MY GENERATION NETWORK
OF ALL PARTNERS
My Generation has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through
the URBACT II Operational Programme
City of Rotterdam
My Generation Project/URBACT II
Final version: September 29th 2008
1 State of play and focus
Rotterdam‟s motto is: „All inhabitants of Rotterdam are world citizens, but also city-dwellers. The latter
is what binds them, whatever their differences‟. This also applies to young people. In Rotterdam, there
are 300,000 young people aged between 0 and 23. The majority grow up healthily and safely. They
are able to develop their talents, enjoy taking part in society and are capable of providing for them
selves without any assistance.
Every child’s a winner
Unfortunately, this does not apply to all children. Some 20% of youngsters experience isolated
problems relating to their development, upbringing and education. These problems are translated into
educational disadvantage and premature departure from school, among other things. Half of this
group, approximately 30,000 children, experience problems in two or more areas of their lives. These
can be expressed in the form of behavioural problems. The number of problem pupils – those who
stay at home and youngsters who are difficult to find a place for – is on the increase. For 10.000
youngsters, the risks or problems are so serious that the youth care services have to be brought in.
The problems of these children are increasing, in both numbers and severity. In the past few years,
the youth network has been unable to address these problems adequately. Risks were not spotted
and removed soon enough, so that problems arose which took on alarming forms. This situation called
for a breakthrough. For this reason, two conferences were held in 2006 and 2007, which were
attended by all parties involved in the field. The problem was explored and possible solutions explored
The new, joint approach, entitled „Every child‟s a winner‟ (Ieder kind wint), was set out in ten
objectives, thereby enhancing the prevention side. A hundred percent of the children will be seen by
the youth health service before it is too late, with high-risk youngsters receiving extra attention. There
will also be one regional identification system, an electronic child file, including a risk management
system. Professionals who work with children will be equipped to spot risks and problems sooner and
better and every school will get a Care Advice Team (ZAT). This team has a direct relationship with
the Centres for Youth & Family (CJG), which are to be set up. All (sub-) municipalities will be linked to
these. The CJGs will serve as low-threshold facilities for people with questions about growing up and
raising children; they will be the coordination point for professionals from the „front line‟ and form a link
with youth care. The connection between demand and supply in the care will also be strengthened.
Problems relating to differences in financing and management will be resolved. Data will be recorded
in a uniform way and the procedures used by different agencies coordinated, on the basis of quality,
client-friendliness and efficiency. The quality and effectiveness of what is on offer will be improved by
inspections and the use of best practices. Subsequently, only tried and tested, successful and
promising provisions will be employed. Innovation that contributes towards the goal is encouraged, as
are meetings and exchanges between partners in the youth network. The realisation and management
of the accompanying programme is a joint responsibility, which has been in the hands of a steering
group since then.
We also have the parenting debates. Parents have prime responsibility for raising their children. In
Rotterdam, they are not alone, however. Professionals such as teachers, childcare assistants, adults
on the street or at sports clubs all do their bit. The municipal authority invites its citizens to come along
regularly to discuss the influence adults have on how Rotterdam‟s children grow up, in the form of
parenting debates. Four themes are at the heart of these debates: care, a sense of security, sexuality
Rotterdam’s doing it!
The positive approach also characterises our action programme on juvenile nuisance, entitled „Provide
space by setting boundaries, Rotterdam‟s doing it!‟ (2007).The programme is geared towards both the
prevention and the reduction of juvenile nuisance. We employ a three-pronged method: 1) setting
boundaries & providing opportunities, 2) maintenance & management and 3) social & physical
investment. We want to strengthen youth work in quantitative terms, including the professionalism of
the disciplines involved in the approach to juvenile nuisance. Nowadays, the starting point of the Sub-
municipal Organisation Comprehensive Approach (DOSA) is „one youngster, one family, one plan and
one boss who directs the implementation‟. In addition to this, all problematic youth groups in the „youth
focus areas' are tackled in phases. We are going to update the programme of facilities in the
neighbourhoods and, in doing so, try to link up better with the needs of young people. One thing that is
being developed is an investment programme „Social Trust‟, geared towards improving the image
youngsters and adults have of each other. The programme concentrates on debate and shared
activities, with a specific focus for each neighbourhood. The Internet is the means of communication
for reaching the youngsters. In this way, we are aiming for a substantial improvement in the quantity
and quality of the approach to juvenile nuisance. Crucial is the united cooperation of all parties and
agencies involved, based on the principle „one youngster, one family, one plan and one boss who
directs the implementation‟. The aim? In five years, there will no longer be a „high‟ or „heightened‟ risk
of juvenile nuisance in the twenty neighbourhoods where the project is taking place, but this risk will
have been reduced to „normal‟.
Your talent counts
In Rotterdam, a lot of attention is paid to problem youths, to reducing juvenile nuisance. More attention
should be devoted to the 80% of young people who are doing fine. A place should also be created for
them in the city. In addition, more could be invested in Rotterdam‟s „high potential‟ youth. At the
moment, little is done for them. This group of youngsters could start to become bored in a city. It is
therefore important for all young people that they receive help to discover and develop their own,
individual talents. Good examples of this are Rotterdam as European Youth Capital and Student City.
More than before, therefore, we want to work, in conjunction with young people, to stimulate their
talents and possibilities. That gives the youngsters and us a kick: getting down working together in a
positive way. Human capital – of all ages – is our main asset!
European Youth Capital
Whilst the national population is rapidly ageing, Rotterdam has a young population. However, the
municipality also gets the worst score of all Dutch municipalities when it comes to children‟s rights.
The necessary work needs to be done, therefore, before Rotterdam can proclaim itself the first ever
„European Youth Capital‟ in 2009, because that is the idea behind the Rotterdam initiative. In 2007,
the Municipal Executive took up the challenge and a bit of ambition will come in handy here. The fact
of the matter is, Rotterdam still tends to present the wrong lists. That too easily gives the impression
that young people cause the city more trouble than pleasure, that we don‟t love our young people.
Their talents are not sufficiently nurtured, their opinions are not solicited and heeded often enough and
genuine social involvement usually goes unnoticed. The municipal council has set itself the task of
turning the tide, as first European Youth Capital. This can only succeed if young people are given
more say and are highly involved in the design of their city and therefore their future.
It is our conviction that youngsters can and want to share responsibility for establishing a better
intercultural society. All parties – schools, businesses, municipal departments, organisations, citizens
both young and old – must feel challenged to do their bit to make Rotterdam a true Youth Capital, not
only in 2009, but certainly afterwards too. The Municipal Executive has called in the European Youth
Capital foundation to set this process in motion and to give young people a key role in it. This is a
wonderful opportunity, which the foundation grasped with great pleasure and conviction. The city is
what we are together. Youth capital is also something we can only be together. Since 2007, the
foundation‟s staff has been meeting with young people and all relevant organisations to put some flesh
on the bones of these ambitions. Together, they are unleashing a dynamism that will lead to a better
society in the most literal sense of the word. At least a thousand young Rotterdammers are to make
an active contribution towards the project. This not only refers to all the activities that will take place in
2009, but even more to the youth panels, youth ambassadors, brainstorming sessions, the friends
group on social networking site HYVES, promotion team, website, web radio and digital TV. The local
authority, social organisations, businesses, schools and many others are working hard to enable
young people to swap their ideas and join in actively, also in the long term.
Rotterdam European Youth Capital (YouR World) supplements the existing youth policy to provide
young people with extra opportunities. If YouR World spots gaps in this policy, it will point this out to
the municipal authority. 2009 promises to be a vibrant year, but afterwards too, Rotterdam will
continue to be a youth capital, making it an attractive place for young and old in the long term.
Furthermore, Rotterdam will do everything it can to ensure that this initiative is adopted by other
European cities after 2009.
A lot of young people are overburdened and have problems on several fronts. Their education comes
last. The care structure surrounding secondary vocational education is not organised and funded
structurally. Young people do not make a targeted choice for a certain course. Schools do not focus
on this and there is too little coordination between training and the labour market. These key problems
were outlined by the Rotterdam alderman for Youth, Family and Education on 1 July 2008. On the
basis of his portfolio, he argued for a possible breakthrough by bundling, adjusting and focusing. His
advice is to halt the project-based approach and aim, together with care providers, at structural
facilities. Stop using the institution-based approach to young people. Look at the youngster him/herself
and at what is needed to develop his/her talent. Focus on young people in (lower) secondary
vocational education who run the highest risk of dropping out and gear the approach towards their
career on the labour market. In this plea, entitled the „Rotterdam Offensive‟, it is a question of
customised education, including the establishment of Local, Specialised and Top Schools. Encourage
care and help in schools and let schools and the business community focus on job/training choices
which are relevant to the labour market. Together with young people, their parents, schools and
colleges, local and national government, what we most want is to give thousands of young
Rotterdammers a happier life. On the basis of this approach, we expect the returns on each Euro
spent to increase, because prevention is cheaper than cure. Lightening the burden on young people
means, moreover, fewer school drop-outs and fewer young people on benefit, with higher labour
market participation due to a better match between demand and supply on the labour market.
The above starting points are already applied to vocational education in Rotterdam (ROC). In order to
refine this approach further, the ROC (regional training centre) believes that cooperation with all other
parties involved is essential. We must put young people in a position whereby they can convert their
talents into performance. We must prevent young people from dropping out because they receive too
little support from us. That is why the ROCs need an integrated care structure. Vocational education
wants to operate on the basis of the young person's perspective, but also needs the help of local and
national government here. Money and rules & regulations must not be allowed to hamper the
development of Rotterdam‟s youth.
Rotterdam is bursting with young talent, but for a large proportion of the young people that talent
remains un(der)developed. In many cases, youngsters have too many problems to create a space for
learning. In other cases, the young people‟s talents have not yet been discovered.
Vocational education in Rotterdam therefore views the development of talent as its mission. We are
investing all the time to improve our education. We are organising more and more supervision and
care for our students. We give support to students with major problems. Usually, a combination of
problems is involved, in the neighbourhood and at home, criminality, poverty or health issues. We also
organise supervision for young people who could develop further if given a little bit of encouragement.
This extra care, which must be offered increasingly often, is unaffordable for the schools, however.
There are eight areas of life which have an impact on the development of a child: school, home, work,
finances, justice and the police, social milieu, recreation and health. Different agencies operate in all of
these different areas. That is why we „cut‟ every youngster into three, four or sometimes even more
bits. Every agency tries to put its own bit in order, but we are talking about one and the same young
person. All of the care and supervision that thousands of youngsters need cannot be paid for by the
education services. Furthermore, we are dealing here with a problem that does not have its roots in
education. Schools and colleges are where we find young people with problems, but they are not the
source of the problems. Nor should they be the dumping ground and we may not therefore make
education responsible for social problems. The care provided in lower secondary vocational education
decreases at the secondary vocational education level (MBO), out of sheer necessity. The classes are
bigger, there is less money for individual counselling and the extra care, bought in by ROCs, is in
danger of disappearing. If the care offered at MBO level is to be continued and, where necessary,
even extended, far-reaching cooperation between schools and care agencies must be facilitated.
Efforts must be made to prevent and reduce the excess strain through tailor-made support at the right
time, the right place and in the right way. The starting point must be to move from curative to
preventive care, no more projects, but the structural provision of care, including short lines and rapid
action. An approach in which the focus is on young people and in which institutions and provisions
such as education, local authority, businesses, CWI (Centre for Work and Income) and care agencies
feel jointly responsible for how young people develop. The ROCs hold it up as an ideal: a shield of
care around education, from where every student who needs it is offered support, on the spot and
precisely at the right moment.
This positive approach also characterises Student City, the aim of which is to retain Rotterdam‟s
highly-educated students in the city. There are three main issues here: communication, housing and
work. It is a partnership between Erasmus University, Hogeschool Rotterdam, Hogeschool
INHOLLAND, Stadswonen (Housing Corporation), Rotterdam Marketing and the municipality of
Rotterdam. Many students leave Rotterdam after they have completed their studies, returning to
where they grew up or leaving for other big cities. That is why the emphasis is specifically on retaining
students. We try to establish a strong bond between students and the city by presenting students with
a better profile of Rotterdam and by providing information on issues which are important to them.
Economic activities with links between students, the business community and entrepreneurship also
play a role here, as do housing, improving the student milieu and information on residential
The fact is, Rotterdam does not have the aura of a typical student city. Student City therefore wants to
present Rotterdam as a different type of student city and distinguish it from other student cities.
Rotterdam wants to challenge its students in terms of maturity and present itself as a city with good
career opportunities. The aim is to give students a second impression of the city, as the first
impression is not that of a city with a large highly-educated population and good career opportunities.
Students must be motivated to discover the other side - the other districts - of Rotterdam.
An important focus of Student City is therefore on employment. For instance, an inventory is made of
the demand for highly-educated personnel among employers in Rotterdam. Is there evidence of such
a need? If so, Student City wants to play a supportive role in finding the right students for these firms.
We also want to encourage students to establish a bond with the city during their studies, for example
by offering work experience with Rotterdam companies in combination with accommodation. We hope
that students will then decide to settle in Rotterdam. Schools do not see the urgency of this. Plenty of
companies take part in the recruitment fairs organised, but most are not Rotterdam based. Help in
offering work experience for students in higher professional education (HBO) would be welcome.
There are still a lot of opportunities for attracting and retaining this group of more highly-educated
people. Student City also focuses on increasing the spirit of enterprise among Rotterdam‟s students.
All of our aims will hopefully be achieved with the aid of events. A group of HBO students are helping
us to come up with ideas for these events.
Participation thanks to education
Rotterdam is convinced that a higher degree of participation by its population can be achieved through
education. This is also why it takes part in the Eurocities Social Affairs Forum (SAF), where Rotterdam
chairs the working group ‘Inclusion through Education‟. The two main objectives are to prevent poverty
and thereby exclusion, and to create equal opportunities for all, with respect for differences. In this
field, the SAF encourages the interchange of knowledge and experience between various European
cities, based on the agreements made in the Lisbon Accord. This is about all Rotterdammers,
including newcomers, and better coordination between all parties involved in their integration.
Although the youth of Europe is not a spearhead, the SAF does explicitly target the prevention of
premature departure from education among young people. Leeds, for example, runs a successful
programme in this area. Other cities could benefit from this. In Rotterdam too, various initiatives have
already been taken in this field. For instance, Rotterdam‟s department of Social Affairs and
Employment supports two ROCs financially so that they can set up a better student counselling
service and reduce class sizes. This mainly involves young people with a low standard of education.
And it is showing success. The number of drop-outs has been falling in recent years. Special,
customised programmes have also been developed to find suitable work for those who do decide to
drop out. Rotterdam‟s ports, with their own training programmes, also play an important role here.
Youth front office
In June 2004, as part of Rotterdam‟s youth policy, the Jongerenloket Rotterdam (Central Youth Office)
opened. The mission of youth policy is that: „Young people are able to make it in Rotterdam. If they
want it, we give them every opportunity. If they really can‟t, we help them. But for those who are
unwilling, we set boundaries and take measures.‟ The Jongerenloket is a joint venture between the
Centre for Work and Income (CWI) and the municipality of Rotterdam (departments „Education‟ (JOS),
„and Social Affairs & Employment). The collaboration has already resulted in an integrated intake. The
key aim is to prevent school drop-out and youth unemployment. The fact of the matter is that we want
to prevent young people from leaving school without a basic qualification and ending up in long-term
unemployment. After all, new school-leavers with a basic qualification have a much better chance on
the labour market, given an upswing in the economy, than those who have been jobless for some
time. Does a young person require coaching? If so, we make sure that he or she gets a coach.
We endeavour to adopt an outreach strategy, with the aim of providing a comprehensive service.
Since the start, we have taken a variety of action to achieve this. For example, we actively searched
for youngsters who had nothing to fill their time, the design of the Jongerenloket was drastically
modified in line with input from young people, youth service points were established at ROCs and
covenants signed with sub-municipalities. We also strengthened our ties with the UWV (Employee
Insurance Schemes Implementing Body), in connection with programmes for young people with a
handicap, and the emphasis with young mothers is on a return to school, perhaps combined with a
job. Our ultimate goal is to provide a comprehensive service for all young people in Rotterdam.
Despite all the effort, some improvements could still be made here, as pointed out by two education
students during their placement at the Jongerenloket. From personal experience, we know that there
is a great shortage of supervision. Many parents from ethnic minorities have no knowledge of the
Dutch school system, for example, and the supervision provided by schools is not always adequate.
We also see evidence of this lack of supervision in school drop-outs. This results mainly in problems at
crucial moments, for instance when students change from one school to another. As a challenge and
suggestions for improvement, the students refer to such things as the large number of organisations
concerned with young people in various ways. These organisations often work at cross purposes.
According to the students, a more personal approach is also needed in the supervision they receive,
with genuine interest being shown. In addition, the ZATs - the multidisciplinary Care and AdviceTeams
concerned with a student – have not yet been introduced universally. They also refer to Peer
Coaching – more senior students who provide extra coaching to younger students – as a possible
success. After all, more senior students are familiar with the problems facing the younger ones under
their supervision. Finally, both say that the familiarity of organisations and their communication with
the target group are often inadequate, although they do refer to Thuis Op Straat (At home on the
streets) as an example of good practice. What their conclusion is? People need to listen more and
more carefully to young people in order to guarantee that projects which look great on paper are also
a success in practice.
The Jongerenloket supplies „DAAD’, which was set up three years ago. DAAD is a joint venture
between CWI, UWV, Social Affairs & Employment and the businesspeople of Rotterdam. DAAD has a
staff of around forty people, who assist Rotterdam employers in finding unemployed Rotterdammers to
fill their vacancies. Approximately 1400-1500 people a year find work via DAAD. We do not focus on
re-integration, but on the so-called bottom end of the labour market, for example, unemployed
Rotterdammers without a basic qualification.
DAAD was set up because it was noticed that Rotterdam employers took on few jobseekers. The fact
was that employers were sick of the fragmentation within the government and regularly found the
government unreliable. The aim of DAAD is therefore not only to resolve Rotterdam‟s unemployment
problem, but also the problems of employers. We do this by helping them find the right people to fill
their vacancies. How does that work? Employers inform DAAD of their vacancies and DAAD looks for
suitable candidates. At the moment, demand for workers exceeds the number of jobseekers in the
region, but there is not a good match between demand and supply. The fact of the matter is that there
is too great a gap between many jobseekers and the labour market. In order to tackle this problem, we
are focusing more on the future. We are asking employers what kind of employees they think they will
need in about six months or a year. DAAD then helps jobseekers, with the aid of various programmes,
to prepare quickly for these vacancies. We remove the financial risks for employers, pay the
necessary college fees for jobseekers and, if necessary, provide wages.
Young people play an important role in the DAAD‟s work, although the number of youngsters on the
files is decreasing all the time. Hence we are actively focusing, nowadays, on so-called „dark number‟
youngsters. These are youngsters who are not registered anywhere, neither as student nor jobseeker.
We approach these youngsters via sport, for example. Sports coaches, who enjoy the respect of
young people, assist in finding and keeping them. Sport is also used to make a number of jobs more
attractive. We offer, for example, a certain position in combination with a number of days‟ sport,
whereby the hours of sport are gradually reduced and the position is converted into a proper job.
2 Challenges and solutions
Despite all the positive effort, there are still a lot of islands in Rotterdam. Too many people do not
know each other and therefore work at cross purposes. A phenomenon that is often found in youth
projects is the tendency to set up something completely new every time. Furthermore, a lot of projects
have a very ad hoc character.
In addition, youth participation often consists of mock participation. Many young people involved in
projects etc are really just token youngsters, who have no actual influence. A culture of genuine youth
participation must be created. Also, youth participation must not only consist of the participation of
young people associated with an organisation. Independent youngsters, who do not speak on behalf
of an organisation, must also be able to make a useful contribution. There will always be a shortage of
representatives, also among young people who speak on behalf of an organisation. Full
representation is not feasible in practice, unfortunately, but we must endeavour to achieve as much as
Rotterdam must also get cracking with community work experience for school-age youngsters, which
will be required by law from 2011 onwards. This work experience consists of 75 hours of work. It is
important that something is done about the rather dull character of community work experience; it
must not be seen as a sort of social conscription. A city or local approach would be logical. The city
could play the role of matchmaker here between young people who are seeking a placement and
organisations and employers offering them.
Ideally, the work experience should focus on something which school-age youngsters themselves
consider important in order to contribute towards society. This therefore involves young people
themselves thinking about what they find important. Ready-made placements are offered to those
young people who show no interest whatsoever.
Rotterdam is well on its way when it comes to keeping young people in education, but there is
definitely still room for improvement. There are successful experiments, such as improving the link
between further education and MBO (secondary vocational education). To improve things further,
mentor programmes for student supervision must be extended. Through better supervision, the drop-
out rates during the transition from MBO2 to MBO3 in particular can be reduced. Young people who
are difficult to reach are those who only come to Rotterdam, from neighbouring municipalities or
abroad, when they are older - say sixteen or seventeen. These youngsters often have a host of
problems, which are unknown to the agencies in Rotterdam. The municipality of Rotterdam can exert
very little influence on these youngsters, but they are ultimately included in the statistics as school
drop-outs. The „dark number‟ of young people – those who are not registered anywhere, neither as
student nor jobseeker – must be tackled more directly, for example by means of school attendance
officers who approach the youngsters on the streets. As the Jongerenloket does not have all
youngsters within its range of vision, use must still be made of alternative search operations. The fact
is that the youngsters who are currently „missing‟ are sorely needed on the labour market too. When it
comes to standard work experience, a large number of the problems have now been resolved. Among
other things, better agreements have been made with employers regarding the provision of
placements. The emphasis is now on combating racism in the selection of trainees. Employers must
realise that they exclude a large group of future employees by shutting out young people from ethnic
Rotterdam is prepared to take young people seriously and view them as fully-fledged partners.
Rotterdam couldn‟t care less about authority. We do not agree with the slogan „the more important, the
better‟. We want to tackle things together in a very practical way and not remain bogged down in
paper plans. What matters to us is what happens in practice!
3 What we hope to learn
Young People voice
If we were to sum up the My Generation project in one sentence, it would be this: How can young
people make a positive contribution to the city‟s development? We were told by a number of
stakeholders that this had a rather negative undertone. An interesting starting point, without any
negative undertone, could be: “How can you make the influence young people have on the city
We often heard that there were many success stories (“pearls”) among the projects in Rotterdam.
Unfortunately, these soon fade again from view. With the presentation of a project, the main emphasis
tends to be on figures and results. It can also happen that projects containing very successful aspects
are halted. In the media too, it is still the negative stories that get most attention. What seems to be
missing in Rotterdam is an approach (policy?) to make the positive influence of young people and the
preventive approach manifest on a structural basis. How can you organise things in such a way that
the stories of success become manifest at the level just above all the individual projects?
Shift to the future
In the “My Generation working model” the first voice is that of the Young People who are in the middle
of the triangle. The second voice is that of the Neighbourhoods or “local community and actors”. The
third voice is that of actors related to Education. The fourth and last voice is that of employment and
the business community. All voices are present during the workshop on September 16 2008 in
Rotterdam. We will hear from each of the voices. While the representatives of one of the voices are
speaking, the people from the audience will have an inner dialogue as they will be asked for their
opinion. We shift three years towards the future. It is now Friday the 16 of September 2011.
During the workshop on September 16 2008 representatives of the Rotterdam Youth Council, YouR
World, Young Alderman, including a young entrepreneur talked about Rotterdam as they see the city
in 2011. They believe that the young people in Rotterdam than will have their own voice and can
participate on municipal level. Important relations with stakeholders have been established. Now the
young people can do what they like to do. They have the opportunity to contribute. In 2008 we had ten
points made, see www.jongerenstadrotterdam.nl. These points have been reached. Young people
have good housing possibilities and are convinced that Rotterdam is a good place to live. How we
reached them? We have worked with the municipal organisations and with non-profit organisations at
the level of young people. We have a strengthened co-operation with the Municipality. The main
objective was to ensure the young people knew the way we work with the Municipality and other
organisations. The key to overcome this was working together with the other stakeholders in
Rotterdam, to show the young people have something to achieve and contribute. Nowadays
Rotterdam and other stakeholders are looking for ways to keeping young people in the city. It all
started with inspiring the people around us, followed by formulating goals to improve the city. Within
the My Generation project we inspired each other. It was good to hear how they approach things in
other countries. With YouR World we started to work with young people instead of for young people.
