Youth unemployment rate in European Union amounts 14.2%. Finding a job is not easy and requires not only formal education, but also soft skills and a good knowledge about future employer.
Which skills are valued most during job recruitment process?
How to prevent discrimination in the workplace?
How to find a job abroad?
All this and much more were topics of the Youth Exchange co-funded by Erasmus Plus programme in Terrassa (Spain).
Four participants and one group leader represented UK and sending organisation Abroadship.org during Youth Exchange in Terrassa, located near Barcelona in Spain. Altogether more than 24 participants from Ireland, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain took part in the exchange. We were hosted by an organisation La Víbria Intercultural in Terassa.
The goal of the project EmPLAYability, when finding a job becomes a strategy game, was to increase the possibilities of employability and develop soft skills through non-formal education activities and encourage social inclusion and active participation in the society.
The organizers prepared a well thought-out programme and used different group work techniques. Here are a few highlights from our activities during YE:
Theatre of the oppressed during the workshop with professional actors we had a possibility to explore oppression experienced in common situations and were given an opportunity to become actors and search for alternative solutions. We acted scenes related to different situations at the workplace and during recruitment process.
Escape room on the topic of employability we had an opportunity to step into shoes of an interviewer and discover what kind of skills are valued during job recruitment process and what kind of personal features are needed for a future job. Some of them include responsibility, negotiation and conflict resolution, ability to work under time pressure and time management, flexibility and self-motivation.
Photo booth first we discussed different topic related to employment using a fishbowl method, applied for a spontaneous discussion in a large group. Later we created a hashtag and a photo on the topic of discussion.
Interview lab a great opportunity to play roles both interviewee and interviewer in three different situations: first job, part time job and a project manager. It was a great chance to get a constructive feedback and test ourselves in a situation close to reality.
We presented UK on two occasions: discussion on employment situation in the UK and during international night. Especially interesting was to show the situation on the job market in the UK as all of participants come from different regions of the country and are on different stages of professional career. Even if youth unemployment rate in UK is lowest than in EU, still there are many issues related to work, such as zero-hours contract, high costs of living, access to education and immigration.
During YE organizers enabled us to explore Terrassa and Barcelona and to learn more about issues related to employment in this region. We were invited to the Terrassa town hall where we were greeted by a youth representative. She highlighted the importance of youth mobility and non formal education in this region, where youth unemployment reaches nearly 30%.
We would like to thank the organizers from la Vibria International for preparing a very professional and interesting YE programme, for a warm welcome and for leaving us space to develop our own creative ideas. Thanks to YE we are not only better prepared to job search in the future, but also more aware of social issues related to employment, such as discrimination and stereotypes in the workplace.