Posts Tagged ‘young’

The Right Skills, Fair Pay and Access to Quality Jobs: Reflections on the German Dual System and How Cities Can Tackle the Youth Jobs Crisis

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

“That says it all. Here they use a BMW cabriolet for apprentice mechanics to train on – back in Italy it’d be an old Fiat cinquecento!”


A Transnational Delegation at Kaiserslautern Vocational Training Centre

We were walking through the vocational training centre in Kaiserslautern, and my Italian colleague was not the only one feeling green with envy as we admired the German dual system in action. Touring the modern well-equipped building, with its range of specialist equipment for sectors as diverse as construction, motor vehicle engineering and plumbing, we couldn’t fail to be impressed.

Most of you will know that the Dual system is a three-way deal between employers, trades unions and training centres. It’s also well known that the model includes all partners contributing to the costs, with the employer contribution recently rising above the 33% level to compensate for the pinch in Länder budgets – yes, even here.

Addressing Urban Youth Challenges at the World Urban Forum

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Last September the World Urban Forum (WUF) in Naples, Italy, gathered many urban practitioners and civil society members throughout the world to discuss tools and methodologies for a better sustainable urban development, both in developed and developing countries.
Kristine Sergejeva, Communication Manager of URBACT, and Raffaele Barbato, Project Officer at URBACT Secretariat, Simina Lazar from Brodolini Foundation in charge of animating the URBACT Local Support Group Community and Eddy Addams, URBACT Thematic Pole Manager, represented the URBACT community there!

The Urban World Forum is such a large event that it’s difficult to get a comprehensive picture of it. That’s why we asked our four URBACT delegates – Kristine, Simina, Raffaele and Eddy – to give us feedback on their experience. Find out below what they learnt at the WUF!

What did you like the most at the World Urban Forum?

Eddy Adams: The fact that it was truly global event. In Europe we are currently very focused on the crisis, so it’s good to get a wider perspective.

Kristine Sergejeva: A kind of sense of ease and informality was one of the characteristics of the Forum. The first impression when I entered the venue of the World Urban Forum was as if I would have been arrived in a large-scale music festival. This impression was given by the feeling of the large open space of the venue, where participants circulated from one event to another, accompanied by the sounds of music provided by some deejays. For one week the forum hosted multiple activities and events, such as dialogues, training events, exhibition, etc. I was amazed by the variety of approaches and tools cities use for coping with their urban challenges and also by the ways how they managed to present these tools in the exhibition and during the events.

What new did you learn during the World Urban Forum?

Kristine: Firstly, we cannot impose urban solutions to each other without understanding the context and the background; Secondly, there is a huge gap among several countries and continents how IT tools and different methods are used for coping with urban challenges; Thirdly, the developments of ITC tools and the change of human communications are one of the biggest influencing factors for urban governance in the future, which should not be forgotten; Fourthly, “gaming” as a concept is more and more often used for facilitating participatory approach in the urban governance.

Raffaele Barbato: There were three main messages according to me:
First, the main challenges for urban development are in developing countries. Here there will be no development without urbanization. In Asia and Africa the pace and the dimension of the urbanization process is dramatic. If well planned, inclusive and sustainable urbanization can be synonym of prosperity and better living conditions. Urbanization is thus a key factor for achieving Millennium Goals. Better urbanization facilitates better development!
Second, to support this urbanization, national governments shall develop and implement comprehensive and innovative national urban policies. But a top-down national led urbanization process is not the only answer.
Third, the cities are at front of this process. They need legitimacy, powers, and financial tools to adapt their planning process to the growing and changing threats. Cities also need to be innovative and inclusive taking into account the multiplication of actors and stakeholders to be involved in a participative process of policy-making.

What has been the involvement of URBACT in the programme of the 6th World Urban Forum?

Raffaele: URBACT organized one of the 133 networking events held in the framework of the Forum. With a Focus on the theme of co-production, particularly, in relation to young people, we presented some innovative solutions developed by local institutions involved in URBACT, stressing the importance of the URBACT method, especially, in creating the ground for genuine co-production with the Local Support Groups .

Simina Lazar: URBACT held one of the parallel networking events. A challenging task, considering the high number of parallel sessions (more than 20). The number of persons that attended as well as their feedback was an important result that demonstrated that the subject discussed was not only pertinent but very useful and of actuality.

Do you feel that co-production and the issue of young people’s involvement are key issues which are integrated in local urban policies?

Eddy: The whole issue of cutover involvement is key in my view. I think this will be a hot topic as public service reform rises up the urban agenda in the coming period.

