YOUNIC (2016-2018) is a strategic training project within the framework of the Key Action 2 (KA2) of the Erasmus+ program. With Mundus Association as coordinator, it involved the participation of partners inside and outside the EU. Activities of professional qualification were developed, as well as youth intercontinental mobility projects in local volunteering projects.
Since the 2008 world economic crisis, the EU has struggled to fight youth unemployment through a variety of initiatives and programs. This struggle was even greater after the so-called "migration crisis", whereby, in December 2015, the total number of asylum applications in the EU was around two million. The majority of these people were unemployed youth persons with fewer opportunities: a low level of education, often unaccompanied and/or at risk of violence. In addition, to this group there are also young people who live in rural areas with a more difficult access to the benefits of the Information Society and public resources aimed at their personal growth (youth centers, street work projects, social mediators, access to their first job due to the lack of opportunities in their close environment ...).
All the organisations that are part of this strategic project coordinated by Mundus experienced those two crises, because they work directly with young people with fewer opportunities: young unaccompanied minors, young refugees, young migrants, young people who come from rural isolated areas, young people who come from a poor economic environment, youngsters who suffered violence and abuse within their families, etc.
For both the European partners and for the partners from countries out of the EU, the experience refers to the same categories of young people in situations that, although they may vary in terms of the socio-economic or cultural contexts, they have eventually the same results: unemployment and social exclusion. Therefore, all YOUNIC’s partners agreed on a common lack of transferable skills and key competences among these young people is the major concern.
Young people -especially long term unemployed or those who haven’t completed higher education- need competencies to be able to adapt to the different areas of the labor market and support their possibilities of finding a job, or be able to create their own.
For the abovementioned reasons, YOUNIC project was useful to provide to six different organizations with extensive experience and the opportunity of working with young people with fewer opportunities through numerous activities and, at the same time, resources to develop local youth groups with fewer opportunities that put their own initiatives into action, which are still in place today.
The project provided young people, from countries within and outside Europe, with the opportunity to take part in short and long-term educational mobility projects as a valuable tool to boost youth employment and facilitate social inclusion. As a result, the project had a triple impact: on the organizations, on the youth workers/mediators, and on the young people.
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