When we were done with European Youth Capital a lot of people thought they were done, but we are
happy that the local Youth Council continued with the work and that the ball was passed on to the
The representative of YouR World told the audience during the workshop that the small things he did
were most important. “The main job I had was to take my bicycle and go around the city and discuss
with local organisations about what youth participation actually is.” He thinks that a lot of organisations
are involving young people too late. “I am happy that we have been able to work on the smaller things
because these are the things that have a more long term impact.” The entrepreneur added: “I am
happy that the youth for which they started this project were not forgotten. It was good that the voice of
young people was heard. I am happy that the project looked beyond boundaries also within Europe.
Young people need to find their own space and find their own identity, which is often linked to the city
they are living in. We have made a step in the right direction.” The conclusion about this topic was that
it is very important to work with small networks.
After the presentation the audience also reacted and one of the guests, looking at 2011, said: “Another
good thing is that also the participation of lower educated people has improved.” One of the ways that
the Youth Council has been reaching out is through organising events that are of interest to young
people. It can be an International Youth Rights Day: A way to get young Rotterdammers in contact
with the Youth Council. Also reaching out to kids through high schools worked, to obtain their inputs
for preparing an advice to the City Council. It has been done through several methods. Young people
needed to know that there are organisations like the Youth Council that can act as their voice. The
council of the Youth Council was under the age of the 25. The youngest member was 18 three years
ago. The Youth Council has been working for but also with young people. “We organised the
Rotterdam Youth Debate once a year that aims to improve the debating skills of young people. During
the International Right Day for the children there were also activities organised for the very young. The
advice at the end of the discussion about the Youth Council is: first you need a small core group of
young people. Second: give them rights and obligations. What they do should be something that the
city is actually waiting for. Then politicians should actually use the advice of the young people. Give
the Youth Council also the obligation to speak with young people on the street and to be open. There
is a risk for it to become a platform for youth political parties that should be avoided.”
Talking about the neighbourhood voice started during the September 16 2008 workshop with
representatives from “People make the city”, “Service for youth policy”, the Youth Council and a
worker of the city marine, who is responsible for improvement of safety in certain areas. One of them
points out where the big change was made between 2008 and 2011. “Three years ago we considered
the youngster as a problem for the neighbourhood. Now it has improved a lot. The youngsters were
given a voice and given instruments to create new activities in their own living environment. They now
have positive things to do, these were things that they themselves decided on what to do. They had
some money for every neighbourhood panel and they worked together and programmed their own
youth facility. They have music, dance, theatre and co-operate with schools. It is important to involve
continuously new youngsters to keep up the activities in the neighbourhood. It was also important to
work with the schools. We had the means to finance things that the youngsters invented. We had
extra time outside school time to organize activities. All kinds of social partners have worked together
with youngsters and schools. The short term thinking is a big danger for this kind of development. You
need to be patient and invest a lot of time in this fundamental network. When you have a panel with
ten or fifteen people and think “ok I am done”, then the danger is very high that afterwards the people
have other interests. New people come in and are not involved. You need to continuously spend time
on maintaining the interest of the network.”
The member of the city marine tells that he has seen the Rotterdam safety index improving every year.
“The tension between the youth, police and inhabitants has greatly subsided”, she says. “We found
ways for making these parties communicate and emphasise with each other. I was especially
interested in changing the attitude of Civil Servants. We need to have a “Can-do” attitude. One of my
main jobs is to turn around this attitude. It was also wise of me to invest much time in the people that
are actually on the street: police, wardens, street sweepers. They are the ones in contact with the
people. A good project was the “Group-approach”. It was an approach that combined repression of the
wrong do-ers and provided opportunities for those that can still improve their lives. A lot of these
people had been in contact with the law. This was quiet an important barrier. In 2010 we were able to
change the law and make it possible for certain people to sweep clean their criminal record. My main
worry was that the Drugs Economy was an important alternative and life style. It was very difficult to
compete with that. If you can make a great deal of money as a drugs runner, why would you take
another job? Because of continuous repression of this issue the drugs economy decreased.”
The success was also based on bringing together the repressive and social approach. In every
neighbourhood a street menu was implemented, in which all people were involved, like youth, police
and wardens. It was a program of activities including hardware improvements. The local actors set the
rules and keep each other to living according to these rules on the street. Again it was patience that
worked. The result is that in a lot of neighbourhoods now there are good examples of how young and
older people are talking to each other and helping each other. They are also helping new younger
people to participate in the neighbourhood. The focus is not anymore on young people as a problem
but young people as an opportunity! After the programme was made politicians were asked to go into
the neighbourhood to ask the people themselves and ask them how long it takes to get some results.
That worked for the politicians. Another thing that helped was talking to all political parties in
Rotterdam to sustain results and programmes also after the elections. “Show how (slow) the grass
grows!” The housing co-operations also took their share. A great deal of the nuisance of the young
people was due to the public spaces in between houses. The co-operations helped and financed to
find other places for doing sports. They also financed sporting events and lowered the rents for the
active people in the neighbourhoods. That was a sort of reward for investing time in the
neighbourhood. The co-operation also participated in the panels in the neighbourhoods. They are
important for supporting the organisation of social activities in the neighbourhoods. It is important the
neighbours know each other. The corporations were central in promoting social cohesion activities. It
is also fundamental that you need to have a programme for youth if you want to increase safety in an
area and the guarantee of success is that youngsters organize the activities themselves.
Rotterdam is also in search of an integrated approach in the field of schooling and work that links up
seamlessly with what young people need, so that they can develop their talents. We are keen to know
more about similar approaches in other cities, as a possible model or to get ideas for our city. We want
to interchange experience in workshops and, on the basis of all this information, arrive at a practically
feasible local action plan. We are thinking mainly in terms of improving cooperation between the
various parties involved, a more individual approach, geared towards the interests of the young people
and a combined approach to education and employment. In addition to this, we would really like to
give youth participation a genuine, sturdy foundation, based on the strengths and possibilities of young
people. Stimulate their talents!
During the workshop on September 16 2008 representatives of the Zadkine Institute for vocational
and adult education, a teacher and coordinator of social work from the Albeda College, a
representative of Student City and a member of the Department of Youth Education and Society (JOS)
were the first ones to look at the future. What where the results after three “My Generation” years
concerning education? The Zadkine representative mentioned that he was very happy with the
neighbourhood schools for the lower educated. “These schools are places where young people get
the attention they need to keep them in the school and prevent drop-outs. A neighbourhood school is
a place where young people can discover their talents, identify their dreams and find a goal in their
live. We started in 2007 with a project called “Back to your Future” we used this project for drop-outs
as a stepping stone towards the neighbourhood schools. After working in that project we talked a lot
with the municipality partners. We recognized the problem of the large amount of drop-pots. Together
we wanted to make a kind of school to lower that rate. It had to be small-scale schools of about 100
people. The first two started at the end of 2008. Now in 2011 there are about sixteen schools. The key
partners are the Central Youth Office, the city departments of Youth Education and Society (JOS),
Social Affairs, Welfare partners and the schools. Contact with the young people is the main thing. You
have to know them and you have to reach them to try to make something. Three years ago there was
a flow in Rotterdam of people that understood this.”
The representative of JOS tells that he, after three years and in some aspects, is halfway. “Three
years ago I was working with the European city network Eurocities. We are now only half way, we
must not be too positive. The problem in education is still a serious problem. Three years ago we had
a growing group of inactive youngsters. We worked on this and were able to stop this development
through local and national policy. This is a very good result in three years, but we are only half way.
For education we still have too many drop-pouts and too early leaving of schools. In Eurocities we
came up with good practices, for example in the relation with the employers who opened possibilities.
We co-operate together with the vocational schools. We worked with the Youth Counter Initiative to
bring people back to work. We also invested in pre-school education. Especially for people with
migrant background it is good to develop language skills. Three years ago we were busy preparing the
Youth Capital 2009. My biggest worry was that we would not reach the youngsters that really needed
it. Still after three years we have not reached the real target group of lower educated people and we
have to find other methods for reaching the youngsters.”
The teacher of the Albeda College tells the guests: “We succeeded in bringing education in the
neighbourhood. Not only via the school but combined with NGO´s, enterprises and local shops, for
example by organising internships. That brings the young people more directly to a responsible task. I
think this is important and can grow. What happened is that for example, the districts asked the school
to participate in solving existing problems in the neighbourhood in seeking solutions with the
inhabitants. The schools themselves are now reaching out to the neighbourhood. This was organised
in different ways. For example there were shops that were not running very well because they did not
have a business plan. Students were involved in developing this business plan and banks could be
brought in to provide credits. We helped together with other colleges by setting up a new study for
youth workers providing them with more skills and methods. A lot of young people in Rotterdam were
walking around with a lot of problems. No housing, financial problems, getting pregnant. Mostly it is
not one problem but several. In 2008 I had 208 students of which 50% had a lot of problems. If you
are in this situation, your first thought is on basic needs and not on school. The first thing is that the
problem was recognized by more and more people. Together we were able to reach out to these
young people and help them. The schools, social work, doctors and others worked together to find
solutions in bringing a greater amount of young people to go to school without worries.”
The representative of Student City draws out his problem in 2008 and tells how his organisation
tackled that. “There were many students at the University but they had little contact with the city of
Rotterdam. Now we see an increased level of graduated people in Rotterdam. More students are
living in areas where they were not before. There are also more links to the local business sector that
employ more Rotterdam graduates. We brought the big employers together and confronted them with
the image of Rotterdam labour market among the students. There was a gap. A bridge was needed.
The companies became very active in promoting themselves and provide internships to students. In
2008 there were labour market fairs at the schools where there were many companies from outside
Rotterdam. Nowadays the Rotterdam companies have become far more active in this field. For
example, every month the companies in the harbour are now organising monthly parties for the
students. Students are transported for free on a ship to a location in the port. The medium size
companies started to be more active too. The graduates stayed, because now also bigger companies
are locating in Rotterdam to be close to the labour market. For example MTV just located in
Rotterdam. I was active in communication with the companies but also did a lot of organisation of
housing projects, as pilot student housing in less popular areas. We were able to create a student
area around that. We were also able to create sufficient housing for newly graduated students to be
able to continue living in Rotterdam during their professional life. We have in-house tours for students
from Universities. This is organised by the companies themselves. The companies also present
themselves on the schools. It‟s the chimney effect. We provide in service training for people to move
upward and this way leaving places for the young people. I had some worries three years ago. I was
afraid that the partners in town were not going to be involved in these activities for binding the
students to the town. I especially mean the Rotterdam Business Society and the Educational
Institutes. In 2008 the partners were participating but the city had still to pull hard. After we facilitated
the first step, the partners noticed that there was something to gain. In January 2009 we organised a
conference bringing these partners together. Then a lot of internship deals were made. Also, a
Rotterdam employer platform was created for promotional actions at employment fairs.”
In discussion with the audience the words “preventing drop-outs” was mentioned a couple of times. A
very successful instrument all over Europe is mentorship. The mentors can lower the drop-out by 80%.
Communication and contact are the keywords. To prevent drop-out, the scale of a school has to be
not too big. One of the guests mentioned the risk of concentrating problems in one school, due to
smaller schools. This is a real danger, but if you make these schools on a scale where everybody
knows each other you should be able to deal with these problems by for example using role models.
Besides that there were a lot of fights about new kinds of learning. It is good that these new kinds of
learning are common now. There are young people that learn in other ways. School must be not only
books, but also a lot of fun.
Employment & business voice
Although the Jongerenloket (Central Youth Office) and the Brede School (Community School) are
good examples of cooperation between various agencies, this cooperation is still sometimes lacking in
Rotterdam. In order to prevent agencies from continuing to work at cross purposes, there is an urgent
need for an improvement in the consultation and collaboration between them. Establishing these links
is an important aim of My Generation and YouR World. Various agencies are concerned in different
ways with education, employment and school drop-outs (VSV). We want to adopt a combined
approach to these three themes. DAAD already provides a clear example of this, whereby anticipated
employment is looked at and appropriate training programmes offered. Improvements to the education
system, student supervision, the match between education and the labour market, reducing the drop-
out rate and making use of the economic potential of young people would benefit from a joint
approach. Are there any cities which have experience with an approach to various sticking points such
as schooling and work at the neighbourhood/district level? Whereby solutions give the neighbourhood
or district a visible extra boost? We would love to know! Have other cities already gained experience
with the positive approach, whereby use is made of the spotlight on success stories? We would love to
share your experience!
Another point is that there is currently too much evidence of a mass approach. There is clearly a need
for a more precise individual strategy, but also simply for more supervision. When approaching young
people, it is important to make use of things which interest the young, in order to grab their attention.
Finally, the main point: youth participation is vitally important! People need to listen more and more
carefully to young people themselves. Rotterdam must demonstrate even more than it does now that
we are prepared to take young people seriously and treat them as fully-fledged partners. Due to the
generation gap, which is referred to frequently, young people are the only ones we can ask about what
would interest them and what is important to them. On all these points, we want to devise an action
plan that is in keeping with our municipality. Together with our young people and all other parties
involved, we want to work further on an integrated approach, the result of which is a wonderful place
for the people of our city to live and work!
The representatives during the workshop on September 16 2008 are a worker from the Central Youth
Office and Public service desk for employers, an educator of workers councils, an advertising agent of
a labour market recruitment organisation and a member of the City Development Corporation of
Rotterdam. The representative of the Central Youth Office starts off with telling her story. “In 2008 we
had 4.000 youngsters a year that came to the Youth Office with no employment. At that same time I
met the people from the neighbourhood schools. We were able to combine all the projects at the
neighbourhood level. The Youth Office will be closed in 2014. We have now outsourced the welfare
task to an insurance office. There is only a service left for handicapped young people. The schools will
haven taken over the other roles of the former Central Youth Office. My main job was bringing parties
together. I had access to many employers and a lot of funds, which makes you very popular. Thanks
to My Generation we finally reached the target group that was out of our reach at that time. The
neighbourhood schools were an important tool. We set up student panels to help us with identifying
their problems. My worries three years ago were that the legislation was against us. The separate
ways of financing made it hard to jump over financial barriers. We needed one unified budget for this.
This was brought about through a board with schools and employers.”
The educator of workers councils tells that one of his biggest jobs - between 2008 and 2011 - was to
place drop-outs in the Port of Rotterdam. “The stevedore companies, like ECT need employees. They
hire a Bureau that selects seven hundred people for them and in the end they only hire ten. All the
companies are cherry picking. They only pick the highest educated. The employers have to do
something for the city. It is only for five to six years that we need new people in the port. We went to
talk with the port authorities for them to be an intermediary. When I was speaking with the employees
it became clear there was a mistrust of this kind of people. Our programme was successful in
convincing employers to give it a try and hire somebody for four months to show the employer that this
is a guy that can get out of his bed. They received clothes from the harbour and the Transport College
provided training during one year. Every year about 50 former “drop-outs” have found permanent jobs.
We only had one problem: People that are going to work as a welder. The government stated that you
needed a certificate of good behaviour. The government was building a wall for many drop-outs.”
The representative of the Advertising Agency concentrates his story on the lower end of the labour
market. “I‟m happy that we got a number of wins”, he says. “Companies are now locating in Rotterdam
because they want to be close to the large pool of young people. Dutch companies are happier with
the diversity that they have experienced during the last three years. Behind my back they are building
the new Roodezand building. I liked the fact that a Turkish entrepreneur is doing the construction of
the parking lot. He had been able to employ all the talented Turkish young construction workers. Also
the city council played a positive role in contracting this company. The Rotterdam companies have
had the right spirit because of the right mentality. Companies from all over Holland started to open
branches in Rotterdam, because of the large amount of labour and good quality schools and
University. Like the new Technical University opened two years ago. The city established a Free Zone
in the city were every entrepreneur could start their business, developed into 300 stores the “Maas
Kasbah” along the river Maas. There is a new entrepreneurial spirit of self-reliance. At last the
government saw that putting people in a situation of social benefit meant an armour where people did
not get out of. They are not captured anymore. In the educational field we have seen that the schools
found out how to trigger the talent of the people they are working with. Projects like building small
houses, fixing cars and building parks. People that leave this school are very well prepared for the
labour market. I preached the gospel of the richness of each person and praised diversity.”
The representative of the Economic Department of Rotterdam starts her story with the meeting she
had three years ago with some employers about the labour market development in the next years.
“The city stated that there would be a shortage of employees and that in a couple of years people can
make their own decisions on where they want to work. We asked the employers if they had considered
this problem. The answer was that they did not think about this. Now three years later we see that
there is a process started up by the employers on how to make their jobs more attractive. What are
perspectives for young people? We see that employers are more and more aware on this and acting
on this. Our labour market can compete with the labour market in Amsterdam. We started the project
with the health care where there was a development towards decentralized care units. At that time we
started with vocational trainees and we had many lower educated people that could not work in the
large scale care homes. For the smaller units we prepared new job descriptions differentiated into
levels. For example you only need a few level 4 employees but also need a larger group of level 2
people. This was in a pilot phase three years ago. It has been steadily developing. We also started a
project in a logistics company for city distribution with a consolidation centre and than distribute with
small electric cars in the city centre. We went into the neighbourhood to get young people interested to
obtain their drivers licence and work as a driver. Now there are 100 people working in this logistics
company. I was worried whether we could find a sufficient number of employers to start up the
process. Would we reach a critical mass of employers to start the ball rolling? We organised a lot of
meetings with employers to show them how the pilot worked. We had employers convincing the other
employers and “see and touch”.”
4 Our contributions to the project
Generally speaking, we adopt an open attitude and are keen to learn from and share with others. We
not only do this at the national level, but we have been taking part in European projects, including
Interreg, Framework Programme, Intelligent Energy for Europe and URBACT 1 SecurCity for ten years
now. We were actually the leading partner in the last project. We are more than pleased to contribute
all of this experience to URBACT II. In addition, we have not only developed countless methods, but
also tested them in practice. Naturally, not all approaches were equally successful, but one can learn
from less successful methods. We enjoy presenting them. It is one way of sharing our experience with
successful and less successful projects and procedures, some examples of which were outlined
Our first contribution was our input during the first workshop on September 16 2008, sharing our
thoughts with My Generation participants from other European cities. The workshop where the overall
conclusion was: youth is not a problem but we have made it into a problem. Start in the
neighbourhood, create an environment where people can meet each other and avoid mono-cultures,
improve the coordination between young people and social services, involve politicians as soon as
possible and collaborate with each other. There also needs to be a change of looking at how we are
rating or looking at diplomas. Not enough attention is given to people‟s skills and ambitions. A lot of
good qualified people are left behind. We should treat young people as diamonds! This is what we will
put in the centre of our future discussions during the next three years of My Generation!
City of Rotterdam
Rotterdam lies in the south-west of the Netherlands, on the river Maas. Rotterdam is a major city in
many different respects. The city of Rotterdam is the second largest port in the world and the industrial
heart of the Netherlands. Its increasing business activity, the vigour with which the city continues to
develop and its multi-ethnic population give it a cosmopolitan look and feel. Today, Rotterdam is
unquestionably a major city. Its high-rise buildings in the city centre, its Erasmus bridge and its modern
centre are characteristic of its renewal and development. The city covers an area of 304.22 km2, of
which 97.79 km2 are water.
The population of the city of Rotterdam (1-1-2007) is 584.046 with 51.1 percent women and 48.9
percent men. This makes Rotterdam the second largest city of the Netherlands. The largest group of
its inhabitants is aged between 20 and 39. Rotterdam is a multi-ethnic city. Approximately 174
nationalities live in Rotterdam and 45.7 percent of the population is not of native Dutch origin. The
largest ethnic group consists of inhabitants with a Surinamese background - Surinam is a former
Dutch colony - comprising 8.9 percent of the total population of Rotterdam. The next largest group are
citizens of Turkish (7.8%), Moroccan (6.4%) and Antillean (3.3%) origin. The dominant language in
Rotterdam is Dutch.
The port is pivotal to the economy of the city, but Rotterdam does not depend on the port alone for a
thriving and diversified economy. The business services sector is also very important and recently
many innovative businesses in the amusement industry, ICT and media have come to the city.
Expectations are that in the years to come the number of jobs will grow by one percent year-on-year.
Growth will be strongest in the amusement industry, construction industry and care sector.
Trade and migration originated in Rotterdam‟s historic past. Around the year 1250 a dam was
constructed in the Rotte river. A small fishing village evolved, which attracted shipping and led to the
development of trade. In 1340, Rotterdam received its official charter from Count William IV. Thanks to
its geographical location, the city attracted international business and trade. The 1930s and the
Second World War had a deep impact on Rotterdam. The German bombardment on 14 May 1940
destroyed 258 hectares of urban area and part of the port. The years that followed were entirely
dedicated to rebuilding the city. Rotterdam experienced years of economic prosperity that attracted
immigrants, alternating with years of economic decline.
There are four major periods of immigration:
sixties: inflow of guest workers;
1975 and beyond: inflow of Surinamese;
1980s and 1990s: family reunification;
1990s - present day: inflow of refugees and migrants from other parts of the world.
Public policies and services
The role of the municipality concerning the delivery of public policies and services is specified in the
municipality law (February 1992). The municipality law is the national framework on the basis of which
Elections and administrations
The Netherlands has central and local forms of administration. Elections are held every four years for
the state, provincial, municipal and municipal district administrations. With the exception of the
municipal districts and municipalities, the elections do not always take place simultaneously. In
national elections, people vote for political parties. A certain number of seats give a political party the
right to sit in the Second Chamber of Parliament. A government is then formed by the largest parties
and the ministerial portfolios are distributed within the coalition. Since March 2002, a similar dual
administration has existed at a local level between the municipal executive (mayor and aldermen) and
the municipal council. The people of Rotterdam who are entitled to vote elect the municipal council.
Approximately 6.000 votes are needed to get one seat in the council. The council appoints the
aldermen while the mayor is appointed by the Crown (Queen and Government ministers). The
municipal council gives advice on the appointment. The mayor chairs the municipal council and
Together with the municipal executive (mayor and aldermen), the municipal council forms the
municipal administration. Rotterdam also has a devolved form of administration. The city is divided,
geographically and administratively, into 11 municipal districts. Municipal district councillors are
elected directly by the people. The municipal district administrations have autonomy from the central
Organisation of the municipal council
Council decisions are only taken at meetings of the municipal council. In principle these meetings are
held every three weeks. Preparations prior to decision making take place in the council committees.
These committees consist of councillors who advise the municipal council on municipal executive
proposals and other proposals. In the council meeting on 18 May 2006, the new municipal executive
was appointed. The new committees were installed at the same time. They are Social Support
(Welfare), Public Health and Participation; Physical Infrastructure, Public Space and Sports; Youth,
Education and Culture; Economy, Social Affairs, Port, Environment and Transport; Administration,
Safety and Finance and Resources.
As mentioned earlier, there are 11 municipal districts. As regards population, the municipal district
Prins Alexander is the largest (about 84.500 inhabitants as of 1-1-07) and the municipal district of
Hoek van Holland is the smallest (about 9.300 inhabitants as of 1-1-07). In addition to the municipal
disctricts, Rotterdam also has a neighbourhood council in Pernis and an advisory body in the centre.
A municipal district provides all kinds of services to its residents. For example, you can renew your
driving licence or apply for a passport. But the municipal district also performs tasks concerning the
local economy, employment opportunities, local policy and safety. These tasks have been
decentralised from the municipal council. A municipal district has its own administration, budget and
civil service apparatus. The civil servants work at the secretariat of the municipal district.
Election and relationship
The municipal district administration is elected at the same time as the municipal council is elected.
The municipal district council consists of 13 to 25 members, depending on the size of the municipal
district. The municipal district council elects a chairman and its aldermen who together serve as the
executive body. The municipal council and the municipal district councils together govern the city.
They complement each other. The municipal council is responsible for the main roads in the city, for
example. These are roads that cross various districts and are major traffic arteries. The central
municipality is also responsible for municipal policy frameworks and the implementation of national
tasks that have been decentralised from the national government to the municipalities.
The municipal council comprises 45 councillors who belong to a political party. There are eight parties
in the city council: Leefbaar Rotterdam (Liveable Rotterdam), Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party),
Christen Democratisch Appèl (Christian Democratic Appeal), Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie
(People‟s Party for Freedom and Democracy), GroenLinks (Green Left), Democraten 66 (Democrats
66), Socialistische Partij (Socialist Party), ChristenUnie-SGP (Christian Union – Political Reformed
Labour (PvdA) has the following 3 portfolios:
Housing and Spatial Planning;
Public Health, Welfare and Social Services;
Work, Social Affairs and Major Cities Policy.
