Students and NEET young people, Professionals and Educators work on Employability and Entrepreneurial skills in the battle against school Dropout and Youth UnemPloyment | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Students and NEET young people, Professionals and Educators work on Employability and Entrepreneurial skills in the battle against school Dropout and Youth UnemPloyment

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

Artevelde University College






Project budget

4 423 334

ERDF amount

2 654 000

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    The number of young people (15-24) Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) remains sizeable in the 2 Seas area (ca. 10%) (except the Netherlands), with percentages in the cities involved in this project well above 15%. A significant proportion of these young people left school early and struggles to find sustainable employment. There is a mismatch between the education system, the labour market and the realities of vulnerable youth. For some young people, this leads to demotivation, loss of self-confidence and eventually school dropout and unemployment, posing long-term negative
    consequences for their future and society. Existing solutions are fragmented, focus mainly on cure and do not lead to closer collaborations between key stakeholders or substantial system changes. Our challenge is to develop a sustainable shift towards a prevention method in order to meet the needs of the target group whilst meeting the demands and regulations of all stakeholders.

    Main Achievements

    The number of young people leaving school early and becoming unemployed remains high in the 2Seas region. The COVID19 crisis adds to this challenge and calls for a different approach to support and motivate vulnerable young people to get back on track. SYU offers NEET young people, or those at risk of becoming NEETs, a different approach. From within schools or together with community organisations, they have the opportunity to develop a business pop-up, while at the same time developing entrepreneurial and employability skills.

    The PPs have collaborated to develop an entrepreneurship programme that is tailored to the needs of vulnerable young people. It is based on a community-oriented approach and learning-by-doing. The entrepreneurship programme consists of 8 modules: Intro; Talent & Skills, Discovery; Dreaming; Pitching; Designing; Doing; Lessons Learned. The modules are currently being tested by schools (WP1) and community organisations (WP2). They have been developed with in-built flexibility so that they can be applied in several different ways to best meet the needs and preferences of the young people using them, and to be responsive to the context in which they are used. Each module consists of a suite of ready-made session plans for coaches and school staff. These resources are contained within a ‘toolbox’ with search functionality for ease of use. The entrepreneurship programme is accessible on the project website for all project partners, and the schools and community organisations with whom they work. After the first pilot, the modules will be updated based on the feedback of the professionals and young people who have used them.

    Alongside the entrepreneurship programme, the project partners have developed a range of materials to support schools and community organisations in installing the local entrepreneur hubs.These include guidelines for setting-up collaboration with stakeholders; an inspirational document on how to start a physical entrepreneur hub; a website and online forum; an online tool to assess skills; guidelines on administrative and legal requirements; and exemplar contracts.
    The PPs are currently working together in setting up training sessions for teachers and coaches, which will take the form of webinars and online workshops. In the next year, we look forward to piloting online, physical and hybrid entrepreneur hubs for NEET young people (WP2) while we continue to invest in collaboration with schools (WP1).



    Ville d'Amiens

    Economisch Huis Oostende

    Stadsbestuur Sint-Niklaas

    WSX Enterprise

    Stichting Kenniscentrum Pro Work

    Stad Gent

    Association des Centres Sociaux de Wattrelos

    Plymouth Marjon University

    Devon Mind

    Centre Social Salengro

    Digital Peninsula Network Ltd

    Jong Ondernemen


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    Thema: Social economy & entrepreneurshipInnovative social services
    Type: Pilot and demonstration action
    Target: Citizens