New actions against unemployment in the European Union
Researchers evaluated tools in several European countries and presented the results on a conference.
In cooperation with international partners from the EU funded project ‘Job Developer’ occupational scientists from the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) evaluated new actions against youth unemployment. From 2015 until 2018 the project team developed a certification program. Experienced professionals can use that program to educate themselves further to mentors in order to support young job applicants on their journey to become self-employed. The researchers identified potentials and resistances of the actions which they discussed on the conference on the 6th of June 2018 at the RUB against the background of digitalisation.
Individual development plan for each job applicant
In the framework of the project 55 mentors, so called ‚Job-Developer‘, got educated and supported 70 youths from Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Spain and Lithuania to create their own business ideas in the form of services or products - dependant on the potentials of each country. Thus, more than 100 new services came about. The researchers tested the marketability on the basis of 20 examples in the region Gabrovo, Bulgaria. The most popular services in the region were in the field of electrical installation, consultant for herbal medicine and garden aid. “During the mentoring for every youth a long-term invested personal development plan was developed “, said Dr. Martin Kröll, Manager of the project.
Certification program for Job-Developer
The Job-Developer use three tools: the talent diagnosis, with which they can develop the individual strengths of the job applicants; the employment radar, which analyses the potentials of the local employment environment; and the experts hearing, which got the job applicants in contact with successful employees who have access to a network in each particular sector. The aim was to develop a personal development plan for the youths together with experts from practice. The concepts originate from the organisation „Minipreneure“(SHS Foundation, Saarbrücken); researchers adjusted them to the individual requirements of the participating countries and evaluated them.
A certification program in English as well as in German, consisting of five self-learn modules emerged from the project. The training for the Job-Developer enables people to organise and implement the talent diagnosis, the employment radar and the experts hearing.
Feasibility study evaluates three tools
The feasibility study concluded that individual strengths of the youths can be detected with the talent diagnosis. Furthermore, the instrument supports the self-confidence of the job applicants and delivers a starting point for the career counselling. Nevertheless, the Job-Developer pointed out that it is quite challenging to detect the expandable competences of the youths with the tests. Other resistances can be possible, if IT- supported tests have too high acquisition costs and too many talent funding concepts can’t be harmonized.
Participants consider the employment radar as a structured and creative method to make the market development more transparent and detect the employment potential in a region. Nevertheless, the youths point out that there might be plagiarism because within the framework of the measurement they disclose their business concepts to other participants and experts. An organisational challenge was the analysis of the interviews of the market research due to the large amount of data.
Participants saw the potential of the experts hearing especially in the possibility to get direct contact with the experts who inspired, motivated, and encouraged them to reflect their professional development. “This element helps closing the gap between the education system and the requirements of the labour market“, concludes Martin Kröll. Problems occur in the practical implementation because experts couldn’t be reached that easy or didn’t communicated on eyes level with the job applicants.
Conference in Bochum
Despite shortage of skilled workers youth unemployment as well as long-term unemployment is a challenge in Germany. Hence, actors from the economy, science and social sectors discuss three questions on the conference: How can potentials of the Job-Developer concept be used sustainable? How can identified resistances be handled? Where can Job-Developer and other initiatives cooperate and learn from each other to fight unemployment?
Project team members present the results from each EU country. Following experts will participating on the conference: Prof. Dr. Peter Hartz, who discusses his considerations to develop the labour market reforms with the audience, as well as Dominik Schad, Manager of the job centre district Recklinghausen, Joachim Wolff, Institute for Employment research Nürnberg, and Heinrich Bär, overall coordinator of the ‘Ausbildungsbrücke’ in Lüneburg. Media representatives are warmly welcome to participate as well.
Dr. Martin Kröll
Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft
Tel.: 0234 32 23293