Christian Democrats (CDA) have 2 portfolios:
Youth, Family and Education including the regional youth portfolio;
Finance, Sport and Outdoor Spaces.
Liberals (VVD) have 2 portfolios:
Economy, Port and the Environment;
Traffic, Transport & Organisation including the regional portfolio for these matters.
Green Left (Groenlinks) has 1 portfolio:
Participation and Culture.
Because Rotterdam is a multicultural city, the social policies of the city have an intercultural approach.
Therefore, since the current municipal executive (mayor and aldermen) took office, the municipality of
Rotterdam has no longer a separate integration policy. Integration policy is now part of the social
policy, which in turn is part of the Social theme of the municipal programme 2006-2010. The Social
theme is one of four themes that together form the heart of the municipal programme. The others are
Safety, Housing and Economy. The goal of the Social theme, set out in the Social Programme, is
principally to enhance the social quality of the city of Rotterdam. Participation and unity are the key
objectives. Rotterdam wants to achieve this by large investments in programmes for language,
education, work, eradication of poverty, activating care and unity.
The integration policy has the following characteristics:
It is not about integration, but about participation;
It is not about migrants, but about „Rotterdammers‟, no specific policy for different groups, but
a mainstreaming, integral policy;
Citizens of Rotterdam have rights but also obligations.
My Generation - baseline study for Warsaw, June 2008
Warsaw is the capital of Poland, the member of the European
Union. Since 1989 Poland has rapidly changed from communistic
regime to the democratic state with free market. There have
been a lot of changes influencing Polish society: democratic
elections, new rules on labour market, unemployment. People
can travel abroad without any permissions. Young people can
study and work in foreign countries.
A lot of students have seized on opportunity to build their
career. However some of them are still not able to benefit
from those chances.
In theory there is a universal agreement on democratic values:
”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
rights.”( Universal Declaration of Human rights, 1948) and
“The child who is capable of forming his or her views /has/
the right to express those views /and/ the right to freedom of
thought, conscience and religion.”(The convention on the
rights of the Child, Articles 12-14, UN 1989.)
This is theory. Poland has written policies of HR issues (the
Office of Children’s Ombudsman), but each society and school
should practise democratic values and HR issues in their daily
work. This project will help teachers, headmasters,
policymakers, and – what is the most important – young people
to practice and implement democratic values, responsibility,
civic attitudes in schools and in their lives.
In today’s political and social circumstances some people have
a tendency to see themselves more as customers than citizens
in the welfare society. When youngsters are dissatisfied in
some way with their life, they take it for granted. A local
community is exposed to and has to interact with global forces
beyond democratic control.
This project focuses on young people living in one of the
poorest districts of Warsaw.
Description of situation
District “Praga Północ” is located in the north-eastern part
of Warsaw. There are 70 000 dwellers; among them 18% are
retired, 64% are in working age, 18% - children and
youngsters. There are 11 000 students.
The National Statistical Survey from 2002 showed that 46%
inhabitants of this district had basic vocational or primary
education, 40 % had secondary education and only 14% - higher
education. These figures differ from those concerning other
districts in Warsaw. The similar differences could be shown in
the field of social situation. There are 6816 one-parent
families (6065 single mothers and 753 fathers). There are also
8971 disabled people.
One of big social problems in that district is unemployment.
There are 4263 unemployed people (who are registered in the
local job centre)- 9,53% people in working age. Only 428 of
them are entitled to benefit. Among all registered unemployed
people 65 % are long-lasting ones. Young unemployed persons
(to 25 years old) are 12% of all registered persons. The
unemployment rate is quite high. It stands at 3% for the whole
of Warsaw . The figure obtained from the local job centre
shows another key problem – 43% unemployed people have primary
or basic vocational education.
There are a lot of people supported by local social security –
5 730 people receive benefits (unemployment, sickness,
The Praga Północ district is one of the oldest districts in
Warsaw. There are old buildings (constructed before the II
World War, some of them were built in XIX century). These
building have no gas, central heating or hot water. During
last years a lot of poor or pathological families were moved
from other districts of Warsaw to Praga Północ. This
concentration of population produces increasing crime and
The social problems consist of:
- alcoholism, drug addiction, crime, domestic violence,
- lack of family competences,
- problems of disabled persons,
- problems with aging population.
Safety is one of the key issues in Praga Północ district.
Police report about car thefts, burglaries, pickpockets,
robberies, juvenile delinquency in public areas and domestic
Brutalization of these crimes is increasing. Due to family
“tradition” and lack of attractive offers of spending spare
time there are a lot of crime gangs acting in this area.
Youngsters, who are brought up in poverty and pathology,
repeat criminal ways of life.
The young inhabitants in Praga Północ do not believe in their
competences and possibilities. They simply do not try to
change their life. Moreover most of them take too much for
granted. They are not responsible participants of local
community. On the contrary they are aggressive juvenile
offenders who refuse to get any support. A huge gap between
financial situation of youngsters from Praga Północ and other
Warsaw districts frustrates young people. They float about
rich shopping centres, they notice differences between their
streets and the centre of modern Warsaw.
Children and young people living in pathologic families learn
how to solve their problems – with violence and juvenile
delinquency. They do not know love, safety and responsibility.
Their parents and grandparents have been registered unemployed
for years (most of them have never worked in their adult
life). They have benefited from social security for years. In
some families social benefits are spent on alcohol and drugs.
Poverty and unemployment are the most common reasons for
supporting families. There are also homeless people. Some of
them have been evicted from their old destroyed buildings,
others come from little villages hoping to find work in
The next problem is an increasing number of numerous families
(with 5 and more children). Their difficult situation was to
be partly solved by introducing a special benefit (1000 US
dollars) given to each mother after delivery. Unfortunately
in most families this benefit is usually spent on alcohol or
Some families are helpless in the face of bringing up their
children. The lack of responsibility as well as inability to
be tender and loving parents for their children make the
adults helpless. There are also a lot of informal
relationships (common-law marriages), one-parent families,
frequent changes of partners. Those families live in tiny old
one-room flats, sometimes without hot water of central
heating. This difficult situation results in rising social
problems, mostly domestic violence and health problems. Still
there are not sufficient numbers of new social buildings for
poor people. They have to wait for years for getting better
All those reasons create the society of Praga Północ District.
- increasing social pathology – alcoholism, crime, heritage
of crime and juvenile delinquency
- increasing number of one-parent families with a lot of
- health problems,
- lack of good education (secondary or high degree).
Education in Praga Północ District
There are 2 pre-kindergartens, 15 kindergartens, 5 primary
schools, 5 lower secondary schools, 10 upper secondary
schools, vocational schools, a pedagogical supporting
centre, a catholic pedagogical centre and a centre for
The problem is that poor parents do not send their children
to kindergartens so they have a problem in the first year of
obligatory education. Sometimes those children do not draw
with pencils, the do not know how to use a pen or a pencil
until they start their school education. In 2008 local self-
governance authorities in cooperation with Warsaw Department
of Education have launched a campaign “5 years old children
go to school”. The parents will be trained and convinced to
send children to local school for non-obligatory activities
which prepare them to education.
The new ideas and solution are really needed. The
differences in score or external exams after primary school
and lower secondary school are dramatically huge.
In 2007 the average score for students from primary schools
of Praga Północ was 25,19 points; the average score for
Warsaw was 29,59 points. The maximum score was 40 points.
The analysis of results after lower secondary school
highlight the same situation. The average score in Praga
Północ schools is lower than in other districts 26,34 points
to 33,08 in two districts; the score for Warsaw – 30,41.
These differences are alarming for the Warsaw Department of
Education. Praga Północ district needs special programs –
social and educational for supporting the education and
upbringing. The idea of creating special programs for Praga
Północ was shown in criteria of granting NGO’s activities.
We would like to focus on two vocational schools: Zespół
Szkół im. Gen. Grota-Roweckiego (ul. Namysłowska 1), tel. +
48 22 619 – 43 -67 and Zespół Szkół nr 33 (ul. Targowa 86,
tel. + 48 22 619 34 86). These schools consist of basic
vocational and vocational schools. There are following area
of study: car mechanic, tinsmith, plumber, technician of
electricity, technician of motor vehicles. There are a lot
of problems with dropping out, violence, juvenile
delinquency and alcohol.
Bulling - when youngsters spend much time together over a
relatively long period of time, there is always a risk of
bullying. In an authoritarian environment where rank or social
position is more important than individual rights, it becomes
necessary to form alliances for protection or personal
favours. This is a perfect breeding ground for bullying;
Dropping out – most of youngsters do not attend the school
activities, especially during warm days. Some of them start to
“work” in illegally way (as juvenile offenders), some of them
treat school as a waste of time;
Lack of discipline - when students do not follow strict and
simple rules with clear sanctions they have problems with
obeying rules and authority unquestioningly in adult life.
Students given trust become more responsible. Rules are
necessary, but ruling based on trust is far more sustainable
than ruling by threats. One of aim of that project is to rise
a feeling of trust and safety in those schools.
Activities to be taken
- extra activities in schools – Saturday’s garage in
- driving lessons
- sport lessons
- peer mediation
- NGO’s activities
- specific vocational training
- psychological support,
- work with students of lower secondary schools;
- in-service training for teachers.
Praga Północ District needs help and support. Warsaw
authorities focus a lot of effort on that district. We hope
that “My Generation” project will be helpful in our plans.
Based on: materials of Department of Social Policy, City of Warsaw. Prepared by:
Joanna Gospodarczyk and Barbara Krępska, Education Department, City of Warsaw
My Generation Project / URBACT II
City Office of Göteborg
13 June 2008
1. Focus and priorities
Current trends of socio-economic polarisation and segregation in Göteborg are some of the factors
influencing the transition of young people into adult life. Global trends, reflected in the local Göteborg
context, of a more flexible labour market, greater demands for higher education, along with
deregulation of the housing market, additionally affect the establishing period of young people. Today,
therefore, young people at large face greater challenges and longer transition into autonomous life.
The establishing period has thus become prolonged and more complex in scope and range. Between
the years of 1989 and 1997, the establishing period for youth residing in Göteborg was prolonged from
the age of 20 to the age of 27-28, which since then has remained rather constant. The duration of the
establishing period has hence expanded from a few years to approximately 10 years today resulting in
greater challenges for young people in the process of entering into adult life.
The main focus prioritised by the City of Göteborg is to further the prevailing understanding of youth
lifestyles in order to gain a more holistic perspective capturing the complexity of structural constraints,
social pressures and positive potential experienced and perceived by young people in Göteborg.
Structural measures to create employment, affordable housing and quality education for the youth
must be uplifted and integrated into broader intentions to promote social cohesion and social relations
within and between generations, as well as within and between city districts. Prevailing attitudes and
discourses in society, in combination with the perceived future possibilities of meaningful content,
constitutes the platform from which young people construct their identities, desires and social
relations. The overall priority for the City of Göteborg is therefore to improve the knowledge, efforts
and organisation in regard to youth challenges and potentials during their prolonged establishing
period in order to better meet their needs and desires and in turn contribute to enhanced integration
2. Challenges and solutions
- Reduced youth unemployment and social benefit dependence
Youth unemployment is traditionally highly dependent upon economic growth cycles and after a
period of heightened economic growth in the Göteborg region, the youth unemployment rates of April
2008 have fallen to 2.6 percent. This figure represents those who are actively in search for
employment through the public employment service. This is somewhat lower than the national average
for young people aged 18 to 24, but still above the average for the entire workforce in Göteborg
between the ages of 16 to 64. This reduction has had an overall positive impact in each of the 21 city
districts within the municipality. Although the disparities between the districts remain widespread,
ranging from 0.6 to 5.6 percent, the areas with the highest unemployment have had the largest positive
development which in turn has somewhat levelled out the disparities (see supplement 2).
During 2007 there were 1652 young people aged 18-29 in Göteborg who were dependent on social
benefits for more than 10 months signaling a 26 percent reduction from 2005. However, there are still
pronounced disparities between the districts pointing at segregation and socio-economic polarisation
within the city (see supplement 3). Out of these 1652 persons, 54 percent have a level of formal
education corresponding to compulsory secondary education up to grade 9, while 12 percent have not
yet reached this attainment. In 2005, the same figures were 47 percent and 11 percent respectively.
This predisposition of low levels of education shows how those with less formal education to a larger
extent tend to remain in long-term social benefit dependence thus emphasises the importance of
education in reducing this dependency. Additionally, there is a high representation of people with
foreign background in this group, they comprise 58 percent and clearly demonstrate problems of
integration. This group furthermore possesses overall low previous work experience which indicates
substantial difficulties in entering the labour market.
Several attempts to engage with the business community in order to reduce the youth unemployment
are in progress, particularly through a range of projects within the domain of the European Social
Fund. 'Navigator Center' is one such ESF supported project focusing on the provision of guidance,
training, work experience and trainee opportunities, along with local engagement and close
collaboration with the business community. The initiative is directed towards the age group of 16 to 24
and aim to offer employment with meaningful content to the youth. Both public and private actors are
involved, ranging from city district administrations to upper secondary schools, trade unions, the local
business community, and local youth associations, and a clear emphasis is put on the connection
between education and the labour market. Further ESF supported initiatives include 'Unga i Jobb'
('Youth in Employment') and 'Framtid i Fokus' ('Future in Focus') aiming to improve relations with the
business community in Göteborg in order to make employment opportunities available for
marginalised youth. 'Framtidsspår' ('Track to the Future') additionally represents a church-based, non-
profit venture with the focal point of leadership training, mentorship, alternative forms of education,
along with providing work experience for the youth.
The main challenge in regard to youth unemployment and social benefit dependence is foremost to
continue reduce the socio-economic polarisation process and widespread disparities between the
different city districts. It is additionally important to make youth unemployment less volatile to
economic recessions and to further promote work experience opportunities as well as long-term
employment for the young population. Since the labour market is governed on a national level, there is
an intrinsic need to collaborate between the national level and the municipal level in regard to the
labour market and the public employment service, and this collaboration needs to be further
Employment initiatives already in progress are on the one hand concerned with the correlation
between employment and education and focus on how to make the youth complete their upper
secondary education and encourage further studies. On the other hand, they focus on providing
meaningful employment for those who for various reasons are not attending upper secondary
education. The 2008 budget highlights the importance of increasing possibilities for the young
population to gain access to the labour market and support themselves as well as to provide measures
for the youth to gain work experience and temporary as well as long-term employment. For instance,
during the summer of 2008, a total of 1000 summer-jobs were provided young people in the age group
of 16 to 19. However, there is a great need for coordination and collaboration between the various
public and privately initiated ventures.
- Greater demand for higher education levels
The 2008 municipal budget clearly stresses the link between education and employment, how the
educational system should prepare the young generation for the transition into adult life, promote
youth participation and engagement, as well as provide alternative opportunities for those not
completing their upper secondary education (grade 10-12). By large, the young generation in Göteborg
is well educated and women have the highest levels of formal education. Almost everyone makes the
transition from secondary education to upper secondary school, but for about 10 percent the transition
period lasts for a year or more, to a large extent as a consequence of lack in language proficiency for
those recently arrived to Göteborg from abroad. This group is offered individual support, guidance,
education and work experience through 'Individuella Programmet'. Four years after completed
secondary education, 70 percent has completed their upper secondary education. Approximately 63
percent of those at age 20 who has completed the upper secondary level are qualified for further
university studies (see supplement 4). The proportion of young people entering into higher education
is approaching half of those who completed their upper secondary education, and there are currently
more women than men who make this transition which demonstrates a shift in recent years. However,
young people with foreign background continue to be at a disadvantage.
For those who either chose not to enter into upper secondary education at once, or for other reasons do
not attend upper secondary education, there are a range of directed measures and support efforts
provided. This group consists of about 1000 persons at the age of 16-19, and although this group has a
high mobility and fluidity, the intention is to map out and follow up each of these young individuals.
They are offered individually suitable measures ranging from guidance, coaching, work experience,
and other supportive educational measures with the aim to eventually be reintegrated into the
mainstream education system through initiatives such as 'Vägledningscentrum' ('Guidance centre'),
'Lärcentrum' ('Learning centre'), and 'Skyddsnätet' ('the Safety net'). Through the adult education
system there are additional possibilities to complete unfinished upper secondary schooling and more
than half of those with unfinished upper secondary degrees follow through their degrees within the
adult education system. One third of those attending adult education provided by the municipality
have foreign origin. To integrate newly arrived migrants older than 16 years of age, Swedish
proficiency courses ('Svenska för invandrare') are highly prioritised but are also given in combination
with integrated work experience in order to enhance their opportunities on the labour market. This
initiative has been very successful with currently 3000 placements, primarily within the private sector,
in progress. The City of Göteborg is furthermore the main coordinator of advanced vocational
education ('kvalificerad yrkesutbildning') in collaboration with the business community and the
university. This is a demand driven initiative with a great growth potential which is highly attractive
and has an extensive employment-generating frequency.
There is a clear correlation between individual education levels and transition into the labour market.
Trends show that those with higher levels of education are less inclined to be unemployed while the
tendency is reversed for those with merely a level of secondary education. Further trends show that it
is becoming increasingly common to complement incomplete upper secondary degrees through adult
education in order to gain access to higher education and eventually establish oneself on the labour
market. Nevertheless, those who complete their upper secondary education within the mainstream
framework have a higher establishing potential than those who complement their education at a later
stage. To follow through the upper secondary level at once is therefore most advantageous for young
people's possibilities to find employment. A major challenge is therefore how to continue prevent
young people to leave their upper secondary education before completion. The measures to map out
and follow up this group have had an overall positive impact, but there are still challenges regarding
coordination and further alternatives provided in forms of suitable work experience and placements,
along with reaching those not yet reached. Other challenges consist of the range of choices offered
young people when choosing their specific upper secondary education out of 450 different programme
options in the Göteborg Region, and the need for guidance in this overwhelming process.
- Scarce and uncertain youth access to the housing market
The housing market in Göteborg is overall scarce while the demand is high which greatly affects the
possibilities of the young population to find affordable housing. To satisfy the youth demand of
affordable housing, 12 000 new units would be needed. In comparison, a total of 19 000 were built in
Göteborg from 2000 to 2006 indicating a great discrepancy between the access to housing and the
experienced demand. In the 2008 municipal budget, this dilemma is acknowledged and the housing
situation is accordingly considered a high priority.
The share of single-owned or single-rented households in the age group of 20-27 amounted to 54
percent in 2007, a reduction from 62 percent in 2003, while looser forms of temporary leases, illegal
contracts, staying with friends or in student accommodation increased during the same period. The
number of young people who stayed with their parents remained at a constant 15 percent, but with
great difference between the age groups of 20-23 and 24-27 constituting 11 and 4 percent respectively.
Out of those who moved away from their parents, 69 percent experienced no financial problem coping
with housing expenses, a rise from the 62 percent in 2005, but lower than the 75 percent in 2003. This
pattern indicates that young people move away from their parents at the same rate as in 2003, but that
the housing situation has deteriorated for the young since more uncertain forms of living are
expanding as a consequence of the prevailing housing scarcity. The main challenges are accordingly to
provide greater youth access to the housing market along with more secure forms of living.
- Diminishing trends of youth criminality
Recent studies show that youth criminality in the Göteborg Region has diminished over the past
decade contrary to the prevailing perception of rising youth criminality and gang-related youth
violence. The statistics show that youth offences has diminished over the period of 1995-2006 and the
number of youth offenders in the age group of 15 to 20 have additionally been reduced during the
same time-period. The levels of youth criminality in the Göteborg Region are consequently below the
national average for the entire period equally in regard to theft, violence and property destruction.
These diminishing trends are to a large extent explained by effective preventive measures.
Nonetheless, the perceived threat and insecurity, particularly among women and persons with foreign
background, is on the rise indicating discrepancies between the actual and perceived realities.
The 'Ung & Trygg' ('Young and Safe') initiative represents a successful example of ongoing preventive
measures. It was initiated in 2004 in four north eastern city districts and was in 2006 expanded to
include the entire municipality as well as the neighbouring City of Mölndal. The initiative intends to
actively counteract criminal gang recruitment amongst excluded youth, along with addressing
consequences of heightened segregation. This is carried out in close collaboration with a wide range of
actors including the municipal administration, the local police authorities, criminal courts, and
together with private actors on the housing market. The overall objective with 'Ung & Trygg' is to
establish forms of coordination in order to reach out to the marginalized and excluded youth at risk of
entering into criminal activities, to provide early and preventive measures, and to increase the
participation and sense of engagement of this group of young people. The major strength with 'Ung &
Trygg' is the ability to bring together a wide range of public and private actors in a successful
partnership. However, actors from youth associations and youth recreation centres are not yet included
in this collaborative initiative.
- Towards more participatory and fluid forms of youth leisure activities
Youth leisure activities are highly prioritized in the 2008 budget because of their potential to promote
equality, integration and well-being among the young generation. Participation in youth associations
advances the positive potential of young people, creates forums for the youth to meet and engage in
meaningful activities, as well as encourage their creativity and interests. More than 60 percent of the
youth are members in at least one association, but the disparities between the city districts are wide
and the lowest participation can be found in the north eastern districts. The budget further stresses the
importance for the municipality to provide youth recreation facilities for both sport activities along
with cultural, creative and music-based activities. The underlying ambition permeating the promotion
of these budget supported leisure activities is youth influence and participation. Hence these activities
must be designed for and by the young generation.
A challenge in regard to youth leisure activities in general is collaboration between the wide range of
local community actors and activities in lack of cohesion and united strategies. Some criticism
additionally call for greater reflection and analysis in regard to the overall effect in terms of
integration, hence to move beyond the focus of leisure activities per se towards an integrated approach
in terms of genuine youth inclusion, long-term sustainability and quality of engagement. Extended
measures to follow up successful initiatives and ventures are further called for. It is in general easier to
reach the younger age groups through directed activities while more problematic to reach the older age
groups. The older groups are nonetheless extensively active and engaged, but more often through
unconventional means and more fluid organisational forms. The challenge to reach these groups lies in
the ability to experiment with different forms of engagement and participation.
'Ungdomssatsningen' ('the Youth venture') is an integrated initiative between city district
administrations, the education administration, youth associations, along with secondary and upper
secondary schools, with the intention to create open, supportive and constructive arenas and forums
for the young to engage and develop their positive potential. Activities are based on the requests,
initiatives and engagement of the young, as well as take into consideration a pronounced gender
equality dimension. 'Ungdomssatsningen' additionally offers possibilities for youth leadership-training
and other educational initiatives for young people, including training in democratic participation and
gender sensitivity. The pronounced strengths of 'Ungdomssatsningen' are the range of activities
covered throughout the entire city, the close collaboration between different actors, and the youth
participation at all levels of organisation. The ability to create positive encounters between youth, to
focus on their positive potential, and provide leadership-training are further highlighted strengths.
'Mixgården' in Hammarkullen (Lärjedalen) represents a youth recreation centre in the forefront,
exploring new boundaries and setting good practices. It is a forum for social integration where youth
from different areas of the city can meet and interact. While some youth recreation centers are blamed
for being platforms for youth criminal activities, 'Mixgården' illustrates an example where trained
personnel, inclusive structured activities and organisation, long-term commitment along with positive
role-models foster social relations and cohesion, increase youth confidence and trust, as well as
engagement and creativity. The major strength of 'Mixgården' is the successful combination of leisure
activities with educational activities, thus the ability to promote the youth potential in a holistic long-
- Trends in behaviour, attitudes and perceived quality of life
Approximately 75 percent of the population between the ages of 16 to 29 in Göteborg state they lead a
good life and more than half additionally claim to live a healthy life. Positive trends among the youth
show that smoking is overall reduced, primarily among young men, the alcohol consumption-debut
starts at an older age and the number of young persons who entirely abstain from alcohol consumption
has risen, the frequency of exercise is increased, and the suicide rates are falling. At the same time,
however, the group of young who consume excessive amounts of alcohol has increased, particularly
among young men in the western city districts. Furthermore, the youth access to alcohol is greater as a
result of increased illegally imported alcoholic beverages, the prevalence of narcotics is augmented
and 10 percent of the youth population has experimented with narcotics indicating a somewhat
growing tendency. Also in regard to youth experiencing with narcotics, the difference is evident
between the city districts and the lowest prevalence is found in the north eastern districts suggesting a
lower alcohol and narcotics demand among the young population with foreign background
predominantly residing in these districts.
