“Early Orientation and Life Skills for all”

That was the title of the event hosted by Tracé Brussel that focused on the presentation of the project’s toolbox as well a policy debate among European youth, employment, and education stakeholders. Project partners from Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania have designed and presented orientation tools, such as a self-evaluation, board game, teaching modules, teacher training and impact assessment, freely available in all the project languages and in English. They support educators and 13–14-year-olds on their educational and professional pathway. Check out the different tools and partners on the Skills for Life website section, as well as the slides below.

In his institutional remarks the Minister for Education of the Brussels region, Sven Gatz, highlighted the importance of early career guidance as well as multilingualism as a key aspects. Rafael Deschka, the Vice Director of the Goethe-Institut in Brussels, described how the project overcame unforeseeable challenges caused by the pandemic and how its content and outputs are more relevant than ever. The European Years on Youth 2022 and Skills in 2023 underline their political relevance.

Panellists as Giuseppina Tucci from OBESSU highlighted the importance of life skills as resilience, learning to learn and critical thinking. ETUC Youth (Lucie Susova) and the European Youth Forum (Claudia Pinto) underlined that labour market conditions for young people have to improve, in particular the regulation of internships. Caroline Kunert from BIBB provided a researcher’s perspective on the importance of early orientation in a world dominated by change. Debora Infante from the education ministry for the Basilicata in Italy stated that the region plans to use the Skills for Life tools for their teachers to equip them with instruments for career orientation in a region marked by high youth unemployment and limited infrastructures. Mentimeter results from the audience can be consulted here.

StartNet Europe Network Meeting

Following the Skills for Life conference, StartNet partners continued with a network meeting rich in impressions, exchanges, and new project ideas. The group visited Cité des Métiers, an open place of vocational guidance and lifelong professional support in the middle of Brussels. The European Commission, through Sabrina Ferraz Guarino (DG EMPL) provided an input about the European Year on Skills 2023. Finally, partners brainstormed together around themes such as orientation, inclusion, youth participation and empowerment, green and digital skills. A busy time is laying ahead to translate these developed ideas into future project collaborations!