Simina: Even though they are key issues and should be integrated to local urban policies, this passage is not obvious to all, especially to policy makers. As a general rule, it should be reminded more often that the youth of today are tomorrow’s decision makers.

Neapolitan pupils discovering the Port of Naples

Friday, May 20th, 2011

portonapoliOne of the activities in the framework of the URBACT CTUR Project is to involve the schools of the city and their 1000 pupils. The President of the Port Authority of Naples, Luciano Dassatti, met 1000 students from  junior schools to talk about the sea and the ports. The project “The Port of Naples meets the schools“ drawn up by the Port of Naples Newsletter staff, was created to communicate the value of marine and port culture, in the way of transforming the port and its multiple protagonists into an educational tool.

Twenty Neapolitan schools (one from each Municipality of the city) enthusiastically joined the project.

After some meetings with the School Managers to examine the points of interest to run alongside the educational programme, the project started:

  • Phase I: The President of the Port Authority, Luciano Dassatti visits the schools to explain to the children the organization of the port;
  • Phase II: the children and their teachers visit the port to gain direct experience. A discussion on the strategic elements of the commercial and passenger terminals, a visit to a ship and the project’s creators explain the port and what it does.
  • This phase finishes with a 30-minute video made by the children from the ten schools that participated in the initiative.

The project started in September in coincidence with the start of the school year and ended in May in the Maritime station in Naples with a final show that  has got everybody who worked on the project together.

The students and teachers were instantly enthusiastic. The schools have visited the port of Naples and the children have asked numerous and interesting questions.
An open laboratory and a window on the world: the port acquires greater value by becoming a place for the exchange of goods from far away places and a centre of teaching. With this project “The Port of Naples meets the schools “, the port demonstrates its cosmopolitan character and openness that is connected to values of professionalism and respect for man.

Fiorinda Corradino
Manager of the Study Office of the Port Authority of Naples
CTUR Partner

Jugendbauhütte – Youth Masons’ Lodge: Voluntary Year in Monument Preservation for Young people between 18 and 26

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The ‘Jugendbauhütte’ (young_regensburgYouth Mason’s Lodge) is a project of ‘Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz’ (German Foundation for Monument Preservation) organized by the International Youth Community Services (ijgd) that offers young people between 18 and 26 to do a voluntary year in monument preservation and care.

The work places are museums and cultural institutions, archaeological institutions, organizations involved in the preservation of historic ground and gardens as well as crafts and building firms (carpentry, masonry, processing of natural stones, etc.), monument preservation authorities , architectural and planning offices and research institutes. There are twelve ‘Jugendbauhütten’ in Germany, one of them being located in Regensburg, the URBACT HerO project Lead Partner city.

The voluntary year starts on 1st Sepember each year. The practical work will be accompanied by 35 days of seminars where the young people learn about ancient handicraftsman techniques (like blacksmith, stucco and clay sculpturing), constructing using natural materials, constructions styles, archaeology and the protection of antiques. During the seminars the participants learn, work and live together and thus also have the opportunity to exchange experiences with other volunteers. The ijgd covers pocket money, maintenance costs, extra fund for an apartment, the participation in seven seminars as well as social and medical insurance.

The ‘Jugendbauhütten’ started as a pilot project in 1999. In the meantime their social value has been acknowledged by numerous awards such as the UNESCO Award for Sustainability in 2007 and the Europa Nostra Award for European Heritage in 2008.

The voluntary year in monument preservation and care applies to young people not only from Germany but also from abroad (basic knowledge of German language is required). If you are interested, please find further information on the websites of  ijdg and ‘Deutsche Stiftung

Barbara Bühler
HerO Lead Partner

(Photograph: City of Regensburg, Peter Ferstl)

Getting Visions from Children and Youngster – The Creative School Contest in Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary

Friday, January 7th, 2011

young_contestUnder the URBACT Creative Clusters project, the Municipality of Hódmezóvásárhely launched the “Creative School Contest” at the end of November 2009. The main topic of it was how young children imagine the city in 15 years. The leadership of the town regards the young generation’s opinion and imagination is really important and significant, because the town is built for them, so their ideas are crucial and are the base of local development.

