The project targeted youth, service providers and policy makers involved in measures directed to youth in transition in 4 European cities (Dublin, London, Cagliari and Bologna).
EP-DeM Labs engages and enables disadvantaged youth (16-24) in transition moments in 4 EU cities (Bologna, Cagliari, Dublin and London) to express their voices, co-develop and co-delivery projects and measures aimed at improving their education level and employability. The laboratories of dialogue and co-design experimented had (and hopefully will continue to have) the ground-breaking role of permanent generators of knowledge and incubators of innovation in education, training and employment systems.
Its approach was built around important pillars:
EP-DeM tackled the issue of youth social disengagement, having consequences on their education, training and/or employability levels through a holistic approach, starting from the individual’s empowerment and arriving to the systemic change in considering “the youth issue” by education and training structures, counselling and employment providers and policy makers. Aims:
Contexts’ needs. EP-DeM was built on the solid experiences and detected needs of the partners at the city, National and European level to adapt, test and refine an innovative and participatory approach to dialogue and co-decision between excluded youth, service providers and policy makers.. Common and unsolved issues included: (1) Lack of tools to avoid the “creaming effect” generate by the quantitative indicators applied in planning and delivering social measures; (2) Lack of structural integration between the typical “youth informal activities”, and the education, training and employment provisions in each of the cities addressed; (3) Need to reinforce and update a multi-agency and multi-service approach to work.
It was observed that in all the regions targeted, a very relevant context to improve the equity – in terms of access, retain and outcomes – of the offer to youth in transition from one system to the other is the Youth Guarantee Schemes. The status of the strategy implementation in each of the partnership countries was leaving, at the beginning of EP-DeM, some important issues open in terms of equity of the measures and their capacity to really empower the more disadvantaged youth.
Starting from the contexts’ needs, partners’ experiences and research undertaken, the partnership trained 4 local facilitators’ teams who would have planned and managed concretely the Labs in each city.
Then, 3 kind of EP-DeM Labs were experimented in the 4 cities:`
After the City Labs, a European Lab in Dublin and the final Conferences in Rome highlighted common actions and recommendations to be brought forward at the EU level.
The City Action Plans highlight, on the other side, the paths identified jointly by young people and stakeholders to improve local situations.
So far, EP-DeM reached around 350 individuals directly (young people, professionals, authorities) through the Labs, many organizations and networks in partner countries and beyond.
Significant networks have been established at local levels and are working to bring forward the results.
The City Action Plans and the EU recommendations are the most visible synthesis of the work done through the Labs, the networking sessions etc.
We also have a variety of products and tangible results that are interesting and can be used handily to gather information, train persons, informa about the project, ie
City reports (results from Action researches);
All the products are available at the project website, in the “products” space: http://www.epdemlabs.eu/the-project/products/
The video-documentary gives a lively insight of what happened in the cities and in the Labs and was already shown and discussed in several stages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwBNygtWSkU/.
As the project finished in February 2018, it could be early to see impacts. However, the variety and quality of products let us predict that there is good room for a longer term impact of EP-DeM. Besides that, in each of the cities local actors have agreed, to different extents, to continue with the EP-DeM path.
Different National authorities and European networks have expressed interest in deepening and bringing forward the EP-DeM concept.
Several ideas for follow up are currently under discussion within the partnership and beyond.
□ Study Visits
□ Mentoring Services
□ Others: The participatory and bottom up approach that involved young people, decision-makers and a wide range of stakeholders at city level to build confidence, trust and enhance the direct participation of young people in public life and especially in designing effective ttransition measures.
The project, coordinated by MetropolisNet EEIG, a unique EU network on employment and social inclusion strategies, involved 9 organizations from 5 countries.
Partners are experienced and innovative skills/employment/VET players, including 2 Regional and 1 National (IE) ministries in Ireland. All of them are engaging a wide range of youth, employment, VET organizations.
This was really important as the whole project concept concerned the experimentation of innovative dialogue and participation tools to improve measures and provisions targeting young people, especially from disadvantaged social/economic backgrounds, to improve the quality and effectiveness of transition and employability measures.
The Labs experimented were primarily, but not exclusively, integrated within the planning and delivery processes of Youth Guarantee Schemes (YGS) concerned, or, where these did not exist (i.e. UK), within the measures targeting disadvantaged and excluded youth in transitions in the 4 cities. The structured dialogue and interaction mechanisms allowed gaining update and qualitative knowledge about the reasons and typologies of disparities between youth in accessing, benefiting and succeeding in completing the educational and employability services and projects being currently offered in the respective contexts.
Name: Elena Grilli
Organisation: MetropolisNet EEIG
- Guidance outline for facilitators, http://www.epdemlabs.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/EP-DeM-Labs-Guidance-Pack-Outline_EN.pdf
- Video-documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwBNygtWSkU&t=3s
Dublin Action Plan whiteboard video, http://www.epdemlabs.eu/the-dublin-action-plan-in-few-minutes/