA1 Mobility was  funded with support from the European Commission and the United Kingdom National Agency. Project implementing organisation in United Kingdom was Consilium Development and Training (a not-for-profit organisation) & Consilium Education and Training. Project partner for from Latvia was Non Governmental Organisation ‘’Donum Animus’’

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