The contest was announced in every primary and secondary schools in the town between the age of 11 and 18. Students could handle their work either individually or in groups. The contest deadline was 12 March, 2010, so children had 4 months to think about their future town. It was a positive shock for us that more than 44 pieces of arts have arrived from 9 town’s schools. The composition of the arts was very mixed: 36 pieces of paintings or drawings, 6 mock-ups, 1 statue and 2 PPT presentations.
The students expressed not only their creativity and fantasy, but also their wishes through their work. More children imagined fountains and baths with huge slides in the city centre, but shopping centre, cinema, zoo and skateboard ground also appeared. Lots of children’ ideas were impressed by the present panel programme (renovation of big block of flats), so they made drawings/paintings which represented colourful buildings with different patterns.
There were several children who besides the amusement, regarded energy-reformation as a really important fact, so they would like to see wind powerstations in Vásárhely in the future. Among the wide-choice, there was only one ceramic-work, a multi-functioning tower with more floors and rooms, named after the late museum director.

The arts were appraised by a 6 member jury, which consisted of ceramists, artists, the museum director, painter and teachers. The opinion of the jury was that young generation had lots of amazing, creative, new ideas and in their decision the most important aspect was what kind of new technologies and methods were used in order to prepare the arts.
The winners were the students of Gábor Klauzál Primary School. Their work was the most complex and it was the closest to the reality and the ideas were absolutely feasible. They have made a presentation about the present situation and at the same time it contained their plans for the future, which are mainly connected to sport activities, just like go-kart, canoe ground, skateboard ring and fountains.

The winners of the contest, three children at the age of 13, won a 4 days Study Visit in Kortrijk, Belgium, together with the URBACT Creative Clusters partnership. I have a positive note for the contest: seven months after the initiative, the municipality has already realized two ideas from the winner teams’ imagination. One of them is the skateboard ring, while the other is the fountains. I think that young generation dream the future.

Anikó Varga
Hódmezővásárhely, Partner in URBACT Creative Clusters Project

Thematic workshop in Romania: Creative Clusters “Diversifying Local Economic Base and Opportunities to Young People”

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

logo-creativeThe thematic workshop Creative Clusters: diversifying local economic base and opportunities to young people will take place in Mizil, Romania (October 29-30, 2009), in the ambit of the URBACT Network “Creative Clusters in Low Density Urban Areas” that reunites 10 cities from all over Europe, in which Óbidos is the Lead Partner.

This event will be the first of a series of Thematic Workshops that will be organised during the next 2 years centred on the other themes addressed by the network: events and cultural agendas as catalysts; promoting the creative city: a new range of facilities and infrastructures; creative entrepreneurs and talented people: attraction and retaining; setting the basis: creative education environments at local levels.

Aside from the symposium, the signature of the Óbidos Charter – A Pact for Creativity by an additional number of Romanian councilmen who have become associated to the movement and objectives of the network will be an important moment of the event.
We recall that in the Óbidos Charter strategic orientations were defined and an action plan was put in place in what concerns the promotion of creativity in public policies at a European, regional and local level.

David Vieira

Connecting the dots – URBACT and EU Structural Funds

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Diary of an internship with the MY GENERATION project

mygeneration1The EU PHARE programme created a Young Professionals Scheme to attract and prepare young people for the Romanian public administration. Following a one year Master in Rotterdam, four Romanian students did a one month internship with the City of Rotterdam, lead partner of the MY GENERATION project about the positive potential of young people for the development of cities. 

URBACT enables cities to work together to develop solutions to major urban challenges, but it does not finance the implementation of these solutions. Therefore, URBACT recommends cities to find financing opportunities within EU structural funds by creating bonds with Managing Authorities for ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and ESF (European Social Fund). During their internship, the Romanian students tried to find the funding opportunities within the specific ERDF and ESF programmes for the cities of Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and the Tirgu-Mures (Romania). The outcomes of their work, also analysing the differences between ERDF and ESF in The Netherlands and Romania, are summarised here.

Razvan Bucurean: “The idea of creating a strong bond between municipalities and the youth and to create a cultural identity for young people as members of their community was rather new for us. Coming from a country that still faces serious economic drawbacks, the scarcity of opportunities for the young is quite severe. Perhaps it was because of our backgrounds that we found the experience so intriguing”.

Cleo Pouw

Are young Europeans indifferent ?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

We sometimes hear that the young generations are selfish, passive and resigned, more interested in the last TV shows than in the world’s changes. And that they fear for their own future, not for the one of society.

The 45 young Europeans – associated to URBACT project MY Generation – who met in Rotterdam in April convey a completely different picture. They appear as involved, determined, and creative.

Coming from 11 European cities, mostly from deprived areas, they display a maturity and an energy which are precious for our cities.

But better than a long description, watch this video of their meeting…

Read more :

The URBACT newsletter article
My Generation website