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Young people find their own skills

Our mission is simple. We cannot do anything about youth unemployment, but we can make unemployment more fairly distributed. Can young people in the districts of Rosengård and Seved in Malmö really have the same chances of a job? That is the starting point for the New City project, which works with coaching young people.

 

Coacher i projektet

Adem Özay and Henrik Nilsson are two of the seven coaches in New City. Photo: Torsten Thunberg

- They come to us voluntarily and often on their own initiative. They are young people who cannot get into the labour market, says Lone Lindström, chairman of the association “House of Dreams” in the middle of Rosengård, in Malmö.

Young people aged between 18 and 24 can get help to link up with government agencies among other organizations, and participate in activities that can open up the path to work.

- We coach. We reason with and help young people to discover their skills. Thinking a bit further than the only job I might be able to get is warehouse work. Perhaps we go with them to talk to people at a folk high school or a workplace, says Henrik Nilsson, one of seven coaches in New City.

Coaching young people and employers

In meetings with employers, the young people introduce themselves and present their CVs. At the latest “speed-dating”, 18 young people introduced themselves and seven got a job.

The coaches have made thorough preparations. They have worked with CVs and presentations with the participants. The assistance lies often in helping them find their own skills, and the kind of experience they believe employers are not interested in.

- They just want to know what jobs I have had in the past - and I haven’t had any,” participants may say.

 The coaches also work intensively with employers. The group calls perhaps seventy or eighty employers to invite them and only ten really want to come. Others want to come just because it is good PR for them to be seen in this context. The coaches tell the employers that it is about young people in their 20s, who have had no special training.

The parties have learned from this way of working

Already, parties in the project have learned from this way of working. The Job Centre in Malmö has coaches that search for their target group, schools and social services in the same way as in New City. The social services have even started open social counselling with a social worker, where people can drop in without an appointment.

New City in the future

The New City project was previously included in the EQUAL programme. Now part two is in progress and there is a need for a third part can be applied for this year. It takes time to try and find good methods and gain credibility – in this case, as much as seven or eight years. In the continuation project the goal is to develop and refine the methods, including the establishment of a business network to work with, learn from, and also demonstrate obstacles to young people in the labour market.

More information 

Projektbanken at esf.se