When working for young people, their education and their transition to work, you need to have them at the core of the activities right from the start. This is one of the powerful messages coming out of the StartNet workshop at the European Week of Regions and Cities that took place in Brussels on October 10th 2019 together with Regione Puglia (Apulian Region).

In our session, “A Europe for and with young people – participatory, collective and regional action”, partners from the StartNet project of the Goethe-Institut and Stiftung Mercator were sharing their experiences:
Jump naar werk in Brussels is working with school students in their final year, informing them together with employers, trade unions, public employment services, and the regional government about the regional labour market requests and opportunities. Mladi plus, a trade union and youth organisation, works with and for young precarious workers, students, and unemployed people contributing to the implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee in Slovenia and advocating for youth inclusion, participation as well as decent jobs. PugliaCompetenze is working on the analysis, teaching, certification, and constant updating of competences in the region by engaging with the employment, education and training sectors.

To achieve a Collective Impact it is essential to start cross-sectoral cooperation at the beginning of a project by building trust and focussing on common objectives. Youth participation is essential to empower young people, to create sustainable measures that really respond to their needs.
Regional action is vital for young people’s transition to work. It is close enough to impact local realities, while also permitting strategic planning and connecting to other regions, national or European experiences.
How can the EU-Kommission better support such work? The panellists: by securing decent jobs for young people, by strengthening regional competences and finally by allowing EU projects the right to fail and by securing better and more long-term funding.
StartNet continues to connect sectors, partners and regions to build bridges between education and employment, between citizens and Europe.

Rossana Ercolano, Expert on Regional System of Competences, Apulia Region, Italy.
Tea Jarc, President, Sindikat Mladi plus, Slovenia.
Elke Kaschl Mohni, Director for South-West Europe, Goethe-Institut, Germany.
Sebastiano Leo, Regional Minister for Labour and Education, Regione Puglia, Italy.
Vincent Verrydt, Staff memeber Education – Labour, Tracé Brussel, Belgium.
The workshop was graphically recorded. This is the result: