For the fourth time since the foundation of the European network, StartNet Europe met from the 25th to the 27th June, hosted on this occasion by StartNet Italy in Bari. Not only an opportunity to get to know better some of the projects and initiatives of the Apulian network but also to address two key issues: communication and the involvement of businesses in the transition from school to work. Prior to this, the partners, coming from six different European countries, took part in a workshop on best practices in career guidance, which began on 24th June at the Impact Hub in Bari.
Communicate well to the right people
For some partner initiatives that have multi-stakeholder projects, the main difficulty lies in the diverse nature of the audience with whom they communicate their work. This includes public administrations (possible funders), partner bodies, non-profit and profit groups, families, representatives of the education system and the young people themselves. What’s the best way to communicate ones activities to different target groups? In many projects, there are no staff or funds allocated exclusively to communication. Communication via the web, newsletters, social media or press offices is not part of daily activities and is carried out by staff who must improvise as "communication managers". Another major challenge that emerged was the use of social media, and in particular Instagram, to reach out to young people who have become "unreachable": disadvantaged young people who have dropped out of school and are not in employment, education or training.
Together with the journalist Letizia Gambini of the European Journalism Centre, the initiatives discussed the key issues and identified the main priorities: to simplify the message, to involve more young people in the creation of social media content, to create specific strategies and communication channels for the target audience.
Visit to Matera European Capital of Culture
Staying in theme, a visit was organised to meet with the communication team of the Matera European Capital of Culture Foundation 2019. The participatory nature of the Foundation's cultural and social programme is also reflected in its communication strategy. Despite the limited number of people employed, the staff manages to coordinate all promotional activities (press, social media, testimonials) of thousands of daily events with the help of an extensive network of small and large local partner associations, which act as “signal repeaters” in the Lucanian region.
The entrepreneur's point of view
Organisation working in the area of school-to-work transition often face a dilemma: they work with educational institutions, schools, families and young people, but they are unable to get businesses involved. Cesare De Palma, president of the Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Section of Confindustria Bari BAT, partner of StartNet Italy, himself the head of a company and guest of the meeting, explained the right way to achieve greater participation from the business world in his experience. First, identify local businesses sensitive to social issues. Second, speak to the heart of entrepreneurs. Third, but most important, offer them an brand image strategy by focusing on social responsibility, asking in return for a concrete commitment in career guidance activities and in useful vocational training for young people.
European and Italian partners who took part in the meeting:
Apprentis D’Auteuil (France)
Cometa (Lombardy, Italy)
Fundación Secretariado Gitanos (Spain)
Jugendnetzwerk OÖ (Austria)
Jump Naar Werk/Tracé Brussel (Belgium)
KAoA Kein Anschluss ohne Abschluss (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland)
NOVA Onlus Consorzio Nazionale per l'innovazione sociale (with cooperatives throughout Italy)
Scoala de Valori (Romania)
We would also like to thank