Additionally, youth obesity is on the rise, certain sexually transmitted diseases have become more
common, the youth abortion rate in Göteborg is somewhat higher than the national average, and the
sick-leave frequency is growing the fastest among the young population. Although the majority of the
young people claim to be satisfied with their lives in Göteborg, trends show that during secondary
school the anxiety among young girls grow and at the age of 16 less than half of the young women are
satisfied with their conditions and quality of life. By the end of upper secondary school also the young
men become increasingly discontent. Studies additionally show that excluded and marginalised youth
run a much greater risk of substance abuse as well as anxiety, psychological concerns and discontent.
However, these trends have been rather constant over the past few years and do not indicate
deteriorating tendencies. There is, however, a major lack of awareness in regard to the psychological
state of mind, the attitudes and perceived quality of life among the young generation in Gothenburg
and more coordinated qualitative in depth research is called for.
3 & 4. Contributions and learning outcomes
- Understanding youth lifestyles
Perceived insufficient understanding of youth lifestyles and the need for a holistic approach to youth
concerns in Göteborg have prompted a pilot study with the intention to examine and evaluate youth
ways of life in regard to education, employment, housing and health throughout their establishing
period. This qualitative study will aim to contribute with material and knowledge for better adjustment
of municipal efforts addressing the establishing period of the young population in Göteborg. The
decentralised structure of organisation within the City of Göteborg, with youth initiatives widely
spread out, contributes to the need for greater collaborative efforts and governance. A holistic
overview and evaluation of existing initiatives, their impact and effectiveness is additionally needed.
This is important to better understand which attempts are successful in generating possibilities for the
young population in the Göteborg context and what needs to be done differently. These efforts need to
put the young individual rather than the organisational structure at the centre of focus, trustful
relationships must be cultivated, and expectations and visions must be made explicit to all actors
involved. The major learning outcomes in regard to understanding youth lifestyles are accordingly
concerned with how to better and more qualitatively adjust the municipal efforts and initiatives to the
needs and desires of the young generation, how to establish greater collaboration and governance
between the wide range of existing actors and ventures, and how to gain a more holistic understanding
of youth lifestyles, challenges and potentials.
- Local communities
The main contributions drawn from the Göteborg experience and practice of supporting youth leisure
activities within local communities are foremost the integrated budgetary approach with substantial
long-term funding. This is followed by the enhanced focus on youth ownership and involvement in the
entire process, from initiation to planning and execution, aiming to adapt to the changing
circumstances of youth lifestyles and leisure activities, along with the pronounced gender sensitivity
imbedded in these processes. The initiatives of 'Ungdomssatsningen' and 'Mixgården' show how the
positive potential of the youth can flourish and be nurtured while at the same time create possibilities
of encounters and increased integration across various city districts. However, the changing and more
fluid trends of youth engagement must be better understood and acted upon. They require greater
collaboration and evaluation in order to comprehend the implications and need for more flexible,
responsive yet coherent means of local organisation and implementation.
The examples of 'Ung & Trygg', 'Ungdomssatsningen' along with 'Navigator Center' furthermore
represent successful attempts to build bridges between local communities, local authorities and the
business community. This integrated approach of bringing together a wide range of actors in
successful partnerships must be further elaborated upon since local community initiatives need to be
integrated into larger visions and strategies of participation and mutual dialogue. In the process of 'My
Generation', the City of Göteborg aspires to learn from other experiences and initiatives in order to
enhance the efforts and ability of an inclusive organisation. Furthermore, the wish is to establish close
contacts with potential local community partners for the exchange of methods and practices along with
possible future youth exchange ventures for sustained long-term youth collaboration across Europe.
In regard to the trend of greater labour market demand for higher education levels, the City of
Göteborg has contributed substantial resources to focus on the group of young people with low levels
of education and who thereby risk unemployment and benefit dependence. Successful contributions
are accordingly the directed attempts to follow up and provide individually suitable measures of
guidance, alternative education or work placement for those not attending the upper secondary
education through initiatives such as 'Vägledningscentrum', 'Lärcentrum' and 'Skyddsnätet'.
Additionally, the great possibilities of advancement offered by the adult education system and
advanced vocational education illustrate successful examples of promoting higher levels of education.
There is still, however, great learning potential to develop further preventive measures to reach out to
the group of young people at risk, neither integrated within the education system nor the labour market
at the age of 16-19, and to provide expanded alternatives for this group. Possible strategies involve
greater collaborative efforts with the local business community as well as with local community
organisations in order to reach out to the excluded youth and develop meaningful and flexible
opportunities of education and employment at an early stage. Further learning outcomes include
enhanced vocational training alternatives along with improved language proficiency education.
The ongoing attempts to engage with the business community through ESF supported initiatives such
as 'Navigator Center', 'Unga i Jobb' and 'Framtid i Fokus', where the City of Göteborg collaborates
with various private actors, illustrate how important it is for local authorities to work together with the
business community along with local communities to ameliorate the labour market access for excluded
youth. There is nonetheless a need for even greater efforts, more effective coordination of existing and
future ventures, enhanced local collaboration with the public employment service, and an overall
integrated approach between both the national and local authorities and the labour market where youth
priorities are in focus. The local business community must therefore be encouraged to participate on a
wide range of different levels in cooperation with the municipality, local communities and various
private actors to promote long-term continuity in the integrative youth efforts. In order to build upon
existing initiatives, and strive for a durable and sustainable approach, there is thus a need for greater
influence on part of the business community and their preferences. At the same time, it is of great
importance to reach out to the young at risk of exclusion at an early stage and provide preventive,
integrative and participatory measures of inclusion into the labour market based on their needs and
desires. The intended learning outcomes in relation to youth employment are consequently concerned
with how to extend and advance these collaborative and integrative efforts and how to maintain and
elaborate upon youth priorities and participation as the focal point.
- Supplement 1. City and context.
Göteborg has a population of 493 500 inhabitants, a
number expected to rise to 529 500 by 2015. Göteborg Kärra-Rödbo-
is a city with a high influx of young people in the age Rödbo
group of 19 to 29 moving to the city with the intention Lärjedalen
to study or in search for employment. More than 20 Tuve-Säve-
percent of the population are originally from other
countries. Backa Bergsjön
The organisational structure of the city include 70 gårde
committees and companies out of which there are 21 n
different district committees (see supplement 6). A Älvsborg
district committee reform was introduced in 1990 with stad
the intention to decentralise the political decisions in Tynnered
The Göteborg Region is one of the most expansive
regions in Sweden with one of the largest economic
growth rates throughout the past decade. In several
aspects, the socio-economic development of the region
is rapidly expanding, however, at the same time there
are tendencies of increased socio-economic and ethnic differentiation throughout the city districts. The
following graphs demonstrate how socio-economic segregation in Göteborg increasingly correlates
with ethnic segregation. The first graph shows segregation trends in regard to ethnic background and
residential establishing patterns in the different city districts. The second and third graph show
indicators of education level and annual income level measured in 1992 and 2005 respectively
pointing in a clear direction of increased socio-economic polarisation between the different city
districts, primarily between the north east and the western districts.
Residential establishing patterns in seven expansive city districts
60% Non-EU origin
Bergsjön Gunnared Lärjedalen Centrum Lundby Kärra- Torslanda Göteborg
- Supplement 2. Percentage of youth unemployment in four different city districts (April 2008).
Lärjedalen (North east) 5.6
Lundby (Hisingen) 2.2
Älvsborg (West) 1.1
Centrum (City centre) 1.1
City of Göteborg (Total) 2.6
- Supplement 3. Number of individuals dependent on social benefits in four different city
Lärjedalen (North east) 252
Lundby (Hisingen) 148
Älvsborg (West) 61
Centrum (City centre) 6
City of Göteborg (Total) 1652
- Supplement 4. Education levels from 1997 to 2007, in percentage.
Education levels 1997-2007
Completed upper secondary
education at age 20
60 Qualified for higher education
at age 20
Transition to higher education
40 within three years of
completed upper secondary
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
- Supplement 5. Map of the City of Göteborg decentralised structure of organisation.
City Executive Board City Council
City Council Nominations Committee
City Administrative Office City Auditor´s Office
• District Committee
• Arts and Culture
• Art and Culture
• Real Estate and Housing
• Land and Housing
• Public Works
• Public Works
• Industry and Commerce Other
• Environment Companies
• Other Committees
In total: 70 Committees and Companies
- Supplement 6. Proposed outline of the Local Support Group.
In the process of formulating the baseline study for 'My Generation', a range of actors from local
community groups, to the business community and education authorities in Göteborg have been
involved and preliminary contacts have been established for future collaborations within 'My
Generation'. In order for the 'Local Support Group' to fully represent the diversity and the
decentralised structure of organisation within Göteborg, the following actors are proposed to be
- The City Administrative Office ('Stadskansliet').
- 4 different district committee representatives from the areas of North East, Hisingen, West, and City
Centre, preferably representing various district-focused youth initiatives in collaboration with local
communities and the business community.
- 2 representatives from the local education administration, one with youth education focus and the
other focusing on adult education ('Utbildningsförvaltningen' and 'Vuxenförvaltningen').
- Business Region Göteborg (BRG), a municipal venture to enhance the environment for the local
business community in the Göteborg Region.
- 'Företagarna', a business community network for entrepreneurs with the intention to enhance
opportunities for local business ventures as well as youth initiated endeavours.
- The public employment service ('Arbetsförmedlingen').
- Youth associations and local NGOs representing both traditional and new forms of youth
- The European Social Fund Council.
- The University of Göteborg.
- Supplement 7. List of material for further reading (in Swedish).
Andersson, Pia; Jordan, Thomas (2007) Fritidsgården – en plats för samhällsbyggande? Reflektioner
kring Mixgården i Hammarkullen, Göteborg: Tryggare Mänskligare Göteborg.
Forkby, Torbjörn (2008) Gängrelaterat ungdomsarbete: Utvärdering av Ung & Trygg i Göteborg,
Göteborg: Fou i Väst/GR.
Göteborgs Stad (2008) Budget 2008.
Göteborgs Stad (2008) Göteborgsbladet.
Stadskansliet (2007) Rapport om Göteborgssamhällets utveckling, Göteborg Stad: Stadskansliet.
City of Goteborg in My Generation
Main focus, main contribution and expected learning
Completion of the local baseline study, July 2008
The Swedish urban development policy has as one of its objectives to lead to fewer
individuals living in exclusion in urban districts characterized by exclusion. In the political
steering documents for the City of Goteborg this is described in terms of combating
segregation and promoting integration. Goteborg is a city with increasing socio-economical
differences between different neighbourhoods and between different groups of people with a
clear ethnical dimension. To tackle these problems a local development agreement between
the Swedish Government and the City of Goteborg has been signed, intended to make it
possible for partnerships to be formed between government agencies, the municipality, private
actors and civil society. It is in this context that My Generation will exist and fulfill an
important role as a platform for dialogue and exchange of knowledge and experience on youth
employment and human capital.
Understanding youth life-styles is the main entry-point for the city of Goteborg. During the
implementation of My Generation (MG) the city office will develop its methods to follow up
and analyze young peoples establishing period. The purpose is to increase knowledge on
young peoples different life patterns and to identify key factors related to education,
employment and community activities that contributes to young peoples successful
establishment into self-reliant adult life. Increased understanding of youth life-styles will
contribute to make the municipalities different activities better suited for young peoples
needs. The city office will do a pilot study 2008/2009 in cooperation with the University of
Gothenburg, including qualitative and quantitative data that makes it possible to compare and
follow different groups over time. The expressed interest in relation to MG is to compare and
exchange knowledge with the other partners on the methods and the results of this study. Vital
input could also come from the other three entry-points of MG in this process.
Local community and Youth
Goteborgs main focus in this entry-point is on youth leisure activities and youth participation.
“Ungdomssatsningen” and “Mixgården” are good examples of how this can be combined and
could therefore be a contribution to other interested MG partners. It is through this entry point
Goteborg wants to involve young people and youth organizations in MG. One possibility
could be to develop youth exchange between MG cities through EU-programmes such as
Youth in Action. A breakthrough area and an expected learning from MG would be to explore
how successful youth participation in local community activities can be integrated into
broader perspectives of youth issues including education, employment and crime prevention.
In terms of crime prevention “Ung o Trygg” is an initiative that brings together many actors
in Goteborg with the aim to prevent young people at risk from entering into criminal
activities. Exchange of knowledge on this theme is also of interest.
Education and Youth
In this entry-point the focus is primarily on young people at the age of 16-19 that do not
attend school nor have a job. The focus is also on preventing drop-outs from upper secondary
school. Different measures to follow-up and provide this target group with flexible and
individually suited activities have been developed and the experiences from this could be a
contribution to other interested MG partners. Breakthrough areas in MG would be to further
tighten the connections to the local community and to the business society in order to better
reach and provide the target group with alternatives that brings them closer to the labour
Employment and Youth
Youth unemployment is a prioritized issue in Goteborg. So is social inclusion and turning
segregation to integration. Since the employment issues are handled by national government
in Sweden it is vital for the municipality to collaborate with the responsible national
authorities on a local level. In the framework of Swedish urban development policy, a
collaboration agreement between the City of Goteborg, the Swedish Public Employment
Service and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency is on its way. The reduction of youth
unemployment and youth dependence on social welfare is emphasized in this proposed
agreement. URBACT is mentioned as a tool to have exchange of knowledge and experience
with other European cities. Another suggested strategy is to use the ESF funds in the
implementation of the agreement. A breakthrough area for MG would be to support the
implementation of this proposed agreement through exchange of learning and experience both
on a local level (between different ESF projects) and on a European level (with MG partners
that have similar strategies). The ESF Managing Authority has expressed an interest to
participate in this process.
Different actors and city districts in Goteborg have recently applied for ESF-funding for
projects targeting young people. One of these newly approved ESF projects is “Navigator”
providing guidance, training, work experience and trainee opportunities, along with local
engagement and close collaboration with the business community. The “Navigator”
management is interested in exchange of experience with similar projects in other MG cities.
As for the education entry-point, a breakthrough area is to further tighten the connections to
the local community and to the business society in order to better reach and provide the target
group with alternatives that leads to employment.
Local support group
The local support group (LSG) for MG in Goteborg will bring together the different
stakeholders described in the four entry-points above with the aim to develop effective
strategies and an integrated approach to youth employment and human capital in Goteborg.
Through this synergies can be found and counteractions prevented. Relations between the
different initiatives and entry-points can be developed. The LSG will be linked to the urban
development issues and the networks existing in this framework.
For proposed participants in the LSG see enclosed list.
Urban Development Officer
City Office of Goteborg
Phone: +46 31 368 02 51
URBACT II –
City of Birmingham Project –
Prepared by CSD Ltd.
Table of Contents
1. Focus and priorities of the Birmingham Project ...................................................................................
2 The Challenge in Birmingham............................................................................................................
Table 1: Youth Crime/Youth Arrests/Young Victims - 2003/04 to 2007/08..........................................
Table 2: Young Defendants and Young Victims (by residence) and Incidents of Youth ASB (by
location) in Hodge Hill/Yardley Priority Neighbourhoods - Calendar Year 2007 ..................................
Table 3: 16 – 18 year olds NEET as of 12 December 2007 – by Ward...................................................
3. Work to date to address the problem ...............................................................................................
4. The Birmingham Project ....................................................................................................................
Table 4: Summary of anticipated outcomes .........................................................................................
5. The Mutual Benefits of Birmingham’s Involvement in the My Generation Programme ..................
Appendix 1 Constituency Map and “Hot Spot Maps for Hodge Hill and Yardley......................................
Appendix 2 – About Birmimgham .........................................................................................................
URBACT II – MY GENERATION PROJECT – BASELINE AUDIT
CITY OF BIRMINGHAM – UNITED KINGDOM
1. Focus and priorities of the Birmingham Project
1.1 The primary “entry point” for the Birmingham My Generation project is sub theme
(2), “Local Communities”.
1.2 The primary activity of the project will be to provide a range of sporting opportunities
for children and young people, collectively known as the Streetgames Initiative. The
activities will be selected by the young people themselves, with the sessions being led
by qualified coaches, but underpinned by the commitment to “deliver sport to the
doorstep…to young people where they want it, at times when they want it and in a
style they want….”1
1.3 This provision will be targeted within selected priority neighbourhoods in 2 of the
City’s Constituencies, Hodge Hill and Yardley, where young peoples’ risk of
involvement in crime, anti-social behaviour, substance misuse and dislocation from
education and employment is identified as being at its highest.
1.4 Streetgames has already been operating in 3 neighbourhoods in the above
Constituencies since 2006 and it is the intention, through Urbact II, to grow the
number of local projects to 10 in all over the next 3 years.
1.5 Streetgames in Birmingham has shown that sport has an important role to play in
making communities stronger and safer, provided the sport is accessible and attractive
to the communities themselves.
1.6 Sport and recreation can be a force for community cohesion by highlighting the
common values that different cultures, faiths and generations share. Sport strengthens
the ties that bind communities together by building a sense of “team” and belonging
and engendering a sense of responsibility in participants; and by modelling positive
values and behaviours.
1.7 The proactive involvement of children and young people in the design of their local
programme and as champions for the recruitment of other participants is at the heart of
the Streetgames concept. So too is the involvement of families and other local
residents, which is regarded as the key to developing long term sustainability and a
greater sense of community for all involved.
1.8 The Birmingham project will also address the other My Generation entry point
themes. The direct contact with young people in their local neighbourhoods and
communities will support sub theme (1) “Understanding Youth Lifestyles”, by
providing opportunities to observe and assess a range of other needs and concerns,
both informally and formally. The programme can provide a signposting and onward
referral vehicle for young people as necessary.
1.9 The existing Streetgames programme has already made extensive use of local schools
as venues for delivering activities, consistent with sub theme (3) “Education” and
helped establish schools as genuine community resources whilst breaking down
barriers between education providers and the local community.
1.10 Streetgames works closely with the business community and develops new business
opportunities commensurate with sub theme (3) “employment”. Local residents who
volunteer to help run Streetgames programmes, as well as young people who
participate have gone on to gain coaching qualifications secure employment in other
Streetgames and similar enterprises.
2 The Challenge in Birmingham
2.1 As Table 1 below demonstrates, Birmingham has successfully bucked the national trend by
achieving a reduction in youth crime.2
Table 1: Youth Crime/Youth Arrests/Young Victims - 2003/04 to 2007/08
BIRMINGHAM CONSTITUENCY HODGE HILL YARDLEY
000s 000s 000s
Arrests 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.6
Victims 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.6 1.0 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.8 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.9 0.7
Crime 14.2 12.1 12.0 11.7 10.4 14.4 11.9 11.6 11.8 10.8 14.4 12.3 11.1 12.1 10.7
%age shift in youth crime 03/04 to 07/08 -27 -25 -22
Shaded cells denote performance poorer than City average
2.2 Nevertheless there remains significant current concern amongst City partners about
levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in many neighbourhoods across
the City. This is particularly true for some neighbourhoods within the Hodge Hill and
Yardley Constituencies (see Appendix 1 for Constituency Map).
2.3 The Birmingham Community Safety Partnership’s Strategic Assessment for 2006/07
indicates that Hodge Hill and Yardley are generally areas of high crime, having
respectively the 2nd highest and the 4th highest count of PSA1 crime in the City.3
2.4 As Table 1 indicates, progress in reducing youth crime across the City is not as
marked in these Constituencies as elsewhere and both Constituencies show levels of
above average youth crime, arrests and victims for most years (shaded cells).
2.5 Thus in 2007/08, in Hodge Hill/Yardley there were respectively 300/100 more youth
arrests; 200/100 more young victims; and 400/300 more youth crimes than was the
average across the City for the same year.
2.6 Anti-social behaviour (ASB) involving young people has arguably been the greatest
national cause for concern in the last 5 years and problems with young people and
ASB are particularly evident in some parts of Hodge Hill and Yardley.
2.7 Table 2 below sets out the number of ASB incidents recorded by the West Midlands
Police during the calendar year 2007 in the priority neighbourhoods within the 2
A recent report by The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies – “Ten Years Of Labours Youth Justice Reforms” suggested
that youth crime had risen by 28% since 1998
Public Service Agreements (PSAs) were first introduced by the UK Government in 1998 and set performance targets for a
number of areas of Government. PSA1 is a mandatory crime reduction performance indicator for Community Safety
Partnerships and consists of a subset of ten crime Categories: Residential Burglary; Common Assault; Criminal Damage;
Theft from Motor Vehicle; Theft of Motor Vehicle; Vehicle Interference; Personal Robbery; Theft of Pedal Cycle; Theft
from Person; Wounding
Constituencies. As can be seen, the number of incidents exceeded two thousand in
some neighbourhoods. Overall, nearly 18,000 incidents of ASB were recorded by the
police for the two Constituencies in the 12 month period.
2.8 Table 2 also shows that many of the neighbourhoods have both the highest number of
young offenders and the highest number of young victims as residents. It is a well
established fact that, in the UK, the victims of crime committed by young people are
very often their own peers and contemporaries.
Table 2: Young Defendants and Young Victims (by residence) and Incidents of Youth ASB
(by location) in Hodge Hill/Yardley Priority Neighbourhoods - Calendar Year 2007
HODGE HILL Anti-Social
Behaviour Young Victims Young Defendants
Location Number Number Number
Bordesley Green 2213 210 207
Bromford 192 107 74
Glebe Farm/Stechford 281 97 86
Hodge Hill 1342
Saltley 340 149 145
Shard End 2497 86 65
Ward End 216 78 75
Washwood Heath 1778
Not Known 371 108 80
Acocks Green 2037 112 107
Bordesley Green 56 12 8
Garrets Green 304 103 68
Glebe Farm/Stechford 522 149 165
Gospel Lane 178 75 40
South Yardley 1685
Sparkhill & Sparkbrook 33 4 3
Stechford and Yardley North 1933
Yardley 258 126 102
Not Known 484 163 103
Total 8594 744 596
Shaded cells denote areas with highest number in each category
2.9 Table 3 below sets out the numbers of young people aged 16 to 18 years who were
recorded as being Not in Education, Employment or Training, (known as NEET) as of
12 December 2007.
2.10 Young people who are NEET are at significantly greater risk of becoming
involved in crime and ASB than those whose relationship to education and
employment is stronger. As can be seen in Table 3, several of the wards within the
Hodge Hill and Yardley Constituencies (identified by the shaded cells) have high
numbers of NEET young people.
Table 3: 16 – 18 year olds NEET as of 12 December 2007 – by Ward
Ward Ward Ward
12 Acocks Green 83 1 Kingstanding 124 19 South Yardley 72
15 Aston 78 27 Ladywood 48 17 Sparkbrook 76
2 Bartley Green 108 16 Longbridge 77 23 Springfield 58
Lozells and East
11 Billesley 84 3 Handsworth 103 14 Stechford and Yardley North 80
13 Bordesley Green 82 32 Moseley and Kings Heath 40 18 Stockland Green 76
28 Bournville 45 10 Nechells 90 40 Sutton Four Oaks 13
26 Brandwood 52 21 Northfield 64 37 Sutton New Hall 19
39 Edgbaston 15 25 Oscott 55 34 Sutton Trinity 34
20 Erdington 68 30 Perry Barr 43 38 Sutton Vesey 17
33 Hall Green 39 24 Quinton 57 6 Tyburn 98
29 Handsworth Wood 45 36 Selly Oak 23 4 Washwood Heath 100
35 Harborne 30 9 Shard End 92 8 Weoley 95
7 Hodge Hill 95 31 Sheldon 43
5 Kings Norton 98 22 Soho 64
Shaded cells denote wards within Hodge Hill and Yardley Constituencies. Wards are ranked in order of highest
3. Work to date to address the problem
3.1 Preventing young people becoming involved in youth crime and ASB in the Yardley
and Hodge Hill Constituencies has received significant attention and investment in the
past and, as Table 1 demonstrates, has clearly been successful.
3.2 For example, two of the City’s five Youth Inclusion Projects (YIPs) are based within
the Hodge Hill Constituency, serving young people in Shard End and Washwood
Heath. These projects have been operating since 2000.
3.3 YIPs are part of the UK Government’s national youth crime prevention programme
and are managed by local authority Youth Offending Services (YOS). YIPs target up
to 50 of the most at risk young people age 13 to 16 years in a given area, (as identified
by a number of stakeholder agencies), and provide them with a range of activity and
skill development interventions designed to divert them from potential future
3.4 Whilst the YIP model is well tried and tested, YIPs by definition operate within tightly
defined geographical boundaries and are specifically designed to provide individually
tailored intervention programmes to a small number of teenagers already well known
to the authorities.
