Foundation Knowledge Centre PRO WORK promotes the career development of people with a (significant) distance to the labor market, skilled workers and others who need coaching, training, and counseling in a wide variety of sectors and topics, national and international. PRO WORK operates in sectors like entrepreneurship as this SPEED-You-UP project as well as in IT, sustainability, environment, economy, health care and technology associated with sheltered employment, talent development of youngsters, unemployment, and generation gaps.
PRO WORK is one of the coordinators of a HUB in the Netherlands for NEET young people. First, the idea was to start a HUB in every organisation that was connected to the project, but this seemed to be not realistic as the coaches were not able to arrange all of this by themselves. The official location of the HUB therefor started in the youth centre location at the local sports club (De Westhoek), called the SOOS. Later we opted to also start a so-called HUB at our office when the progress of new young people and the trajectories of existing young people appeared to be decreasing. For that we now describe that we have two HUBS, in which the PRO WORK office is the most prominent HUB now. Within the HUBS we are working with different organisations connected to NEET young people in any way.
Our goal is to be a start in any way to this target group, to do something totally different than to join a coaching session they are used to. It is a change in the trajectory, the input, and the possible outcome. SPEED-You-UP appears not only to trigger concrete hubs, pop-ups, and ideas among young people, but much more something else. Having the idea something is created just for you and not to teach you something like at school, but something you want to achieve in life
Next to that it changed…
…better understanding among organizations that work with these young people, that there are also organizations such as PRO WORK and the partners in the project, who take the effort to write such a project and to think along with them and invest time/money in their target group.
…it provides a start with a youngster to change their mind-set! Suddenly showing up on time for an appointment with a coach, getting enthusiastic while reading the newspaper article about SPEED-You-Up in a local newspaper or stimulating ideas about possible future plans.
…in concrete terms, providing young people with more knowledge and skills regarding entrepreneurship, there is no doubt about that. The modules, containing the activities, provide a better understanding of what entrepreneurship entails and especially how cool it can be!
… and finally, for us as a partner, it results in a change of mind. We hear stories from young people, of which we did not know how serious it could be at times. Drug problems, encountering the law (while we just had a conversation about setting up a clothing line!) and just not being able to figure out what you want with your life as a young person - even if the 'sky is the limit' and you don’t need to think about finances.
"We want to give young people the feeling that they count and CAN MAKE THEIR CHOICE. In any way whatsoever. Whether they want to work at the checkout of the local supermarket or want to start their own shoe brand. It all starts somewhere, with a passion, and idea and we have tried to capture that. We expect nothing from them, except to participate in activities that THEY chose and wanted to undertake. Not us, the coaches or anyone else decided that, they do!"
Tessa den Bakker | Project manager SPEED-You-Up @ PRO WORK
We started to offer mainly coaches the training they need with regards to this project. This involved drawing up an individual program together with the coaches, in which we put together elements from different modules. On behalf of a different trajectory, each coach/institution seemed relevant in relation to their clientele. For this we simply used the website in which all modules were presented, but we also occasionally used adapted activities (made by colleague Dylan Adelaar), which need to be specified and be more appealing to our target group and could be presented in a fun way online.
In addition, we have recently started guiding young people ourselves, without the intervention of intermediaries. This means that together with the young person (and his supervisor) we look at what exactly the need/want is. Here again the modules are leading, but there is less of a specific overarching trajectory and there is therefore a very individual approach.
"The enormous completeness of the offer in all modules is certainly something that we could never have achieved on our own as a partner. Not only in terms of quantity, but also in terms of qualitative content, best practice, and expertise. In that respect, the collaboration is very essential and ensures a deepening of what we offer. Also, the fact that all kinds of partners implement the activities in different ways provides motivation, inspiration, and creative thinking to us when carrying out our projects here locally as well as in the event of setbacks."
Dylan Adelaar | Project IT specialist SPEED-You-Up @ PRO WORK
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