Conference in Siracusa Focusing the Topic of NEETs in Sicily in the Framework of the Young Entrepreneurs Succeed Program

participants of the conference

The partners of the Young Entrepreneurs Succeed (YES!) program, financed by EEA and Norway Grants, have met in Siracusa, Italy, on March 5 and 6 in the conference organized by Microfinanza Srl, “NEETs in Sicily, struggles to access to labour market: objective and personal barriers”.

Giulia Parola speaking at the conference

The conference of the first day was focused on the structural, cultural and financial barriers that prevent young people from expressing their full potential and finding or creating their professional path. One of the speakers was Gian Luca Bombarda, director of specialised knowledge transfer and capacity building company JCP Srl, who participated by videoconference. Due to the Italian government decree to deal with the Covid-19 emergency, the conference was held in a closed-door meeting and broadcast live on YouTube. Giulia Parola, Munich Business School representative in the YES! program, spoke on “Impact Assessment: the importance of measuring mindset change in the NEETs sector”.

As emerges from the research, Italy shows one of the highest rates in Europe: in 2018, there were more than 2 million NEETs, what specifically means that 23,4% of young people between 15 and 29 years old were neither in education nor in employment or training, when the European average was 12% in 2018.

Sicily is, at the same time, the Region with the highest percentage of NEETs, with an incidence of 38,6% on the population. That’s why Microfinanza decided to focus its intervention in this part of the Country, with a percentage of decommited people of 21,9%; unavailable/inactive: 25,1%; opportunity explorers: 15%; and Job seeker: 38%.

Participants had also the chance to participate in two different roundtables, with two different topics covered: on the one hand, the impact of the informal work in approaching and involving NEETs in projects like the YES! program, together with the importance of considering different ways to combat the exploitation of the black economy; on the other hand, the importance of trust when designing programs and projects focused on young and vulnerable people.

On Friday 6, an internal workshop took place where the partners of the program were able to work together on future skills to prepare young people succeed in a future determined by volatility, uncertainty and complexity.

As already mentioned the event focused on the specificities of the Sicilian territory and labour market and the local good practices of all partners that are part of the Young Entrepreneurs Succeed program.

About the EEA and Norway Grants

The EEA and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reduce economic and social disparities and to strengthen bilateral relations with 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.

For the period 2014 to 2021, the total contribution is €2.8 billion (EEA Grants €1.5 billion and Norway Grants €1.3 billion).

Under the EEA Agreement, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are part of the European internal market. The EEA Agreement sets out the common goal of working together to reduce social and economic disparities.