3.5 As mentioned above, a Streetgames programme has also already been operating in
three neighbourhoods in the Yardley and Hodge Hill Constituencies, namely Shard
End, Glebe Farm and Sheldon.
3.6 Unlike YIP, this existing Streetgames programme has been able to work with very
large numbers since 2006, attracting nearly 400 children per quarter. However, as with
the YIPs, having only 3 programmes has limited their geographical coverage, whilst
the programme has mainly worked with children aged 8 to 13, as was the requirement
of the Birmingham Children Fund as the major funder.
4. The Birmingham Project
4.1 It is the intention of the partners to Birmingham’s My Generation initiative to seek to
increase the number of Streetgames projects in Hodge Hill and Yardley to 10 over the
next 3 years. This will allow greater coverage of the priority areas, whilst also
ensuring that the programmes offered are available and attractive to all children and
young people in the designated areas, regardless of age and background.
4.2 The Streetgames programme to date has been delivered by a partnership of The
Birmingham Football Association, The Birmingham Children’s Fund, the Streetgames
charity, The Football Foundation and Sport England.
4.3 The Children’s Fund has now become part of the mainstream Birmingham Children’s
Trust provision, and the My Generation Project partnership will be further
strengthened by the establishment of a new Integrated Youth Support Service,
(combining the Youth Offending Service, Connexions and the Youth Service), which
becomes operational in September 2008 as well as enhanced joint planning between
the IYSSS and the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership to ensure the adoption
of a coordinated and intelligence led approach to tackling youth crime and ASB in
priority areas. Hodge Hill has been designated as a pilot area for the development of
the IYSS model.
4.4 There will be a strong focus on involving young people in delivering and sustaining
the programme. Two young people who participated in the existing programme and
who are now Streetgames coaches, have been appointed to the Steering Group (see
Appendix 3). Additionally it is hoped to use the programme as a vehicle to extend a
Community Apprentice initiative currently being delivered elsewhere in the City on
behalf of the Community Safety Partnership. The Community Apprentice model
provides opportunities for NEET young people in deprived and high crime
neighbourhoods to receive accredited training and ultimate employment in work to
benefit their community.
4.5 Table 4 below summarises the anticipated positive outcomes of the Streetgames
initiative based on both the existing Birmingham programme and other Streetgames
Table 4: Summary of anticipated outcomes
Young People Local Community
Improved access to sport especially for young Reduction in actual crime and anti-social
women and young people from BME communities behaviour
Improved access to community resources and Reduction in the fear of crime
other City services Increased neighbourhood and community
Meaningful mechanisms for young people to cohesion
express their views about local services and Increased community confidence and capacity to
resources work together to improve the local quality of life
Improved health and self esteem Opportunities for volunteering and employment
Improved inter-personal skills and problem solving as part of the Streetgames team
skills Improved routes into wider education, training
Opportunities for volunteering, training and and employment opportunities
employment as part of the Streetgames team
Improved routes into wider education, training and
5. The Mutual Benefits of Birmingham’s Involvement in the My Generation
5.1 Birmingham has a long and proud history of involvement with and support of major
European programmes, most especially within the arenas of community safety, young
people and community engagement.
5.2 The City’s interest and commitment to such opportunities has always been threefold
and Birmingham’s involvement in My Generation will seek the same outcomes, i.e.:
To learn from others and apply that learning in the City
To share the City’s experiences and support the adoption of its best practice elsewhere
To showcase the City, its people and its achievements
5.3 In the context of My Generation, Birmingham will look forward to welcoming its peer
city contributors and offer them the opportunity to see at first hand how the
programme is developing and especially allow the young people and local
communities engaged in the programmes to share their stories directly.
Appendix 1 Constituency Map and “Hot Spot Maps for Hodge Hill and Yardley
Hot spots are based on comparison with City average and show composite location of: Young Offenders (by
residence); Young Victims (by residence); Youth Arrests (by location); and Youth Arrests for Possession of
Drugs (by residence).
Hot spots are based on comparison with City average and show composite location of: Young Offenders (by
residence); Young Victims (by residence); Youth Arrests (by location); and Youth Arrests for Possession of
Drugs (by residence).
Appendix 2 – About Birmingham
According to the 2001 Census, Birmingham has a population of 977,087. 503,821 of
Birmingham’s population, 51.6%, is female compared to a national average of 51.3%.
In Birmingham 29.6% of the population come from Ethnic Minority (EM) groups, which is
higher than that of England as a whole at 9.1%. The largest EM group in the authority is
Pakistani at 10.6%, followed by Indian at 5.7%; the corresponding national averages are
1.4% and 2.1% respectively. (Source: 2001 Census)
Index of multiple deprivation (IMD)
The Index of Multiple Deprivation (2004) provides a nationally accepted means by which to
identify the levels of deprivation in England. Analysis of data for Birmingham shows that, of
the 641 super output areas (SOA) in Birmingham, 354, or 55.2%, lie in the 20% most
deprived SOAs in England.
The Active People survey, commissioned by Sport England, provides detail on the levels of
participation in sport and physical activity by adults (16+) for English local authorities (this
data is based on a sample of 1,000 interviews in each area). The results for Birmingham are
URBACT II – My Generation
Addendum to the Baseline Audit Submitted on Behalf of Birmingham City Council
The following submission is provided in response to feedback received in relation to the City of
Birmingham’s original Baseline Audit document.
2. The Birmingham Context
The Birmingham My Generation Project sits squarely within the Birmingham Strategic Partnership’s
agenda to develop and deliver public services at a neighbourhood level via true partnerships
between public sector agencies and officers; residents; communities and Third Sector organisations.
As mentioned in the City’s original submission, the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership has
led the way over the last 5 years in terms of establishing devolved structures through which to
communicate with residents and shape services at the local level which can be effective in tackling
crime and anti-social behaviour.
In its Green Paper “Vibrant Urban Villages”, the City’s Strategic Partnership known as “Be
Birmingham” sets out its vision of “neighbourhood working”, or how the City intends to ensure that
public services and local residents work together to create better neighbourhoods.
This is commensurate with the UK Government strategy to create “Strong and Prosperous
Communities”, which regards active citizenship and strong community organisations, working in
partnership with the public sector as key to neighbourhood renewal and community cohesion.
A new Neighbourhood Board has been established in the City to help drive the neighbourhood
working agenda on behalf of Be Birmingham.
The Board will work through the family of partnerships, the Constituency structures and the array of
neighbourhood management areas to turn the neighbourhood strategy into reality on the ground.
The BMGP will extend and augment this neighbourhood partnership working agenda, with and on
behalf of young people.
The Streetgames programmes at the heart of the BMGP bid will target at risk youth in the most
deprived neighbourhoods in Hodge Hill and Yardley, where rates of youth crime and nuisance are
above average. Through sport, participants will see improvements in their which their health, skills,
confidence and pro-social behaviour all of which is central to the UK Government’s agenda for youth
which the City shares.
At the same time the programmes will add to a greater sense of community cohesion through the
involvement of local residents, businesses, schools and other organisations in the delivery of the
programmes and/or as beneficiaries. Greater cohesion means reducing tension and promoting
greater understanding, between faiths, ethnicities, genders and generations.
3. BMGP links to Education and Business
As mentioned previously, the 3 existing Streetgames programmes in the Yardley and Hodge Hill
Constituencies have developed extensive links with local schools, as venues for the delivery of sports
programmes (see the map below).
However, as well as making direct use of the schools as providers of physical resources, the
Streetgames programmes will be able to liaise with schools and help identify and support young
people with behavioural problems and who are at risk of exclusion or truancy. The development of
young people’s skills and confidence can be an important part of a package to improve their
educational attainment and/or attendance. Older teenagers can also be supported by Streetgames in
terms of their entrance into college and further education and it is the intention of the programme
providers to encourage local FE providers to become mentors to young people involved in
Experience shows that local business benefits directly from the Streetgames programmes, in terms of
reduced crime and anti-social behaviour by young people much of which sees local business people
as direct victims.
The programme developers intend to encourage local prominent businesses to offer apprenticeships
and work experience placements to recommended young people engaged in the programme and will
also be looking to develop sponsorship and marketing links with local businesses to promote the
value of the programme to the community generally and to young people in particular.
Finally, there will be many opportunities for the Streetgames providers, Education and Business to
forge partnerships in relation to relevant and important initiatives such as Healthy Eating campaigns;
reducing alcohol use and misuse; anti-smoking strategies; responsible citizenship; environmental
care and concern; community cohesion etc.
Figure 1 below is a street map of the Hodge Hill and Yardley Constituencies showing locations of:
(i) Birmingham City Council’s Youth Offending Team (East Unit) which is the team with statutory
responsibility for preventing and managing crime and anti-social behaviour amongst young
(ii) Birmingham City Council’s 2 Youth Inclusion Projects, which are local authority,
neighbourhood-based, youth crime prevention initiatives, that have been in existence since
2002. These services have fixed bases and work to a nationally prescribed format.
(iii) The various schools who have become partners to the existing Streetgames programme
(iv) The locations of the existing Streetgames Programmes.
It has yet to be decided where to locate the new Streetgames programmes. However, they are likely
to be located in the hot spot areas as identified on the maps previously submitted and reproduced at
Figure 2 below.
5. Local Support Group
The membership of the local support group is also as yet to be decided and details of this group will
be submitted as son as possible. The Community Safety Partnership has appointed a new Tasking
Coordinator who will have responsibility for the BMGP and who will be pulling the support group
together at the earliest opportunity.
Figure 1. Street Map of the Yardley and Hodge Hill Constituency Areas
Local Statutory Sector Services for Young People within Project Catchment Area
Birmingham East Youth Offending Service
Washwood Heath Youth Inclusion Project
Shard End Youth Inclusion Project
Local Schools who have been Partners with the Existing Streetgames Project
Stanville Junior and Infant School
Elms Farm After School club
Lyndon Green Junior School
Blakenhale Junior and Infant School
Ridpool Primary and Nursery School
Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School
Shirestone Infant School
Audley Primary School
Hallmoor Special School
Hillstone Primary School
Yardley Infant School
Location of Existing Streetgames Activity Sessions
Oaklands field Monday and Friday sessions
Glebe Farm Saturday sessions
Shard End playing field Thursday session
Figure 2. Youth Crime & Anti-social Behaviour Hot Spots in the Yardley & Hodge Hill Constituency Areas
Hot spots are based on comparison with City average and show composite location of: Young Offenders (by
residence); Young Victims (by residence); Youth Arrests (by location); and Youth Arrests for Possession of
Drugs (by residence).
Hot spots are based on comparison with City average and show composite location of: Young Offenders (by
residence); Young Victims (by residence); Youth Arrests (by location); and Youth Arrests for Possession of
Drugs (by residence).
MY GENERATION IN BARI
Bari is the 8th Italian city. 340.355 resident citizens were counted in the urban area, excluding
the population of the towns belonging to the Metropolitan Area, with which Bari can count
about 500.000 residents and city-users.
Bari registers a young population that reaches almost 80.000 people under 30 years-old.
Considering the whole population of the city, Bari is one of the youngest Italian city, with an
impact of the under 30 population that comes to 23.5%, to these statistics it has to be added
the high number of young people coming from different southern Italian regions and from
many Mediterranean Countries to attend the local universities, estimated to other 25.000
Population of Bari
These above quoted statistics should have induced the local Administrations to implement
effective policies towards young generations. Unfortunately there is the need to underline the
lack of such a vision. For many years the local community has taken care of young people
mainly during the childhood, probably because the “Family” institution, particularly strong in
Italy, was supposed to take wholly care of the young people and guide them to the following
steps in the society.
Due to the main transformations of the society that brought, among other consequences, to a
deep crisis of the role of the family and to the weakening of other educational agencies, i.e.
School and University, today the young generations seem to be alone in the difficult phase of
constructing their own identity in relation to what is around them, even in a global scale.
As known and experienced at an international level, which is also the main reason why the
project MY GENERATION is born, youth is a group in fieri (Latin expression which means
in continuous transformation), characterised by a more and more delayed access to
employment and to construction of an own family, by frequent alternations between study and
work, in non linear paths.
On the background, the weight of general transformations of labour market, peculiarities of
different work contracts, but also of representations of themselves, changes of social identity,
cultural references, the growing significance of the work in defining the social coordinates in
which people collocate themselves.
This common scenario is so widespread that keeps together different Cities from very
different Countries, with diverse legal, social, economical frameworks they operate in,
accepting the challenge of re-analyse their work and trying to re-asset the main addresses of
the local policies, looking at the experiences made into the city-partners.
THE FOCUS AND PRIORITIES OF THE CITY SUB-PROJECT IN MY GENERATION
The City of Bari wants to commit itself in engaging the local communities in promoting
youth as a positive resource for the entire community.
The relation between youth and local communities is considered of fundamental importance,
and it’s directly linked, under certain perspectives, with juvenile deviance episodes.
Durkheim introduced the concept of anomie to describe the lack of social regulation in
modern societies as one manner that could elevate higher suicide rates. Robert Merton, a
criminologist that applied Durkheim’s definition of anomie to modern industrial societies
with emphasis towards the United States, specifically, redefined the term. According to
Merton, anomie is the form that societal incoherence takes when there is a significant
detachment “between valued cultural ends and legitimate societal means to those ends”.
This situation, therefore, produces a various geography of deviance and unease – often hidden
and that doesn’t come to sight in the official statistics – which produces different
consequences and behaviours: depressive syndromes, isolation, use of drugs, medicines,
alcohol, aggressiveness, emotional illiteracy. Phenomena recorded in national researches (but
never quantified and really deepened) recognized as increasing in different Social Plans of
MTB, but labelled under the inadequate definition of juvenile deviance, with reference to
which are not set up adequate politics, both at national and local level.
It comes to evidence how these issues are mostly cultural rather than psychological.
Consequently, it should be the collective culture and not the individual suffering the field of
our work, because this suffering seems to be not the cause, but the result of a cultural
implosion, of which young people seems to be the first victims.
A worrying feature of the organized crime in Bari it’s the involvement of young persons in
the criminal activities, a phenomenon that has been defined as the presence of “mafia boys”:
in particular since two decades, boys between 12 and 18 years are engaged by the local
criminal syndicates in a various pattern of actions which mark the beginning of the their
criminal career. After several declarations of the Juvenile Court Presidents who underlined
this dangerous link during the 90’s, in 2005 there was a strong public request of attention,
made by the Attorney General, who clarified the overlapping, in most of the cases, between
the natural family and the criminal one.0
The promotion of youth as a positive asset of our communities is strictly related to this
phenomenon because on one hand it is difficult to work on particular situations without a
clear idea of the wider scenario, and on the other hand if the communities don’t perceive the
risk for their daughters and sons and don’t share the conviction of a possible alternative way,
all the efforts held by the will be useless.
The potential and competences of young people should be finally recognized as a cultural,
social, economic heritage at the service of the entire community. It’s the high time to avoid
politically oriented projects for young people, which usually follow obsolete and stereotyped
schemes, while new life-styles and new ambitions of the young generations should be
recognized ensuring them a generational autonomy in the choice of their own chances. This
will be the first step that the public sector has to make in order to generate a shared conviction
that mafia is not the best available choice.
THE CHALLENGE AND PROPOSED SOLUTION IN PROMOTING YOUTH AS A
POSITIVE RESOURCE IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT
“La lotta alla mafia, il primo problema da risolvere nella nostra terra bellissima e disgraziata,
non doveva essere soltanto una distaccata opera di repressione, ma un movimento culturale e
morale che coinvolgesse tutti e specialmente le giovani generazioni, le più adatte a sentire
subito la bellezza del fresco profumo di libertà che fa rifiutare il puzzo del compromesso
morale, dell'indifferenza, della contiguità e quindi della complicità”.
(Paolo Borsellino, judge, killed by the mafia the 19th of july 1992)
“The fight against mafia, the first problem to be solved in our wonderful and disgraced country,
had not to be a detached work of repression, but a cultural and moral movement that had to
engage cities of Southern Italy, young generations, the most capable to feel the beauty of
As many everybody, especially theBari knows well what mafia means. Magistracy and Law the
fresh smell of freedom that makes you refuse work against the organized crime in Bari,
Enforcement Agencies have carried out a preciousthe stink of moral compromises, indifference,
contiguity criminal groups
striking the and complicity”. with important investigations and trials. In the files of this 20
years fight against organized crime has been underlined several times the role of the minors in
the activities run by the groups, noticing the strict relation between the natural family of the
minors and the criminal syndicate, as a unique universe in which the minor is brought up
learning the values of the belonging to the mafia family.
By this side, the mafia’s experience in Bari is very peculiar. In fact, the criminal organizations
active in the City from the beginning of the 80’s, have started to use regularly minors in their
businesses, contrary to what happened in other mafia type organisations in other regions, such
as Campania, Calabria or Sicilia, which used to considerate the minors too young to be
In Bari, instead, minors have been used and involved in operations of major importance, such
killings and trafficking, undertaking really early the steps of the criminal career. This is
demonstrated by the fact that in diverse episodes of murderers minors had a very active role in
Mafia or, better, mafias have a strict relation with the territories and communities they operate
in, imposing their laws in different ways. Ensuring their order and protection asking in
exchange of the so called omertà (law of silence) for their business. This implies that the local
communities have historically learned to live with the presence and the role of the criminal
groups, building an ancient link between the common people and the mafia families, the
common culture and the mafia culture.
That is why low local communities have to undertake the task of renewing the common
culture showing, especially to the minors, how weak and painful is the choice to embrace a
A complex picture, then. On one hand, the Municipality wants to face the challenge of
sustaining youth in establishing themselves in a very difficult, various and dynamic context,
full of contradictions and weaknesses while, on the other hand, it wants to concentrate its
efforts in engaging local communities in spreading a social anti-mafia culture, in order to
sustain young people and their families in the choice of refusing for their daughters and sons
the certainty of a terrible future.
This challenge is considered fundamental in order to spread a new approach to these issues
starting directly from the local communities, so that a new common sense of responsibility,
belonging and identity can constitute a concrete cultural obstacle for certain individual
choices, especially for the young people.
In the past years, local powers and Institutions have limited their engagement against
organised crime to the activities of Magistracy and Law Enforcement Agencies, sometimes
denying at all mafia’s presence in our territory, while murderers and heavy crimes were
openly committed in the city, with the consequent fear spreading among the citizenship.
Due to these observations, the Municipality of Bari, from 2004, has started a particular
programme aimed to set up prevention politics, in which a relevant part is dedicated to minors
involved or potentially involved in organized crime activities.
The Municipality of Bari has promoted the constitution, in January 2007, of the Agency for
non repressive fight against organised crime, a stable partnership among various Institutions
competent in the security, justice, penitentiary, school, labour sectors in order to create a
unique place where to take decisions, propose and realize projects, face complicated issues
implying different competences.
This whole institutional engagement of the involved subjects is devoted to give a systematic
response to the different needs arising in a complicated issue, like fighting in a non–repressive
way mafia type organizations, especially dedicated to politics in favour of young people
actually or potentially involved in organised crime activities.
The new experience of the Agency for non repressive fight against organised crime has
brought to a new complex approach to this issue and has become an important resource for
the whole territory.
In one year (but the work that has brought to the birth of the Agency has started much earlier)
of work the Agency has discovered and improved the expertise and competences inside the
offices and the institutions, has experimented an integrated approach able to elaborate new
solutions, even for difficult tasks (i.e. the acquisition and management of real estates
confiscated to mafia families)
What it is at the moment needed and recognized as an important weakness is the lack of
involvement of communities in sharing the agency’s tasks. Young people, families and
citizens have been so far considered as mere beneficiary of the interventions, without building
up a real, strong and participated alliance.
Among the working areas of the above mentioned Agency, there is one expressly devoted to
the involvement of the young generations in different activities (i.e. cultural, sport,
recreational), in order, on one hand, to increase their sense of belonging to the community
and, on the other hand, to raise the awareness on problems such as deviance and criminality.
This path has been carried out so far mainly inside the school curricula and has brought
significant results shown during the different projects held in the districts and the schools of
the city. Thanks to the innovative energies liberated by the challenging tasks that have been
undertaken, new approaches have been experimented and brought to appreciable results.
But the Municipality of Bari and the Agency didn’t succeed completely into bring these
resources and energies at the direct contact and disposal of the whole communities. Our
intervention has been focused on deviant single cases, but without envolving completely the
neighbourhoods and the communities in a common strategy sharing the same engagement
aimed to fight the mafiosa culture in our territory.
The next step in Bari’s working-scenario is to make a pact with all the elements that constitute
the local communities, allowing the engagement in different activities for all the young
citizens of Bari, also outside the scholastic institutions, coming to direct contact with them
and contributing to dismantle the widespread mafia mentality.
BARI’S CONTRIBUTION TO MY GENERATION PROJECT
As well experienced, inside the networks all the experiences are useful and able to bring to a
common added value, because their divers characteristics stimulate new consideration on your
own job. That is the main reason of working in a group enriched by main differences among
The city of Bari wants to offer its contribution in terms of expertise and experience in
activities related to non repressive crime prevention policies. Due to the peculiarities of Bari,
as one of the biggest Southern Italian cities, that has experimented the attempts to affect a
particular collective cultural dimension to defend the primary values of life, respect and
In such a way there will be the possibility to create a virtuous circuit trough which the young
generations will be the main actors of a renewed responsible society unifying the different
communities of Bari, which are often separated not only for geographical reasons but also for
BARI’S EXPECTATIONS FROM MY GENERATION PROJECT
The picture, as appears from what above described, is complex. Despite the importance of
quantitative and statistic data, there is the inevitable need to analyze from a qualitative
perspective the features of our young generations. This analysis should be aimed at the
interpretation of the phenomenology of a process in which come along fundamental
dimensions able to affect the collective and individual behaviours, interpersonal relations,
affectivity, familiar sphere, inclination to consume, relation with the institutions.
Conclusions coming from different observatories are about a generation turn down on itself,
they base their existence mainly on the individual resources and on the relations that it is
possible to build up from those resources, especially on the work field.
A generation strictly tied up with materialistic values, often without points of reference, that
doesn’t come up with to link its own existence to the deep actual structural transformations e
doesn’t succeed in thinking as point in a net of wider relations that may allow them become,
trough a collective dimension, active subjects in those transformations.
City of Bari is strongly willing to increase the knowledge on youth policies thanks to the
chance of its presence in such a various and interesting networks as the one made of the City
partners in the My Generation project. The sharing of information, best practices and good
ideas in order to implement new project hypothesis for the improvement of the involvement
of young generation is the main expectation that the City of Bari will try to get from this
partnership in order to applicate these tools in the local policies of non-repressive fight against
ULSG –MY GENERATION IN BARI
It coincides with the structure of the Agency for non repressive fight against organised crime.
Comune di Bari Municipality of Bari
Provincia di Bari Province of Bari
Centro per la Giustizia Juvenile Justice Center of Bari
Minorile di Bari – Ministry of Justice
Ufficio di Servizio Sociale per Juvenile Social services Office
i Minorenni di Bari – Ministry of Justice
Tribunale per i Minorenni di Juvenile Court
Procura presso il Tribunale per Public Prosecutor Office at the
i Minorenni di Bari Juvenile Court
Provveditorato Regionale per Regional Authority of
l’Amministrazione Penitentiary Administration
Ufficio Scolastico Regionale Regional School Authority
per la Puglia
Ufficio di Esecuzione Penale External penal execution office
Esterna del territorio di Bari of Bari
Focus and Priority for Glasgow City Council
1. Main Entry Point / Theme
1.1 Employment: Engaging with the business community and other employment actors
to create pathways to training and employment for young adults, who are or have been
involved in problematic and offending behaviour, particularly those young people who offend
as a group and are seen to be involved in gang related offending and violence.
GCSS recognises that employability is a key factor in helping young people to break out of
the cycle of offending. It is also recognised that a number of young people are not equipped
with the skills or the support necessary to help them get a job, into training or place at college
and is keen to develop this approach throughout the City to address offending and anti social
All young people that belong to an informal group could be deemed gang members. The
difficulty is that nearly all young people hang around in peer groups, thus the concept of a
gang could be applicable to a whole range of informal youth groups in and around the UK.
This issue over the definition of a gang has perhaps exaggerated the problem of gang
subcultures both nationally and internationally. It is important for agencies within their local
area to be able to ascertain the nature of the congregations of young people on public space,
are they gangs or just other informal groups of young people.
