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Kezdőlap » Study tour: learning about the Ability Work programme

Study tour: learning about the Ability Work programme

    On 3-4 March 2020, our organisation took part in a study tour in the framework of “The NEEDs of the NEETs – Cross-border generational research”.

    The participating Hungarian professionals represented organisations such as the Hope for

    Children Public Benefit Association, the Hungarian Association of Public Benefit

    Organisations for the Unemployed, the National KID Association, the CSAT Association, the

    Sociogramm KFT and the Revita Foundation.

    During the two-day study tour, the invited experts were introduced to the Ability Work

    programme, which provides job seekers with professional professional assistance to boost

    their job retention and acquisition skills in a short period of only 3 months. The programme is

    an effective tool not only for workers but also for employers as a supply of skilled workers.

    Operating since 2018, Ability Work is a niche project based on Swiss good practices and two

    decades of professional experience of its implementers. It aims to develop a method for the

    intensive, in-practice development of target groups that are difficult to integrate into the

    labour market (e.g. NEET young people).

    The programme is currently developing the skills of 24 groups in three types of community

    workshops: textile, handicraft and creative workshops). The programme is implemented in

    Debrecen and Tetétlen, where we spent a day in each of the two cities to get acquainted with

    the local characteristics and the practical operation of the programme.

    As reported by the programme’s implementers, the Ablity Work programme involves the

    input mapping and development of the following 10 key competences: responsibility,

    performance, stress management, creativity, process understanding, conflict management,

    critical competence, communication, adaptability, learning and cooperation.

    The experience of the people living in the study visit sites is that there is a demand for labour,

    but that young people are “unfit” for work: there are both educational (literacy, vocational

    skills) and psychological reasons for this.

    The identification of these competences will greatly help to orientate candidates in the labour

    market in the direction best suited to them. Measurements confirm that 98% of programme

    participants have identified the activities in which they are most successful. The mentors

    involved in the project also said that, in addition to developing competences, it is equally

    important to support participants’ mental support, develop emotional intelligence, praise, and

    learn teamwork skills, in order to develop the human side of work.

    As regards difficulties, there was talk of local disinterest: for example, some young people

    would rather go to work in the community because they get paid more than if they had taken

    part in the scholarship training. The fact that in the long term training can improve their

    prospects of earning money is not taken into account by many.

    There was also talk about the "floating" attitude of NEET youth, i.e. the phenomenon that,

    due to the comfort factors created by parents (mama hotel phenomenon), young people are not

    forced, even in their early 20s, to finally make an independent decision about their future and

    their career choice. The emotional intelligence of the young people in training is also

    developed, inter alia, to deal more effectively with such global negative social phenomena.

    One of the specific target groups among the young people is mothers returning from maternity

    leave, who are perceived as having a problem of over-anxiety about their children. They

    organise their days around childcare and are unable to engage in training/work part-time. The

    worsening of public safety has emerged as an explanatory factor for this problem.

    Two difficulties were mentioned in relation to the sustainability of the programme: firstly, it is

    more difficult each year to attract participants above the threshold level to build up the

    numbers needed to start the groups. This is a particular problem in Tetétlen, where the take-up

    is much lower than in Debrecen.

    Another issue that needs long-term planning is the relationship with employers, getting them

    interested in taking advantage of the potential of these courses. In this context, the

    representative of Pact4Youth said that in order to bridge the gap between labour supply and

    demand, they are working on an Integrated Platform, which could be adapted to other

    countries in the future.

    The study tour, which built on the Ablity Work programme, enabled professionals working

    with young people to learn low-cost, effective techniques that they can successfully apply in

    their daily work. We believe that not only the visitors to Debrecen and Tetétlen, but also our

    hosts have been inspired and given new ideas for the future of the project.

    At the end of the programme, the organisers of the study tour thanked the participants for their

    participation and the useful ideas they had shared with them.