The European Gateway – Creating Better Conditions for International Professional Mobility of Youth

September 2016 was the official start of The European Gateway. This is a project which aims to change the way both professionals and young people view, implement and experience international professional mobility for youth. Association FOR YOU, Bulgaria, joined 7 other partners from 4 European countries: France, Spain, Greece and Italy ( Uniser Italy, FRMFR Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Cemea AquitaineCOPAE Ilis, CFA Gustave Eiffel Bordeaux, Esmovia – Training and Mobility, Praktica, Training & Consulting). All of these organisations are established professionals in the fields of youth work, education, and business.

European training organisations have numerous good practices for the implementation of mobility for apprentices and trainees of continuous studies. However, many of them struggle with difficulties and reluctance when attempting to increase the number of participants and to attract young people to enrol in international professional mobility.

Why did we choose to engage with European Gateway?

Association FOR YOU is a bridge between young people and educational and professional institutions. This is why it was a natural step for us to join the European Gateway. It enables us to share our experience and to contribute to the creation of a Pan-European framework. All of this will facilitate youth professional mobility.

Over time, we at Association FOR YOU have worked with the youth in Varna and in the whole country helping in their personal and professional development, through the methods of non-formal education. We also provide support to young people in their search for volunteering, internship, and work opportunities. We have established strong partnerships with educational, business, and administrative institutions at local, national, and international level.

Our association actively supports young people in a disadvantaged situation. We have a youth development centre which applies Norwegian methods and helps youngsters from institutions, young people temporarily housed in crisis centres and centres of family type. We believe that European Gateway can give equal chance for the professional realisation to trainees and apprentices from different backgrounds.

What are the aims of the European Gateway?

The aim of European Gateway is to motivate the trainee or the apprentice to engage actively and take the main role in the skill sharing process. The project also aims to create solutions for the common issues for European countries. These matters are unemployment, integration of youth in an active work environment, better quality of the professional training acquired by established professionals. This will increase geographically the quality of the labour. It will be done through the distribution of the best practices, knowledge and skills of each country.

Part of the participants from all partnering countries in the International technical committee of The European Gateway.

Who will benefit from the European Gateway method?

  • Trainee/Apprentice
  • Sending Organisation (University, School, Training Centre)
  • Receiving Organisation (Business)
  • Pedagogical/Training Teams (both in sending and receiving organisations)
Members of the International Technical Committee in session.

How European Gateway will facilitate professional youth mobility?

The project will also create a common international framework, containing work code, methods of implementation, documentation guidelines, and shared knowledge base to help all the sides in the mobility to apply, enrol and work easier on an international level. This will happen in 4 stages, from September 2016 to June 2019:

  1. Production of European Gateway toolkit. It will be an internet platform containing information for all actions that need to occur to implement successful mobility. The toolkit will include details about procedures, methods of selection, and documentation kits for all participants in the mobility – companies, educators, and trainees. The project also entails the introduction of LEFE. LEFE is a quality label and certification for organisations and companies of sending and receiving.
  2. Training for the companies and tutors, who will be brought to lead the experimentation.
  3. Experimentation and testing of the methods developed by the participants in the project. At this stage, there will be conducted 40 mobilities for trainees and apprentices. They will have a duration of a minimum of 2 weeks in all of the partner countries. Each organisation, including Association FOR YOU,  will send 5 interns to a partner abroad and will host 5 foreign interns during the project.
  4. Assessment, analysis, and valorisation of the project and its dissemination with national seminars and an international symposium.

We believe that European Gateway will create conditions for professional, cultural, and language adaptation and integration of young people and businesses in Europe. The project will also facilitate concrete and practical exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas on current and future professionals.