The recently Shown BBC documentary on gang violence in the Glasgow area highlighted the
growing levels of violence and involvement of young people. What has to be clearly identified
is that this is not a new problem; issues of gangs and violence have been around in the
Glasgow area for a number of years.
Evidence from local organisations and the community illustrate that this issue has been
around for generations and needs a prolonged and sustained effort to combat. Young people
themselves see this as a weekly “thing to do” or see it as “fun and exciting”.
Why is this issue important?
Gangs are seen to be of growing concern nationally and internationally, particularly in terms
of their links to criminal activities; they are regularly linked to the more serious criminal
offences involving extreme violence and the use of weapons. In the UK the research to
illustrate this link although starting is thin on the ground compared to the US level of
1.2 Other interest
Local communities: Engaging with local communities; promoting young people as a
Young People‟s affiliation to gangs and the associated Antisocial Behaviour has a huge
impact not only on the young person as the perpetrator and as the victim, but it also impacts
significantly on the wider community. Leaving residents feeling under siege and unable to
feel safe and secure within their communities.
Public Perceptions of Crime
"We love Glasgow…but we hate the litter and the yobs4"
The introduction of The Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 aimed to tackle the
problem of antisocial behaviour by bringing in a range of new measures, some specifically
targeted at children and young people, including ASBOs for under 16s, electronic monitoring
of under 16s and Parenting Orders.
In order to gauge public opinion on antisocial behaviour, and to meet national standards on
raising public awareness of youth justice issues, the latest round of the Citizen‟s Panel
included a section on antisocial behaviour. The Citizen‟s Panel is conducted by MORI
Scotland on behalf of Glasgow City Council and surveyed a representative sample of 1,043
residents between March and April 2005.
Questions were asked about a wide range of antisocial behaviour issues, including
experience, responsibility and tackling the problem5.
Experience of antisocial behaviour
Residents clearly felt that their quality of life had been affected by antisocial behaviour during
the past two years, with litter the most frequently cited problem (44% of respondents),
followed by people being rowdy/hanging around (37%) and vandalism/graffiti or damage to
property and cars (33% and 24% respectively).
In addition many residents felt that these problems had increased over the past two years,
with 20% stating that littering was worse, people being rowdy/hanging around had increased
(16% of respondents) and that vandalism etc had also risen (13%).
Who is responsible for anti-social behaviour?
Most people (53% of respondents) felt that young people (categorised as teens, 13-19 year
olds) were responsible for antisocial behaviour in Glasgow.
Just over one-third (35%) of citizens said that the amount of crime and antisocial behaviour
committed by young people had risen in the past two years but just under half (48%)
believed that there had been no change. These are widely held perceptions that have been
replicated in various studies.
It is difficult to estimate the true prevalence of youth crime but statistics from both the
Children's Reporter and Strathclyde Police show a reduction in the numbers reported and
detected crime and offending.
Why do we think Youth crime is rising?
The Citizen‟s Panel asked residents what sources of information led to their response. The
majority of respondents (76%) stated that they based their views on „things I have seen going
on in Glasgow‟. This suggests that people do base their views on direct observation and/or
experience, although only 10% stated that they had formed their response due to crimes
committed against themselves or people they know.
There are areas within the Glasgow that have been identified as hot spots for anti social and
offending behaviour. Recent media coverage has focused on these areas and in particular
Evening Times headline, 15th June 2005
5 For the full MORI results see www.glasgow.gov.uk.
the gang fighting. Reports indicate that violence, disorder and weapon carrying are three of
the most prevalent issues within these areas.
Strathclyde Police have identified that there are approximately 300 gangs known to them
across their Policing boundary, 174 of which are within Glasgow and are known to regularly
2.1 Why we need to tackle this
Unemployment within Glasgow presents a significant challenge towards the regeneration of
the city, sitting over 2% above the national average. Within this, Glasgow also has the
highest percentage of young people falling within the „NEET‟ grouping within Scotland, (Not
in Education, Employment, Training) at 19.1% (almost 1 in 5 of those leaving school).
Analytical work conducted with key partners in relation to gang activity in Glasgow suggests
significant numbers of young people and adults involved in this activity fall within the
category of NEET.
Glasgow is recognised as having a significant issue in relation to violence, with the World
Health Organisation assessing the City as one of the most problematic in Europe. Gang
activity is responsible for a large proportion of violence occurring with young people under 19
accounting for 28% of violent crime reported to Police. Analysis conducted regarding one
specific gang equated that they were responsible for 443 crimes in under 1 year. Therefore
through working with a target of 6 gangs per year there is potential to reduce potential
criminal activity by over 7500 incidences over a 3 year period.
The combination of educational underachievement and criminal involvement means that this
group faces significant barriers towards progression into employment, and are highly likely to
become long term unemployed adults.
It is recognised that securing and sustaining employment is a key factor in helping young
people in gangs break out of the cycle of offending. It is also recognised that a number of
young people are not equipped with skills or support necessary to enable them get a job, or
into training or place at college.
GCSS can demonstrate success in delivering services aimed at this group.
Working with young people - GCSS has been working within this area since 2003 with
young people involved in gang activity and delivering programmes aimed at challenging
offending behaviour and offering them the chance to put something back into their local
Working within „employability‟ - Over the last 12 months this work has been expanded to
encompass employability and GCSS have developed and delivered a pilot project based
along the model outlined for this initiative. This has involved working with two groups of
young men from rival gangs, 13 of whom are now participating in a Choice Works
Programme. A significant outcome has been that not one of the participants has gone
onto commit any crime since joining the programme. Out of the 13 participants, 9 are
now engaged with in a range of work placements including: plastering; joinery, brick
laying, painting / decorating, and landscaping / horticulture. The other members are
receiving ongoing support to assist them with attaining placements. Of this 9, 4 are
currently going through interview process with City Building to take up full
apprenticeships, 2 are looking to take up employment with Land & Environmental
Services, 2 have guaranteed employment within GCC Education Services, and 1 will be
working with GCSS.
2.2 Proposed Solution
GCSS plan to deliver a unique programme in response to the level of anti social and
offending behaviour committed. The headline aim of the programme is to increase access to
education and employability for those who participate.
The initiative will contain 3 key stages.
Stage 1. Identification of target group
Information and intelligence - participants will be identified using a range of information
and evidence. This will include intelligence gathered by GCSS Crime Management
System, through Police, the Procurator Fiscal and Children‟s Reporter, dialogue with
community based networks, and partners including education, and social work. The aim
will be to target those who consistently offend or commit antisocial behaviour in a group
or gang. The initiative will work with a number of members from two rival gangs at the
same period so as to address the issues of peer pressure and territorialism, as well as
enhancing employment prospects.
Home visits - will be conducted as part of a 1st stage assessment by GCSS specialist
staff to inform the young person of the intelligence that has been gathered relating to
them, and offering intervention support in the form of the initiative.
Formal assessment – Home visits will be followed up by a formal assessment to identify
suitability, avoid duplication of service input from others, and to develop a personal
development plan tailored to the needs of the participant. Such support will include
elements of educational input, eg literacy, and family support in the shape of mentoring.
The aim of this work will be to prepare the participants regarding the content and process
of the initiative, and clarify expectations of the participant and of GCSS.
Stage 2. Engagement & Consolidation Phase
This stage focus on using a combination of group work and 1:1 sessions over the
following key areas:
„Choice works‟ sessions – participants will create personal development plans that
encourage them to take responsibility for their learning; work through an individually
tailored programme to assist them to gain basic skills, including literacy, numeracy and IT
skills; and participate in activities that enhance motivation.
Offence based group work sessions – participants will be challenged to explore their
reasons for gang involvement, the impact it has on their lives, and to identify and develop
skills required to make informed choices about their behaviour and associated
consequences. This is particularly pertinent to reducing tension between rival gangs.
Outdoor Activities – participants will engage in a range of activities such as gorge
walking, abseiling, climbing and other sporting activities which will provide opportunities
to challenge the participants to travel out of their territory, work as a team and enhance
self esteem. SQA modules such as “working as a team” “problem solving” and sports
coaching will be offered alongside, enhancing employment opportunities.
Support to progression – throughout the course support will be given to assist
participants to explore potential education, training and employment opportunities
Stage 3. Training for Work – this involves a 3 month placement to get the participants job
ready. GCSS currently work with a range of job providers. This work will be expanded
further to ensure participants can gain employment in a broad range of fields, thereby
ensuring their continued motivation.
GCSS are in the process of establishing the organisation as a Learning Direct Centre. We
currently provide a mobile resource to local communities, providing access to a range of on-
line and digital learning resources. An Action Plan is underway to establish a „Learning for
Employment‟ centre within our main office from which the core of this programme will be
dedicated GCSS Employment Coordinator - this person will be responsible for
developing links with the Council, Local Enterprise Companies, voluntary and private
sector to develop a range of additional placement opportunities. GCSS have already
developed a strong linkage with a range of „Training for Work providers, including City
Building (a major building and repair company part owned by the Council) who are
currently expanding their apprenticeship schemes.
GCSS Work placements – GCSS will provide a range of opportunities within its services,
including the Environmental Community Action Teams, Graffiti Teams and others,
depending on the participants personal development plan. Placements will be allocated
to allow the participant a range of experiences.
During the placement the mentor and Employment Co-ordinator will work to develop potential
pathways for participants into employment, training and education. Support will be given if
participants do not manage to complete their work placement. They will then be supported to
address the issues that contributed to that and re-enter at Stage 2 of the initiative.
The model is based on a broad based partnership led by GCSS. We have already
developed clear links with Community Planning partners, the voluntary sector, and
community networks. The GCSS Locality teams will facilitate the community based nature of
the initiative through participation in:
Police Tasking & Coordinating Groups
Youth Justice Forums
Area Planning Groups
Continued employment support will be achieved primarily through involvement with local
regeneration agencies and local youth provider networks which are a part of the Glasgow
Strategic Youth Partnership.
3 Contribution to My Generation
GCSS has a wide range of knowledge and experience in working with young people and
views this as a major aspect of its contribution to My Generation. Our work with Gangs is an
area we feel able to share good examples and experience. Additionally we have applied a
range of other interventions such as our youth engagement and mobile resources teams,
schools liaison staff and RJ staff in a range of settings.
We feel able to share our learning from this range of interventions and evidence examples of
We hope to demonstrate that this holistic form of support will reduce participants‟ motivation
to engage in gang activity, reduce family conflict and reduce residents fear of crime. It will
also be used in gauging overall progress of the initiative.
Uniqueness of initiative:
The initiative is unique in many aspects as outlined below:
Intelligence / information – the initiative is unique as it targets groups of known
individuals who are regularly involved in antisocial behaviour and criminal activity via the
use of a broad range of information and intelligence as previously outlined. A Police
analyst within GCSS will monitor individuals involved in the initiative to update staff of any
slippage in behaviour so these can be addressed and supported immediately.
Gang focused –working with groups of gang members will allow the challenging not only
of the individual but the group dynamics as a whole. This will reduce the likelihood of
peer pressure interfering with progress. It will further reduce conflict scenarios between
Holistic support - as outlined the support goes far beyond that of the individual to
include the family, peer network and the broader community. This is outlined
comprehensively in the above section.
Seamless approach – the initiative offers a seamless approach which will reduce the
number of single agency involvement. Through participation in the „Learning for
Employment‟ Service, the participants programme can be flexible, responsive and
The initiatives‟ 3 elements of intervention, enforcement and reassurance is the first of its kind
in Scotland and piloting of it has brought significant interest from other local authorities and
the Scottish Government.
4. Learning from My Generation
We believe that the opportunity to learn from the shared knowledge and experience of
partners through My Generation will be a real assert to developing programmes in this area.
My Generation will offer us the opportunity to gain a wider understanding of the issues and
potential solutions employed by partners. The opportunity to explore global solutions and
gain knowledge from the experiences of others that will allow us to shape and develop
further our programmes to ensure we maximise opportunities for the young people involved.
Baseline Study for Riga City (extended)
1. The focus and priorities of the city sub-project in My Generation
Since civil society is still in its development phase in Latvia, low participation level of
citizens is still an issue. It often can be noticed in a quite modest interest of the society to be
involved into public debate while developing both local and national legislation. Still, it
becomes even more evident as one wishes to explore the scope of voluntary work movement.
However, one also must admit an on-going increase of the NGO sector capacity. The area of
interest of more than 8000 NGOs is extremely wide – from protection of cultural heritage and
nature till advocacy for different minority groups and regular participation in the work of the
Youth organisations have traditionally been one of the most active segments of the Latvian
public sector. However, since the national parliament passed the Youth law this May, the
psychological background for development of youth initiative and youth policy in general is
better then ever.
Therefore we believe it is equally crucial to strengthen capacity of youth organisations,
particularly by promoting increase of number of their members, and to position young people
as an asset for the community development by facilitating their participation in the social
processes happening on local level. To reach this in the framework of My generation project,
we want to address the second entry-point, which involves engaging with local community
and building partnerships with NGOs.
We also see a good opportunity to support these activities by involving educational
community. According to Latvian legislation youth is made of persons in the age of 13 to 25.
At the same time, most of the students finish secondary school in the age of 18 (sometimes
even 19). This means that a big part of young people (and also younger children) can be
reached at schools to inform them about different ways of spending their free time and the
opportunities it creates. What is more, providing extra activities in the field of civic education
is an integral precondition to insure personal development of young people and their
participation at all levels.
2. The challenge and proposed solution in promoting youth as a positive resource in
2.1. The challenge
Just as in the Latvian society in general, the biggest challenge in the youth work in Riga at the
moment is the level of youth participation. For the last three years experts, municipal youth
workers and NGO leaders have been observing a tendency of decrease in number of young
people who are active in pupil councils (at schools) and youth NGOs. At the same time the
number of applications handed in for youth initiative project competitions organised by the
municipality of Riga dropped dramatically from almost 70 four years ago to 20 – 25 this year.
Even though there has been a quality improvement in the youth voluntary work lately, the
results of the “Research on social and political activity of young people in Latvia” (ordered by
the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs of the Republic of Latvia in 2007) illustrates the
41% of young people who took part in the research stated they would never take part in any
voluntary activity and only 21.4% admitted they had done voluntary work in the last 12
months. At the same time approximately half of all the children and young people of school
age in Riga take part in hobby education programmes (singing, dancing, drawing, technical
creative workshops, environmental education, etc.) and other extra-curricular activities. What
is more, this number has been showing a slight increase in the last years.
The youth NGOs, in turn, are also showing a limited capacity. For example, in 2007 twenty-
six biggest youth organisations in Latvia involved only 9% of young people as their regular
members and another 7% as occasional volunteers. At the same time in Riga, the biggest city
in Latvia with 124.5 thousand young people, there are just around 50 active youth
organisations (excluding students councils).
If asked about the reason for such a scope of operation, the leaders of youth NGOs usually
mentions limited financing and shortage of experienced youth leaders (which is often also a
matter of regular budget of the organisations). At the same time, when being asked about the
reasons for not joining voluntary work, young people themselves mention, first of all, lack of
interest (35.5%) and lack of information (26.9%). Another noteworthy reason is lack of time –
a big part of young people are not only studying (at school or in a university), but also
working part time (or even full time).
As we see youth voluntary work now as an unused resource, we do believe it is crucial to
inform young people about it and the benefits it creates. It is not just a way how to contribute
to development of the city (by helping to keep it clean or in hundred other ways). It can be
also a good start of a career, which helps to learn taking responsibilities, teamwork planning
and timing, delegating tasks, communication and other social skills which can’t be fully
acquired in the framework of formal education. Doing voluntary work is also a part of values
education, which can contribute to the comprehensive development of young people.
For a similar reason we consider it to be important to improve the capacity of youth NGOs
thus ensuring that they become a noteworthy partner of the municipality in implementing
youth work and youth policy. Being closer to the society than the municipality, they can reach
more young people (especially in the age of 18 – 25) and provide them an invaluable
experience through participation in different projects and managing the organisations.
What is more, strong and sustainable local youth NGOs would have a necessary capacity to
take part in the decision making process regarding the municipal youth issues on a regular
Until now activities of Riga city in the field of youth work have been mostly connected with
creating for young people opportunities how to spend their free time. An important tool in this
field are 15 municipal Children and Youth Centres where young people and children can
attend hobby education classes. Moreover, different hobby education programmes are
available in all municipal schools.
Another traditional activity of the municipality in the field of leisure time activities has been
organising children and youth camps. In 2007, for example, almost 13000 children and young
people participated in a camp which was co-financed by the municipality of Riga.
To provide young people more opportunities to have quality time also in the evenings and at
weekends, the municipality founded 14 Free Time Centres (mostly in the so-called “sleeping
areas” of the city). Two more of them will be lounged this autumn. These centres do not
provide any special programmes. However, they create space for young people to interact
with each other while playing table games, listening to music, reading periodicals or
organising activities for themselves.
For the last five years there have also been two small grant competitions a year in order to
support youth initiative projects. The topics of the approved projects are very wide – starting
with organising free time activities for less opportunity kids and up to involving young people
into improvement of a territory of a Children and Youth Centre.
The long-term focus on the leisure time activities has created new challenges in youth work
for Riga. Even though there’s a wide range of opportunities for young people in the city,
many of them are poorly informed about the options. What is more, a big part of young
people in the age of 18 – 25 do not consider themselves to be addressed by the municipal
youth work. This prevents them from making use of youth support system of the city and
burdens a regular dialogue between the young people and the decision-makers.
Taking this into consideration, the Department of Education, Youth and Sports of Riga City
Council has started shaping Youth Work Development Programme of Riga City for Year 2008
– 2012 which final version is to be taken to the public debate after it is finished in September.
Covering 19 different areas, this will be the first large scale municipal planning document in
the field of youth work. To ensure its positive and long-lasting effect, it is based on the
principles of inclusion and cooperation. If earlier young people and youth NGOs were mostly
treated as clients of the municipal youth work, now they are being invited to join not only
implementation, but also planning of the youth work.
The programme defines 3 priorities of the youth work in the municipality:
information about opportunities for participation and support;
participation of young people in the decision making;
strengthening the capacity of the youth workers.
Still, it has to be admitted that in the previous years building the capacity of youth NGOs and
promoting youth voluntary work haven’t been in the centre of municipal attention. Advocacy
for the youth organisations has traditionally been a competence of Latvian Youth Council
(since most of their member organisations have offices in the capital city, which is also the
administrative, political and educational centre of Latvia, a noteworthy part of the operations
of Latvian Youth Council are held in Riga).
However, these capacity-building activities were mostly implemented under the framework of
different international projects, which narrowed the issue to separate public events and round
Similarly, there hasn’t been a single institution to keep the coordination of youth voluntary
work nor on the municipal level in Riga, nor on the national level. This resulted in a weak
development of voluntary services and lack of a positive image of voluntary participation in
the society. However, quite a new player in the field – an NGO “brivpratigais.lv” has
developed an internet-based platform for exchanging information about “demand” and
“supply” for voluntary work. A youth emphasis will be added to the platform by the end of
2.2. Proposed solution
While working on the Youth Work Development Programme of Riga City for Year 2008 –
2012, it became evident that a compulsory precondition for further development of youth
work in the municipality is involving youth NGOs into decision-making process regarding the
youth issues and building partnerships with youth organisations in field of implementation of
There’s already a plan to start regular consultations between youth NGOs and the Department
of Education, Youth and Sports of Riga City Council. However, founding a new youth NGO
consultative body in the City Council is also on the agenda to ensure that young people are
directly heard by the decision-makers.
Still, we find it of big importance in Riga to promote networking between youth NGOs
themselves, which would help organisations to come up with common ideas and speak in the
name of local young people in general, not just of their members. Therefore it would be of big
support for the development of youth policy in the city to found a round table of youth NGOs
that would serve as a common platform for exchanging information and debate between the
In this regard we see My Generation as a new and powerful platform to bring together
different organisations in order to discuss and shape the development of youth work in the
city. As the biggest and the most active youth organisations have also joined the network, the
Local Support Group has already brought together the organisations interested in
improvement of the youth work system in general, not just in implementation of their
projects. Consequently, further systematization and formalization of networking, as well as its
broadening is expected to take place under the framework of My Generation. This should lead
to creation of a regular “round table” of youth NGOs and, possibly, other organizations
interested in youth affairs in order to advocate interests of young people in the municipal
institutions and in the society in general. Another aspect of it would be to exchange best
practices and specific knowledge between the organisations in order to improve the quality of
youth work implemented by the organisations themselves.
At the same time My Generation will create a common information and idea space, thus
giving the stakeholders an opportunity to reach a better mutual understanding and to search
for partners for other initiatives. For example, several organizations who joined My
Generation have initiated discussion on founding a “Creative House” in Riga – a non-formal
education institution to be lead by young people themselves. This idea, which now will be
slowly developing into a separate project, includes launching a youth information centre and
creating space for not that experienced young people to try out their initiatives and to attend
specially designed educational programmes.
Moreover, it is necessary to provide young people with information about opportunities they
have in the city. This could be about NGOs working in the city and their projects or about
voluntary work opportunities. It could be also about non-formal education programmes
available and public events organised for young people.
What we believe is to be done in this field is grunting access to the diverse information. This
will be achieved by publishing booklets about youth NGOs and other participation tools, as
well as by redesigning municipal education portal www.e-skola.lv. A special “Youth” section
of the portal will provide diverse and up-to-date information which is relevant to young
people in Riga. Of course, young people themselves will be invited to contribute to the
content of www.e-skola.lv by sharing their experience or by initiating new activities.
To provoke young people’s curiosity we plan also to organise seminars and public
informative events dedicated to the issues of voluntary work and youth NGOs. Inevitably,
young people themselves will be involved thus showing an example of participation to their
peers. Quite efficient locations to reach young people are schools and universities where they
spend most of the day. Therefore in the framework of My Generation we will need to work
closely with administrations of educational institutions. Firstly, to show them how social
activities of their pupils and students could supplement the formal education they are gaining,
and, secondly, involving them into promoting purposeful ways of spending free time among
However, the representatives of universities in the LSG expressed their wish to go beyond
being just observers and facilitators of actions initiated by other organisations. Since they are
working with young people on a daily basis, universities are interested to connect educational
process with the needs of the community. Asking students to come up with practical solutions
for the challenges the city is facing (in regard to the quality of young people’s life and even in
a broader sense), while developing their researches or thesis, could make a better connection
between the studies and the “real life” and give students an opportunity to express their
Adding this direction to My Generation was warmly welcomed by the representatives of
business community. So, from just defining the skills and attitudes they expect young people
to have when they enter the labour market, the entrepreneurs are now heading to designing the
concept of “students’ creative laboratory”. As it is positioned now, it could be a safe
environment for young people to experience developing practical solutions for the challenges
of the city and of the businesses located in it. In this way with the help of business games,
simulations and case studies the laboratory would provide students from different background
a noteworthy professional experience, involve them into improving city’s environment and
promote their networking with business professionals. After being worked out in the My
Generation LSG the idea of the laboratory could later join the project of “Creative House” as
its important part.
So, the laboratory and “transformation” of the content of education at the universities would
create another dimension for My Generation and enriching the outcomes of the project by
promoting development of active, socially responsible, skilful and inclusive youth.
Still, it has to be admitted that motivating young people to get involved into social activities
(also into voluntary work) is not enough. There should be also diverse range of organisations
and institutions to provide them space and opportunities for participation. Therefore another
step to be taken is promoting youth voluntary work in the society thus ensuring appearance of
new vacancies for voluntary work in hospitals, social and day-care centres, etc.
As it can be seen, there’s a wide range of ideas currently being brought up on the agenda by
different organisations. Therefore we perceive the My Generation now firstly as a common
platform to discuss them among all the stakeholders and to look for opportunities to interlink
them. In a nutshell, the contribution of My Generation project in Riga will be:
bringing together the stakeholders in order to shape the youth policy of Riga in way
that it fits the needs of young people as good as possible;
creating a common information and idea space for organisations working with young
facilitating participation of young people in the community’s life;
involving youth into city planning and decision making;
positioning young people as a positive resource for city development.
3. What do you think you can contribute to the My Generation Project
What we believe we can contribute is our experience in the field of organising leisure time
activities. First of all, this is a children and youth camp support system. As it was mentioned
before, the municipality annually co-finances camps organised by municipal and state-
founded educational institutions, NGOs and private companies for young people of Riga in
the time of school holidays. These camps can be organised during day-time (for example,
from 9.00 a.m. till 5 p.m.) on the territory of the city and just provide opportunities for
(mostly) small children to spend their free time in an active and interesting way.
