“Mobility, Motivation, Mentoring. This is the ET-NEET’s philosophy that has made this 2- year Erasmus + Project such a success.” These comments made by Ross Walker, TeachSport distilled the project’s aims, vision and goals at the ET-NEET’s Final Conference in Lewisham, 29th July 2016. The event was well attended where representatives from the OECD, Directory for Social Change, Erasmus+ Co-ordinator and other International Youth Training authorities heard about the ET-NEET’s Project, Key findings & Tools and the next steps for this unique project.
The ET-NEET’s Webplatform (www.et-neets.eu), an online software tool that allows young people, training organisations and NEET Teachers to search for relevant training courses and interact and communicate with other users, was demonstrated to the audience by CWEP with many organisations joining the stakeholder database there and then. This Webplatform is a resource to encourage stakeholder-wide engagement with the ET-NEET’s Project, and crucially to host the unique tailored ‘Course Finder’. It also provides target groups interested in the ET-NEET’s Project content with a hub for discovering; National Policy, Recommended Studies/Projects and Training Toolkits. It is an essential resource for individuals and organisations in the field of NEET/Youth training and provides a solid base on which to foster even more engagement and facilitate a more ‘joined up working approach’ within the sector.
Additionally, Jonathan Wilson, Sea Teach then showcased (the soon to be published) Training Materials for NEET Teachers (TMNT), outlined to the audience the development of the training toolkit, and highlighted the successes of the Pilot NEET Training Courses with the ET-NEET’s official video.
Kyron Williams & Thomas Clements, two young NEET’s, who attended the ET-NEET’s NEET Training Courses shared their inspirational experiences of being involved with the project and their subsequent move into employment and their stories acted as a reminder to the reasons why we are involved in this field of work.
“It showed me a life and new opportunities that I could achieve. Since then I have volunteered on a NEET Traineeship and I am now working with them. It is all thanks to the work the ET-NEET’s Project has done, because without them I would have never thought I could make it to where I am heading now”- Kyron Williams, Young NEET Course Participant
Sebastian Koenigs from the OECD presented insights into the EU-Wide NEET situation with an interesting analysis of large scale trends and statistics of affected individuals. Key observations included the value of the Youth Guarantee in assisting young NEET’s but that implementation was a challenge and that early intervention in schooling outcomes is a key tool for tackling NEET levels.
The conference then heard from Debra Tyler, CEO Directory for Social Change. This UK umbrella charity provides support to a number of youth charities with training courses, publications and other resources and Debra passionately supported the vision and outcomes of the ET-NEET’s Project and re-iterated the importance of engaging and empowering young people who are in a vulnerable situation to foster the motivation and ambition that is needed to change their lives.
Concluding the event Julie McCafferty from Ballymun Job Centre, drew our attention to the similar Erasmus+ project Net Not NEET. Julie spoke about the NNN Toolkit echoing Sebastain Koenig’s comments that ‘prevention is better than cure’ when it comes to managing the situations that lead young people to become NEET, and presented the idea of a ‘flexible definition of success’. There were many key points of common ground between the two projects providing significant potential for future collaboration.
The ET-NEET’s Project continues to provide exciting new approaches to the training of NEET’s and the unique Toolkits and Software apps work to achieve ‘Effective Training for NEET’s’. Going forward, next steps are underway with the aim of furthering and building upon the project’s work, to extend the reach of the toolkit, materials & Webplatform and continue to shape an even more comprehensive approach to effectively training NEETs.