There are also camps organised outside the city (and which run 24 hours a day). They are
often used as a tool to continue educational process – especially for youth groups who take
part in hobby education and sports – and combine “lessons” and trainings with free time
activities (games, hiking, evening events, etc). NGOs (also youth organisations) are quite
active in organising camps outside the city. They mostly organise adventure camps and
provide an outdoor experience for young people.
Therefore Riga city has accumulated a wide experience on non-formal education methods that
can used and safety instructions that need to be followed while working with young people in
camps, as well as defined knowledge and skills camp leaders need to have. More educational
programmes for new camp managers and leaders are to be lounged next year.
Another successful experience we can share is employment of 13 – 14 year-olds during
summer holidays. Since private companies are not interested to hire them, the municipality in
cooperation with State Employment Agency provided them an opportunity to work for one
month in municipal educational institutions so that they can earn their pocket money. This
year 500 young people were involved in improvement and maintaining of inner premises and
the surrounding of the schools.
A quite unique experience for Latvia is having a highly developed hobby education system. In
Riga, as it was already mentioned, hobby education programmes are being implemented in all
general education institutions and also in 15 Children and Youth Centres. The variety of
available programmes in the fields of arts, techniques, nature and languages allows young
people to pick a programme they are interested in and develop their creativity and social
skills. What is more, programmes in choir singing, folk dances and folk musical instruments
is way how to keep traditions alive. The outstanding results they create can be seen during
Youth Song and Dance Celebrations which take place every 4 years.
Consequently, we are very enthusiastic to share best practices in maintaining the hobby
education system and developing programmes.
4. What do you expect to learn/ benefit from the My Generation Project
Since Riga city is widening its scope of youth work, through participation in My Generation
project we expect to learn best practices of other partner cities in two core fields –
participation of young people in decision making and youth voluntary work
Even though consultations with young people is a regular practise in many EU countries, we
haven’t been successful so far in developing a sustainable communication and debate
platform between young people and the decision-makers. Therefore it would be interesting to
learn how other cities managed to raise interest of their youth NGOs to join a permanent
dialogue with the politicians and how representation of interests of young people coming
from different backgrounds (especially of the unorganised youth) is ensured.
Another big challenge is development of youth voluntary work. Therefore we expect to learn
how voluntary work is being promoted in the partner cities and who is in charge of its
coordination (if any). Best practices in the field of promotional campaigns and motivation
programmes are also of big interest.
Still, as one of the biggest benefits of the project we see the URBACT II Local Support Group
itself. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, who have a luggage of diverse
competences, a new perspective of youth affairs can be gained. Thus, instead of treating
young people from the position of youth work, an interconnection of educational,
professional, social and intellectual aspects of young people can be seen. We believe that
inclusion of representatives of academic, research and business communities into the ULSG
will help to come up with an action plan that will promote comprehensive development of
young people (in a way that they would by interested to take part in society’s life actively,
would know how to get necessary information about possibilities available, and would have
necessary personal and professional skills to participate in the community and in the labour
In order to achieve that, the local partners will be actively involved, first of all, in the
development and implementation of the action plan. Since most of the organisations involved
are interested in particular areas of it, the LSG will mostly operate in the format of working
groups which will be dealing with designing and implementing particular activity fields.
However, approval of the local targets and the action plan itself, as well as the progress
evaluation, is still to be done by the whole of LSG.
As it has been agreed with members of LSG, its structure will be kept as open as possible, in
order to allow other interested organisations to join particular activities or the whole of the
project. Since My Generation is a long-term project, this is especially important to encourage
youth organisations, resources (also personnel ones) of which are not that sustainable. For
example, Latvian Youth Council is struggling with their capacity at the moment and is not
ready to join the LSG until spring next year.
However, a number of youth organisations have already joined the network. So, there will be
an opportunity for them to directly impact the whole development of the project in Riga in
order to make it fit youth needs better. Moreover, sustainable youth involvement instruments
will be developed for the city during the project and are supposed to be maintained also after
the official closing of the programme.
Getting back to the issues we expect to learn via international cooperation in the network, we
are looking forward to find what are the state and municipal support programmes to youth
NGO operations in the partner cities to see if their best practices are applicable to the local
reality of Riga. Of course, we are also curious about the challenges they face in the youth
policy and the solutions they will put into practice in the framework of My Generation.
Local Baseline Study
-MY GENERATION -
1. The focus and priorities of the city sub-project in My Generation
The main entry point, the Municipality of Tirgu-Mures wants to address is Employment and
Youth, respectively promoting connection to labour demand and future needs of the business
community, thus strengthening the links between local economic development and
The other theme in our case is strictly correlated to the first one, respectively Education and
Youth and consists in laying stress on the role of education in preparing young scholars for
employment and in counselling them in order to find the proper job.
According to our concept, education is also responsible in offering a realistic view of the
socio-economic and political environment within its geographic area, a role fulfilled by
introducing in the graduates’ curriculum the so-called “preparation courses regarding
According to recent studies and statistics there is a decreasing tendency in the number of the
population, due to the fact that a large number of young people tend to immigrate to abroad in
search for better paid jobs or due to unemployment. Moreover it has been registered a lack of
skilled young workers and an increasing number of students following university courses,
strongly influenced by the large number of public and private universities present within the
Thus, it constitutes a high priority to adopt a social policy, strategy meant to discourage
unemployment and migration of young labour force and to facilitate the employment of young
graduates within the town, both as skilled workers as well as university graduates, a measure
that will lead consequently to the development of the local economy.
2. The challenge and proposed solution in promoting youth as a positive resource in urban
Therefore, the main challenge faced by the town in this respect is to reduce unemployment
among the newly graduated students (graduating from vocational schools, high-schools and
universities) with regard to the consequences arising from this problem that is migration
towards other localities within the country or to immigration to abroad leaving behind a
society made up of mostly elderly people and loosing valuable human resources.
Unemployment, in general constitutes a problem within the town and there is a continuous
effort by the Public Employment Office to find the proper solution for this issue.
In this respect, the Public Employment Office organizes the so-called “Job Market” within the
town two times a year, which submitted to an analyse presents the following strengths and
- The local community is keen on - insufficient cooperation between
finding solutions for this social the involved institutions and the
category: the Young unemployed business community
- it is recognized the need for a - lack of feedback due to
Counselling and Orientation in organisation, publicity
Career Office - few students participated, because
- the existence of several educational they were not prepared by their
units: high schools and vocational educational unit for this job market
schools within the town - the lack of a Jobs Handbook, issued
- a large number of young people well before each Job Market and
participate to these job markets containing descriptions of
number of jobs available,
suggestions, ideas on how to
prepare for the interview
It results from a thorough analyse that in order to have a more successful outcome of the
applied solution (the job market) and mainly to better focus on young graduates there is a
high demand to establish a mediator unit between the educational units, the business
community and the local authority, mainly an informational support within school units,
presenting relevant data of the town’s economic development, the tendencies of the local
economic market as well as informing on the employment policies in force and providing
counselling services for the young graduates.
The role of this unit, called “Office for Counselling and Orientation in Career” would be
the promotion of youth as a positive resource right from schools, consisting in providing
educational, informative programmes/classes for a target group aged between 16 - 25, in the
idea of guiding them, helping them in choosing a job, following a career as well as
counselling them within the framework of an open dialogue, on their problems regarding their
future orientation: what job would fit them, what kind of studies should they follow, what the
demands, needs of the local/national economy are, assessing in this way their expectations
The target group for this project is represented by students following vocational schools
(school groups with technical and commercial-services profiles) and students from high-
schools as well as young university graduates.
This mediator unit could be realised as a result of the cooperation between the Public
Employment Office, the Municipality of Tirgu-Mures, and the Local School Inspectorate as
heads of this new system. Altogether they would contribute to the good function of this unit,
providing a real picture of the local economy and the local community’s needs seen from both
sides that of the business community and of the possible young employees.
The Local Support Group’s contribution in putting into function of this unit consists in the
following: the public employment officials’ role is to provide the statistic data, the annual
reports and the juridical framework as well as to offer counselling services for legal issues and
support in employment procedures; the school inspectors’ role is that of establishing an
informational network between the School Inspectorate, Educational Units and the
Counselling Office, meaning that they will appoint students to help in distributing leaflets,
audio-visual materials in educational units, distributing and gathering questionnaires issued
by the Counselling Office, while other students will activate in the Counselling and
Orientation in Career Office on a voluntary basis (in the idea that students are the most
appropriate ones for mediating the information towards their fellow students having a better
understanding to their problems); the representatives of the business community are to
support the elaboration of informative materials, annual assessments regarding local economy
as well as the drawing up of presentations on local/or multinational companies for the yearly
issued Jobs Handbook, and finally in showing openness for employing freshly graduates.
Assessing the young graduates’ expectations and needs is an essential step in the mediator
unit’s activity, thus the data resulting from the questionnaires are centralised and all worked
up. In order to be able to answer to all these questions and to offer viable solutions/advices the
staff of the office will have to maintain a close cooperation with local institutions, especially
the School Inspectorate, the business community and the Public Employment Office as well
as the Local Public Authority, all of them being responsible in offering updated information
regarding the number of students expected to graduate, the work opportunities available
within the local economy, the employment policies, the available qualification courses, future
job possibilities as a consequence of the implementation of major projects.
A useful instrument will be issued each year and utilized by the Counselling and Orientation
in Career Office that is the Jobs Handbook. The Jobs Handbook will follow a well defined
pattern consisting in brief presentations of the local or multinational companies mentioning
the number of jobs available for the respective year as well as an assessment on the last year’s
results, together with suggestions regarding the preparation for job interviews. This Handbook
will be published well before the Job Markets taking place within the town, leaving time for
the students to consult its content and make the necessary preparations for the interview.
This kind of office will have a positive role in the life of the community since it would help in
reducing unemployment, possible migration of the young work force and will make available
a series of information indispensable when choosing a job, moreover revealing new,
unexpected opportunities for those graduating.
3. Contribution to the My Generation Project
It has been the My Generation project the starting point, the “vehicle”, the stimulator not only
for identifying so clearly the local issue regarding motivating and promoting youth labour
force within the town but also for finding a viable solution aiming to improve the issue of
youth employment by an integrated approach consisting in a network of local partners.
The strategy itself that is to establish this Counselling and Orientation in Career Office built
in order to combat the problem and adapted to a concrete real environment, has as final
outcome the reduction of unemployment among young graduates and thus decreasing the
migration of valuable young labour force towards abroad or other localities within the
During the implementation phase of the My Generation project, the municipality aims to draw
up the action plan of a useful Counselling Unit that will encompass all the accumulated
experiences of our project partners within this area and follow a model of best practice in
establishing this kind of Office.
4. What do you expect to learn/benefit from the My Generation project?
Given that the country (Romania) has just recently joined the European Union, efforts are
made both on the national and local level in order to develop a functional social system in
accordance with EU norms.
In this respect the municipality is keen on learning from the exchange of ideas and
experiences of its partners and identifying a best model practice regarding youth labour force
management, respectively finding employment for freshly graduated students and ceasing the
migration of young labour force towards abroad which could contribute to the development of
the local economy.
The Municipality of Tirgu-Mures is open for suggestions, solutions proposed by its partners
regarding the most efficient way this office should function, the staff it should have, the
activities proceeded in order to achieve its objective, that of supporting young graduates in
finding jobs. It would be also very useful to get acquainted with the way this kind of office
could be financed.
The benefit of this project would consist in drawing up a Local Action Plan, comprising the
conclusions resulting from the exchange of experience and ideas between the partners of the
project that will serve as staring point in implementing the project.
Short presentation of the town:
Tirgu-Mures is situated in the central part of Romania, respectively on the Transylvanian Plateau,
surrounded by the volcanic Carpathian Mountains, seat of the Mures county constituting a
unique tourist potential as well as a rich natural resource: with fertile agricultural lands, large
forests, salt mines, mineral water springs and natural gas sources.
The town with a population of 150.000 citizens, is a railway, road and airway junction, situated at
the intersection of two European roads (E60, E65), and several national roads and railroads,
having an international airport located next to the Industrial Park and 1 km distance from the
The town owns a unique social, cultural status among other Transylvanian towns due to its
multicultural pattern, consisting in the coexistence of several ethnic communities: the majority
being Romanians (50,35%), Hungarians (46,68%), Saxons/Germans (0,18 %) and Roma (2,51%),
as well as Jewish and other ethnic groups (0,17 %).
Deriving from its natural resources the town has an industrial profile, with the following
branches: extraction of natural gas, wood processing, chemical industry, pharmaceuticals and
leather industry. However, the employment sector represents a large palette with the most
important key businesses like: furniture production, distribution and production of
pharmaceuticals, the production of cables and wires, production of machinery, hard utensil
components, production of chemicals, leather manufacture, tourism, telecommunication, banking
services and constructions.
On the other hand the municipality has always been considered a cultural and academic centre.
Within the centre of the town there are representative buildings dating back to medieval times,
like the Medieval Citadel, and others bearing the features of late Baroque, like Count Teleki’s
world famous library and others characteristic to the Secessionist period, like the Palace of
Culture, the Philarmonics, etc.
Tirgu-Mures is also considered to be a student campus. It has several high schools and vocational
schools as well as two state universities, the Medical University and the Engineering, Technical
Sciences University Campuses and a few private universities that have introduced new directions
The Municipality itself pays a special attention to the youth theme. Each year a part of the local
budget is allocated to the modernization of kindergardens and educational units. Several cultural,
educational events take place, all organized by the Municipality or the School Inspectorate where
the young students are invited to participate.
Local non-governmental organizations also deal with the youth theme. They are making efforts in
offering accommodation and food, integrating them into civil society, offering work places in
workshops for the social category of disadvantaged young people, especially those who suffer
from HIV and those abandoned.
For young graduates and young people in general, the Labour Force Department organizes Job
Markets, professional reconversion courses.
However, there are missing links, poor organization and other gaps that need to be filled and
Basic Study for My Generation – Gdansk
1. The focus and priorities
Local community and youth: Promoting the positive potential, public image and engagement
of youth in local communities and neighbourhoods and combating exclusion and criminal
There are districts in Gdańsk where you can find particularly heavy social exclusion and
buildings are mostly in bad condition. These are old areas that remained devastated after the
shipyard and other industry had been closed. No regeneration actions were taken. Whole
generations of people staying there are less educated and poor. Among such areas we can
enlist New Port (Nowy Port) and Down Town (Dolne Miasto). Nether less the location of
these areas is attractive and the architecture is old and valuable. There is growing number of
people from other areas interested in moving there – most often people of better education and
higher social status. Additionally, thanks to development of local civic communities and
growing sense of democracy in society in general you can find a lot of local initiatives – that
supported – would become perfect starting point of revival for the districts.
The list of social problems that are usually inherited from the older generation:
Long-term unemployment related to low qualifications – unemployment in New Port
is mainly related to low education (45,4 % unemployed has gymnasium degree and
lower). Low education level, long period of unemployment and little vocational
experience are connected to drop-out from education system. Youth older then 15 yrs.
do not continue school and do not try to find any job.
Disability or long lasting chronic condition among children and the elders;
Helplessness in running the household;
Helplessness after leaving the penal institution;
Unsatisfactory examination performance in local preliminary schools and
gymnasiums; – in 2008 r. final exams were beneath the average for the City;
Low safety level and criminal careers;
On the other hand we can observe a lot initiatives emerging in these areas: associations,
informal groups, cultural institutions, and councils for districts (council in New Port has been
appointed in 2008 as a result of community initiative).
So our goal is to constructively manage the potential of the youth and support emerging
initiatives so they can be part of everyday life for the whole community. Important is to find
out the optimum model of cooperation between all the actors that would support animation of
To achieve main goal: promotion of the positive potential, public image and engagement of
youth in local communities and neighborhoods and combating exclusion and criminal careers,
integration of actions is required. It includes integration of different entities, local
communities with particular emphasis on parents and the elder generation.
To children and youth with social
exclusion (institutions, schools, local ALTERNATIVES
authority, implementation of good Attractive program for the spare time and
practices in cooperation of different engagement in local initiatives – after school
institutions) PARENTS AND THE ELDERS program, voluntary work
Support for parents in solving the(schools, organizations, cultural units)
problems with the youth, engagement
of the families in events with children
and youth (schools, organizations,
There are many services, institutions and organizations working for children and local
communities in Gdańsk. Social policy is oriented towards promotion of responsibility, civil
society and supports it in institutional manner. However in the recent history of polish society
there were no civil cooperation and lack of civil society tradition lowers the efficiency of local
actions. Many valuable initiatives emerge for short time. Many valuable organizations work
lonely without any support. In effect we can observe that much effort is being put in actions
but poor results are brought because of no continuation and shortage of finances.
The neglected areas are often difficult to work in for different services. This situation requires
deep integration of actions, especially on the fields of addiction prevention, social care and
education. Flexible and efficient strategy is a must. Lack thereof causes deeper escalation of
social problems. It also supports low level of civil society. Additionally, it is difficult to shape
new attitudes and promote patterns without support in family.
The representatives of the main stakeholders engaged in ULSG defined preliminary list
of issues to be addressed during project My Generation:
Lack of motivation in youth to search for their „own way” and taking the life decisions.
a) difficulty to attract the youngsters to take actions. We observe short-termed motivation
to take actions. Youth doesn’t search for new areas of interests; do not engage in local
initiatives – connected with problem with recruiting youngsters to different project
b) short engagement causes the problem, that youth doesn’t gain enough experience to
carry out the activities there were supposed to learn;
c) low creativity and willingness to perform artistic actions; lack of motivation to think
and act in creative way;
d) undeveloped need to explore, and search for individual way in life;
e) low level of active citizenship among youth, low engagement in social matters, lack of
promotion of proactive citizenship attitudes
f) lack of acknowledgment for the initiatives coming from young people themselves and
lack of support for these initiatives – lack of the positive background from the adults.
Lack of skills essential to cooperate within peer-group:
a) lack of conflict solving skills, self-oriented thinking, „only my goals are the most
important”, egoistic attitude;
b) violence in schools and on streets;
c) lack of responsibility and low skills of negotiation different solutions;
d) lack of skills to cooperate in group;
Insufficient attention/interest of parents in their youth – lack of authority
a) parents have no time, lack of encouragement or serious attitude for actions carried out
by youth (“you just play but when will you begin to study?!”)
b) bad influence of the older youth from other districts (above 15 year old youngsters that
impress with antisocial behavior)
c) negative attitudes and patterns that are easily integrated by youth and children in few
districts of the city; this patterns allows to behave in risky manner (alcohol, drugs), the
common rationalization of this fact is: „because I come from Down Town – it is my
No diagnosis of youth problems and difficulty with setting up an attractive program of
activities for youth
a) often, when the interests of youth are unknown or differ much – it is difficult to come
up with an attractive offer for their spare time;
b) youth seem not to see the danger in some risky actions, cannot take responsible
decisions, or face the challenges during outdoor activities (particularly important with
younger kids – older youth don’t anticipate the danger for health or life when
preparing a camp or excursion
c) lack of diagnosis in matter of societal engagement of the youth
Insufficient networks, non-supportive institutional surrounding – lack of vision and
a) low quality of cooperation between institutions;
b) youth don’t trust institutions offering activities for them;
c) activities for youngsters should be organized by youth not by adults;
d) limited skills in preparing activities independently by youth;
e) no support system for such activities;
f) there is no systematic way of using engagement of young people in non-profit
activities as prevocational experience (in matter of voluntary work preparing to
There were several actions and projects that took place in the areas of social problems like:
streetworking, cooperation with schools, social care units, Police and cultural institutions.
There still a good diagnosis needs to be made in districts of our interest: New Port and Down
2. Proposed solution
Engagement of all actors working with children and youth and finding out the optimum model
of cooperation between all the actors that would support animation of the communities – these
are key factors for successful implementation of solutions:
Lack of motivation in youth to search for their „own way” and taking the life decisions, to be
a) carrying out the research about activity of the youth (range of engagement in civic
b) carrying out motivational workshops, integrating excursions,
c) motivating children and youth towards voluntary actions;
d) actions and educational events developing youngsters’ curiosity, willingness to
explore and search for their “own way”, as an alternative for negative attitudes and
patterns that are easily integrated by youth and children in certain city districts;
e) carrying out theatrical workshops involving drama methodology aimed on integrating
two groups young people from these two appointed districts, get them together to
know each other and engage in final work on one joint play under supervision of
specialists (workshops, clubbing, integration of the youth and instructors);
f) encouragement of the youth to influence the surrounding they live in by preparing
their own projects and fundraising.
Insufficient attention/interest of parents in their youth – lack of authority
a) „rewarding” parents and schools, where students carry out extracurricular activities
(e.g. letter from the mayor)
b) promoting positive attitude and patterns in modern art by various kinds of artistic
Lack of skills essential to cooperate within peer-group
a) trainings, workshops in subjects of conflict solving and negotiations
No diagnosis of youth problems and difficulty with setting up an attractive program of
activities for youth
a) researches in subject of youth involvement in non-profit organizations;
b) street work: long-termed and systematic monitoring of the district. In given time street
workers show up, identify local institutions, try to make preliminary judgments on
problems of local community, and most importantly – they search for places where
youth show up and make a contact with them to gain trust and identify the socio-
economic living conditions.
c) attractive program should be presented to youth by youth, so recruitment to activities
should be carry out by members of the pear group
d) to implement the rule of binging up the follower (“if I decide to quit then have to train
someone who will take over my position” – continuity of action)
e) preparation of special course: “young leaders school” and carrying out the
f) carrying out various outdoor events (concerts, happenings) and promoting other
attractive ways for youth’s spare time
Insufficient networks, non-supportive institutional surrounding – lack of vision and
a) education of professionals and youth towards cooperative work, setting up the
standards of trainings so we can guarantee safety and at the same time use creativity of
youth to prepare attractive activities;
b) preparation of special course for youth councilors/advisors
c) setting up a systematic of using engagement of young people in non-profit activities as
prevocational experience (in matter of voluntary work preparing to professional
career) : “Path of Career”;
d) setting up an youth advisor within Center of Support
e) establishing “youth fund”- granting - (that would help to develop active attitudes
f) establishing contacts with local institutions that offer care to children and youth in
order to gather number of data about community and its members but also to establish
local pact with mission to help community members (preferably to children and youth
from unprivileged families)
g) monitoring and evaluation of the program
Method of Interdisciplinary Work – GSPP, Gdansk Stogi
Partnership of proffesionalists – means stronger local community - means stronger civil
To secure good living conditions and development of the youth it is necessary to develop
complementary cooperation methods between persons and institutions dealing with the youth
and their families local context – method of interdisciplinary work (systematic,
multidimensional interaction with the person, group or family that enables to prepare
coordinated local action plan).
The key factor in cooperation is the interdisciplinary team of specialists, representatives of
local institutions. They cooperate in systematic coordinated way. Each member of the team
has recognizable position in his/her profession and necessary qualifications to work with the
youth, their families or local community.
The fundament of systematic actions is regular meetings of the team – once a month for 2 hrs.
During the meetings common decisions are made regarding the plan of help for the youth and
their families (main program is prepared by the team and then is personalized to needs of
given youngster or the family). Local action help for youth and local community are also
prepared during these meetings.
The interdisciplinary work for the youth and their families is a good practice how to engage
and cooperate with local community. It might be used in different districts of cities of various
characteristics – nationwide and even abroad.
Such elements as: the integrated work of professionals, that commonly care about youth in
their district, creation of the right attitude among members of the local communities, adults
taking their responsibility for the youth and creating the alternative offer for negative patterns
allows to convince the youth that they are needed for their families, local community, their
city, fatherland and the world.
4. Our expectations to learn from the My Generation Project
Finding out the optimum model of integrated cooperation between actors that would support
animation of the communities based on potential of the youth.
This includes knowledge how to develop bigger participation of local communities, specially
youth generation in management of common, local areas. This also includes knowledge of
how to make youth to feel responsible for local community, for their life. This also means –
as a summary – how to create territories socially responsible in opposition to helplessness and
stagnation, that is common tendency in current times.
ERATIION – DEVELOPMENT PHASE URBACT IIII
ERAT ON – DEVELOPMENT PHASE URBACT
BASELIINE STUDY OF VALENCIIA CIITY
BASEL NE STUDY OF VALENC A C TY
1. The focus and priorities of the city sub-project in My Generation................
2. The challenge and proposed solution ...........................................................
2.1. The challenge ....................................................................................
2.2. Proposed Solution .............................................................................
3. Contribution of Valencia to the My Generation Project ................................
4. Benefit from the My Generation Project .......................................................
Annex: Introduction of the city and context ....................................................
1. The focus and priorities of the city sub-project in My Generation
The main entry-point the city Council of Valencia wants to address is the first theme:
Understanding different models of young people’s establishing period into adult
life including monitoring methods, youth panels, individual coaching and
The City Council of Valencia is working on a “More Opportunities” strategy in order to
enhance leadership for young people in Arts. There are many indicators that have provided
enough evidence to show that our City is very active and has plenty ideas that finally are
much successful in the Arts Sector. There is a wide number of young people interested in
studying Arts and Design. There is a high Education School of Arts and many people from
outside the City come to develop their artistic vocation to the City of Valencia. Our goal is to
create a link between young students and the labour market, because it has been
highlighted as a great potential in that artistic business niche.
We are also focussing our efforts to obtain facilities and better conditions for young people in
order to allow them to establish themselves definitively in the city of Valencia, providing
them an easier access to Housing.
The second theme we wish to address is Local Community and Youth, Promoting the
positive potential, public image and engagement of youth in local communities
Our target population is youth in general with many different requirements and needs that
are satisfied in a particular way. There is a close relation between young people and the City
Council of Valencia. It has being highlighted the need to support the young people that may
be in the border line of being excluded. Our goal is to understand Young People Problems
and to look out for solutions. We are planning activities that will allow them to improve their
needs and to become really independent and autonomous.
The city of Valencia is looking closely at young people with special needs in order to settle
down satisfying measures for them. We wish to provide answers and to act as a mediator
among all local initiatives either public or private that involve young people. The goal is to
improve Valencia‟s Youth settlement in the City.
There is a Municipal Youth Plan that is establishing directives that go in that direction,
defending the idea that Youth is not a transfer from childhood to adult life but it is an entity
in itself and it should be tackled differently.
This is the reason why we are improving youth public services, and redefining them in order
to adapt them to new needs that young people have nowadays.
Young people mean great potential for economic and social competitiveness, and our
modern societies are convinced that we have to value them more. In order to get them
involved the City of Valencia is determined to get to know them better.
Other issue of great interest is the link between youth and the labour market and in which
way it is possible to attract young people to live at the city centre.
2. The challenge and proposed solution
2.1. The challenge
2.1.1- The Challenge for our first priority is:
The goal is to make young people understand that there is a great potential in the Arts
sector. The City has a Design College full of students that should be regarded not only as an
art discipline but also as an industry. The City of Valencia will try to develop the artistic
vocation among young people to bring about more economic outcomes. What the City of
Valencia wishes is to incentive students in getting more dignified artistic jobs. The creation of
jobs in the artistic sector is an unexploited area but the opportunity is identified.
How are we planning to do it?
o Entrepreneurship promotion in arts.
o Complementary training in order to develop self confidence
o An easier access to Housing in Valencia City is also going to be facilitated
o To offer information services in order to let young people develop their own way of
2.1.2.- The Challenge for the local community and youth is:
The City of Valencia is conscious that its Youth is not highly involved in the Local Community.
Historically, there is no tradition of getting involved in local public responsibilities. The aim is
to get them fully involved and highly participant in all issues that are concerned of the City
Council. To stimulate interests and involvements of young people in institutional information
and local responsibilities.
2.2. Proposed solution
The Youth Department of Valencia is making a great effort to become a contact that speaks
in the same language young people speak. The communication channels are much adapted
to young mentalities, the way we are communicating with young people is very important.
And it is part of the solution; we are making great efforts in communication. One example is
our website that is a facilitator that provides direct information, and is only one of our
initiatives that wishes to change the negative image that young people have of public
The City of Valencia is working hard to become the “one stop shop” for all types of
requirements of Youth European Business Opportunities, i.e becoming a global information
access point. We have already established 14 youth Centres distributed in all areas of the
City in which Young people have available all sort of City Council services and access to
specialised magazines and newspapers, free internet, leisure activities, etc . In short time
there will be more Centres opened in order to cover all City areas.
Information access is the first step to improve Young people situation, to provide them with
business opportunities and all kind of solutions to a wide range of needs.
The solution we propose to our challenges is to make available to young people all the
relevant information that answers their needs and by doing so we provide them more self
confidence, self employment, education, business opportunities and others. The City should
be seen by young people as the facilitator to foster them in becoming independent and a
place where living is an advantage, in order to achieve the goals they set for their lives.
The information channel is the City of Valencia Youth Department that communicates with
young people about all different areas as a whole through the 14 Youth Offices. These will
become the first and most direct window opened to the young people. This is the way to
attract young people from all areas of the City and to offer solution to all different
The Youth policies are horizontal and propose solutions to City Council Delegations that may
belong to different areas. Young people are a very demanding population that may need
support of different departments.
We propose solutions based on experience and not based on theory.
- What needs to be done differently/ in a new way in terms of the idea, focus, networking,
partners, resources, methods…?
We still haven‟t solved the problem on housing. We are looking to provide solutions because
we do not want people leaving Valencia due to housing difficulties. We are trying to develop
programs to avoid the decrease of young population settling in the City. Currently Young
people have a Young People City Council Office that is in charge of looking for channels to
get housing more accessible. We need new resources, methods and to look carefully what
others are doing to solve the same issue in their cities. When we solve this problem it will
mean that we have managed to do a breakthrough.
The other contribution to My Generation is to conclude the Project having accomplished the
goal of being the link between City Council and Young population. To become the gateway
to solve their problems, to work directly with them and access business opportunities and
- How will the young themselves be involved in the project?
The way we are planning to make young people involved is with a close contact with the City
Council and frequent communication exchanges.
The Youth offices opened all along the City of Valencia and are always available to provide
information and to collect the needs from the young people. Nowadays there is a network of
14 Youth Centres but we are planning to open more to reach the entire City and with a
coordinated strategy that includes all public City Council services.
At this moment young people go to these Centres and demand solutions to their needs. This
process is well orientated because there is a good acceptance of the solutions provided and
it helps to redefine new services.
With the claims presented the City proposes new services, for example the education and
business training program. The City of Valencia has defined policies that have included
education promotion and complementary training for all the detected gaps: languages,
computer skills, selection skills for employment access, artistic disciplines, personal
The way we are going to communicate with young people will contribute to their
involvement in the project. The One Stop Shop is the chosen strategy to become the link
among young people and the City. There will be several Communication channels: Internet,
Sms, etc will also help to get directly into their own environment. It has been done a specific
website for the Youth Department with a totally different image created by young artists that
will attract more young people and make information more accessible. It will be done a great
effort to reach young people in a much more modern, friendly and closer approach. We
count on private companies of young entrepreneurs that will be also involved in this task.
The aim is to break psychological barriers that young people may have when dealing with a
Public institution as the City Council of Valencia. The use of the language is a crucial tool and
the way to communicate with them is determinant to reach expectations.
We are fully convinced that if we are able to communicate frequently with Young people, we
will manage to obtain direct feedback. Consequently we are going to increase their
involvement and finally improve young people public services.
The creation of the Local Support Group will assure a real involvement of young people
because they will integrate these different associations. We are planning to include all City
Councils department that will be attending all young people needs. The Local Support Group
is going to be composed by:
The Polytechnic University of Valencia with the Ideas Institute will be dealing with all the
entrepreneurship and innovation support community. These are composed by young people
and students that need a specific support in order to put into practice their business ideas
and assure them well orientated business plans.
Local Communities will also be a part of the Local Support Group and they will also
collaborate with NGOs participating in the My Generation project.
Business Communities will be represented by the AJEV: Young Entrepreneurs of Valencia
Association that will provide a specific support to involve young people in the business
community, promoting activities and new opportunities.
FIVEC is the Foundation that dedicates a great effort to the Urban Innovation and Economic
Knowledge and will give support to young people on technological and scientific issues as
well as in business management with a close relationship with Universities.
VEO Foundation promotes the Scenic Artistic activities supporting young artists.
These with the participation of other NGOs will attract more young people to get involved in
the My Generation project.
With the collaboration of all actors involved in the Local Support Group we are going to
propose professional roadmaps for the Young creative community. We have identified
among young people in Valencia an emergent great potential that could be translated into
new businesses opportunities leading the Design sector in the near future.
We need to work closely with Young enterprises, and students coming out from the Higher
Education School of Design, and to provide them with tools to become more
professionalised, competitive and to stay established in the City.
We believe that the Local Support Group can offer the opportunity to build a good image of
the Young Valencian artists that are awarded and recognised at an international level.
3. Contribution of Valencia to the My Generation Project
There are several good practices that we wish to contribute with to My Generation Project.
These have been developed by the Youth Delegation, we can see results and highlight the
Complementary Training programs that have been put into practice in order to cover
some identified gaps in their training: There is a complementary training program especially
on artistic disciplines, as for example leadership in arts as one of example that is highly
demanded. Other notorious big gap is the lack of Language skills, which is widespread. The
City of Valencia provides language courses and linguistic travels in order to improve Youth
empowerment and enhance their self confidence. Languages offered are: Chinese, Russian,
Japanese, English, Arab, etc. This is a very innovative offer because it is very cheap and has
a great demand among young people. We are giving support to the training disciplines that
are not offered in the Higher Education or Universities but that has been highlighted as a
real need for young people: most of them are free of charge and cover different fields like
for example, Computer and entrepreneurship skills.
Self employment: our young people are bold and have great initiative. They have
demonstrated that they are able to establish new businesses. Results are notorious and since
this service was created the figures are increasing every year. The Entrepreneurship program
of the City of Valencia has created 169 companies and it represents 30% of the
entrepreneurs that asks for support. There have been 550 entrepreneurs that have
demanded our services. The most significant figures are the very high companies‟ success
rates. It is 95% of the companies created with our help. The average at national level of the
young people creating companies is 70%. We are also very early entrepreneurs in
comparison with the national average our young people at 31 years old establish their own
business, 6 years before the rest of the young Spanish people that only start their own
business at 37 years old.
Valencian young people are not only very self-confident but also very innovative, genuine
and very hard workers. There is also a high figure for immigrants entrepreneurs: 24% of the
businesses created are leaded by immigrant young people.
Moreover, there is a high level of participation in the programs of screening young artists.
These had positive results of integration into the labour market, this is the reason why
artistic entrepreneurship is chosen as our target group for this project.
Valencia is developing two thematic areas: a creative area and an innovative area.
Regarding the first point, a number of activities are being considered to involve young artists
and promote their works, offering them the opportunity to conduct practices in various
companies in the sector.
- “Valencia creates”, Contests of Youth Creation
The Department of Youth wants to reward young creators and bets on them, promoting in
national country and abroad their artistic work.
What began with a contest that attracted 185 young designers is now an event with a
National Award, in addition to the Valencia Prize, and an exponentially growing number of
participants, reflecting its short but vertiginous career and that has wide acceptance among
the young audience.
- Access to exhibitions – For young people between 18 and 30 years, and who wish to
exhibit their works for free, the Youth Department from Valencia Council offers a network of
Exhibition halls for them to show off their creativity.
- Biennial of Young Creators – The Biennial of Young Artist from Europe and the
Mediterranean is an international cultural association, formed by 20 member countries and
partners in Lebanon, Palestine and Israel, whose main objectives are to encourage and
enable communication and exchange of the young creators from the various countries,
promoting cultural exchange beyond geographical and political boundaries, creating a Europe
and a Mediterranean united by art.
The Department of Youth is a member of the Spanish Committee within this partnership, and
offers the possibility to the young winners of “Create Valencia”, to participate in the meeting-
exhibition, which takes place every two years in a member city, thereby giving known
outside the borders of Valencia, the works of their artists, as well as an enrichment due to
the experience of coexistence with other young people from different countries and cultures.
b) Participation in the “Fashion Week”
Secondly, in the innovation area, the City Council of Valencia wants to boost
entrepreneurship, to improve training programmes and to facilitate access to housing for
young people, presenting four programs:
- “Valencia Idea” – Contest of innovative and entrepreneurial ideas: The city council of
Valencia rewards the initiative of its young entrepreneurs. Valencia Idea is a competition for
young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 35 who want to display their innovative
To promote entrepreneurship, innovative ideas and to support R & D in companies from
Valencia, support is given to young people who have an innovative project in the fields of
biotechnology, energy and environment, Information Technology or in the field of leisure,
culture and sports, inviting them to participate in Valencia Idea.
- “Entrepreneur Valencia Program”. Enterprises, business ideas, Start-ups.
- “Language Training Program”. Improve training in foreign languages, mainly English and
empower emerging languages such as Chinese. The Youth Department from the Council of
Valencia offers language courses for young people to broaden their knowledge in Arabic,
French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, etc.
- “Training Program”. Programs to complement training and leisure activities, not only for
young people but also for children to enjoy at summer time. There is also a very successful
training program about “individual development”, and Labour Market and Employment
knowing the labour market in order to make it easier for young people to integrate in it.
- “Youth Housing Program”. Providing access to housing in the city. The Department of
Youth is launching an Office of Housing for the Youth, where young people will be informed
about housing supply in Valencia. They will also advise them legally if they are to sign a sale
or rent contract, and put at their disposition a bureau of housing rental for make it easier for
them to find a house compatible with their capabilities.
With these programs already in action, Valencia can highlight the strengths and weaknesses
of each and highlight good practices and teach and exchange them with other partners from
Valencia wants to strengthen the link between youth and the labour market and promote
downtown as a living space for young people, for that reason several results are highlighted.
4. Benefit from the My Generation Project
We wish to learn from others, how to involve young people in Local Community, how to
solve the housing problem we are currently facing. We are looking forward to see how other
Cities address similar problems and solve them in different ways.
We wish to discuss with other colleagues from other Cities the way of dealing with youth
problems and to know more about solving problems experience. We hope to identify good
practices and to compare and adapt them to the Local community.
The establishment of the local Support Group will contribute to involve all youth key actors
and will help to accomplish in a better way the initiatives proposed.
ANNEX: INTRODUCTION OF THE CITY AND CONTEXT
In annex: Introducing the city and context, and other material you deem
- A short presentation of the city and context, with a particular eye on the youth theme
The city of Valencia is the centre of a metropolitan area that reaches one and a half million
inhabitants. Is the third Spanish city in population size, after Madrid and Barcelona. The
population of the city is relatively young, with 19% of it between the ages 15-29 and 33%
between the ages 30-49.
Valencia has an emerging economy. It has a large floating population, generated by young
people entering universities. The city is inclusive, opened to the outside world, full of new
ideas and has a strong potential in the design area, plastic and creative arts. Young people
looking for new trends, new ways of expressing their concerns, aspirations and desires, are
reflected in Valencia.
Many public and private institutions promote designs among youth. One of these institutions
is the School of Art and Design in Valencia, counting more than 150 years of history, a great
renown and that conducts student exchanges with other European schools.
Regarding the Youth policies from the Municipality of Valencia, in the website of the
Department of Youth it‟s possible to find everything that it‟s done in this field. The
programmes of the Department of Youth include themes raging from the additional training
young people need to work till the most original way from them to spend their spare time,
help assembling their own businesses, in how to find a job, having a good work interview, or
to find and purchase a house for them to become independent.
The activity of the Department of Youth led to the initiatives Youth Mortgage, Valencia to the
Entrepreneur, Courses and Language Programs, Youth Information, Valencia Crea, VEO,
Summer Plan, University Forum Luis Vives, Moon of Valencia and much more, approaching
The focus and priorities of the city sub-project in My Generation
2. The challenge and proposed solution
2.1. The challenge
The main challenge most of the members of the Local Support Group have clearly
mentioned during the two sessions organised is the lack of coordination and cooperation
between several youth teams across the city. Patras has a vibrant university with many
youth associations as well as many sport teams, non governmental organisations, many
performers but there has never been a close relations among all these. All the members
of the LSG supported that young people can contribute to the urban development if they
have prior to this gathered their power and inspiration. Separated actions and efforts
cannot guarantee any kind of visible result. Nobody could mention any kind of former
effort or local action plan to support any kind of coordination between youth teams and
nobody of the LSG has ever participated in a king of attempt. This has resulted in young
people trying in their way, in their place without utilising potential support by any other
team. One side effect is that university students “live their own life” away from city’s
worries and problems and city’s youth do not take advantage of a very powerful youth
community in University of Patras.
The main scopes of city’s main challenge are the followings:
1. Coordination of youth initiatives without oppressing their inspiration and will
2. Bridging the gap between university and city of Patras
3. Utilising new technologies during this effort
Pending results of city’s sub project is a very powerful network of youth initiatives that
cooperate in a way that added value is being produced. Moreover, university knowledge
and experience is utilised by the city in an effective way and young people feel more
confident to propose solutions as the urban development in concerned.
2.2. Proposed solution
The development of a network as well as of an action plan concerning this network
coordination (such as focus groups, meetings, newsletters etc) based on new technologies
and principles of team building are the main solutions proposed by Local Support
By joining the network beneficiaries can meet many young people , find out what are
their main activities are and cooperate in many and different levels. Moreover, based
on new technologies tools (probably a webpage) everyone could have access in events
organised by young teams and offer potentially support if wishes to do so.
Young people can act in a united way regardless of the topic they are mainly involved in
since their concern has to be personal and social development which is a two way
process and in which they can contribute much.
Social problems such as unemployment, poverty, migration etc should be approached
from different point of views and coalition of young teams can come with many
interesting proposed solutions.
3. What do you think you can contribute to the My Generation Project (1/2 – 1 page)
Building a network of youth associations constitutes a good practice. It is probably a
very challenging effort but this is the only way young people can contribute to local
Several conclusions drawn by the all procedure can help similar efforts of the partners
of My Generation project.
4. What do you expect to learn/ benefit from the My Generation Project
This project is a first class opportunity to learn from international experience since
youth teams in Patras are not well familiarised with European projects and sharing
Introducing the city and context, and other material you deem important
City of Patras
Patras is Greece's third largest city and the capital of the prefecture of
Achaea, located in northern Peloponnese, 215 kilometers west of Athens. The
city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of
The Patras metropolitan area is a conurbation of nearly 230,000 inhabitants.
The core settlement has a history spanning four millennia. In the Roman
period it had become a cosmopolitan centre of the eastern Mediterranean
whilst, according to Christian tradition, it was also the place of Saint
Andrew's martyrdom. Dubbed Greece's Gate to the West, Patras is a
commercial hub, while its busy port is a nodal point for trade and
communication with Italy and the rest of Western Europe.
The city has two public universities (University of Patras, Greek Open
University) and one Technological Institute, hosting a large student
population and rendering Patras a major scientific centre with a field of
excellence in technological education.
The Rio-Antirio bridge connects Patras' easternmost suburb of Rio to the
town of Antirrio, connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland
Greece. Every spring, the city hosts one of Europe's largest and most
colourful carnivals; notable features of the Patras Carnival include its
mammoth-sized satirical floats and extravagant balls and parades, enjoyed
by hundreds of thousands of visitors in a pleasant Mediterranean climate,
with relatively cool yet humid summers and rather mild winters.
Patras is also famous for supporting an indigenous cultural scene active
mainly in the performing arts and modern urban literature; it was European
Capital of Culture 2006. The city has always been a sea-trade hub due to its
strategic position. The port manages more than half of the foreign sea-
passenger transportation in Greece, and has excellent car-ferry links with
the Ionian islands and the major Adriatic ports of Italy. Additionally, a new
port is under construction in the southern section of the city to
accommodate the increased traffic and relieve the city centre from port
The economy of the city largely depends on a thriving service sector. Its main
economic activities include retailing, logistics, financial and the public sector
services. Patras suffered a severe problem of deindustrialization during the
late 1980s and 1990s; a number of major productive units shut down in
successive order. As a result, a considerable portion of the city's workforce
and the city's economic planning in its entirety had to be re-evaluated and
restructured by the authorities. The University of Patras contributed by
working towards this goal, using its widely respected service and technology
There has been a significant development in the R&D sector, during the last
years, as a result of the many research institutes and the University impact
in the area. The Computer Technology Institute and the Industrial Systems
Institute of Greece are headquartered in Patras. The city is also a host to the
FORTH-ICE-HT (Institute of Chemical Engineering & High Temperature
Chemical Processes) and the Institute of Biomedical Technology.
Atmel Corporation has an important R&D facility in Patras with more than
200 employees. Bytemobile has its European Development Center in
Patras..INTRACOM facilities in Patras house the offices of
Telecommunications Software Development, Terminal Equipment Design,
Development Programmes, and Support Services divisions. Expansion plans
have recently been completed. CBL Patras, a global manufacturer of
specialty chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, is a startup from
a professor of the University of Patras. Patras Science Park is an incubator
for many small but upcoming technology companies and shares great
cooperation with the University of Patras and the Municipality..
University of Patras
The University of Patras was founded in the city of Patras in 1964 and it
began functioning in the academic year 1966?67. Its creation contributed
vastly to the decentralization of academic education in Greece.
The University Campus is located 12 km East of the city of Patras, covering a
flat area of 4.500 acres . It is a self contained campus at the foot of mount
Panachaico with a view over the Gulf of Corinth to the mountains of Central
Greece across the water.
University of Patras is the third largest University in Greece concerning the
size of students potential, the faculty members, administrative personnel,
number of departments, and accredited students titles.
The University of Patras includes 22 Departments, with a large number of
sectors and consequently a great range of disciplines, which operate 112
laboratories and 14 clinics fully equipped.
The University of Patras has 21,200 undergraduate and 3,260 postgraduate
students. It enumerates 754 of faculty members, 238 of teaching staff, and
481 administrative personnel.
Besides its distinguished path in education, the University of Patras has
made excellence in the fields of basic and applied research. The University of
Patras has acquired international prominence for pioneering and wide
ranging research in areas such as Environment, Health, Biotechnology,
Mechanics, Electronics, Informatics and basic science. A number of its
Departments, Laboratories and Clinics have been designated as Centers of
Excellence, on the basis of international assessment. The University of
Patras has a reputation for quality and innovative research and presents an
effective participation in a plethora of research projects, scientific
organizations, and research groups.
Together with its educational and research work, the rich cultural activity of
the University of Patras, attracts many candidate students every year as
their first and foremost choice for their High degree studies.
The Municipality of Patras cooperates a lot with the University mainly
through partnerships in European projects, conduction of studies and
Indicative Youth Communities- Institutions
Employment Support Centre (ESC)
ADEP-NET (Technology Centre)
Centers of Adult Education
Municipal Organization of Youth and Sports (ONAP)
Consultancy and Support Actions for Young People (DRASYNA)
Information Centre for Youngsters (KPN)
Many students Associations such as:
IEEE- Student Branch of University of Patras
AEGEE -Association des Etats Generaux des Etudiants de L'Europe, Branch of Patras
BEST- Board of European Students of Technology, Branch of Patras
EUROAVIA - European Association of Aerospace Students, Branch of Patras
There exist various NGOs operating in the city of Patras such as: “PROTASI”,
Association of New Artists, Scouts, Red Cross, Office of Volunteerism of the
Municipality of Patras, “ASTO”, etc.
Please find below a brief description for few of them.
a) “PROTASI" took in consideration that the lack of skills, values, goals and
generally "meaning" in life as well as passiveness and indifference, are
situations which act favourably in leading young people and keeping them in
the "way-outs" of addictive behaviours. Because of this concept PROTASI
proceeded to an important step, the creation of the Centre of Creative
Occupation (C.C.O). In the C.C.O the young people of Patras are given an
opportunity to communicate, to express themselves, to plan, to create, to
obtain skills and experiences and generally to improve their personal
development and progress. The groups are coordinated by highly committed
volunteers with pedagogic knowledge and experiences who are trained in
prevention through creative occupation. Young people of 13-18 years old
participate in activity groups such as music, painting, theatre, photography,
puppet theatre, handicrafts, etc.. PROTASI is also an NGO with valuable
experience in the exploitation of E.U. programmes related to youth such as
Youth for Europe, Youth in Action, etc.
b) The Office of Volunteerism of the Municipality of Patras was launched in
January 2008 under the supervision of the Vice-Mayor of “Youth, Education
& Volunteerism” of the city of Patras. The coordinator of the Office is an
employee of the Municipality of Patras who gets payment for her tasks in the
morning operating for the benefit of actions for youth in general. Within this
framework, she manages actions related to volunteerism which are NOT
implemented during her working hours. Therefore, she is not paied for these
actions that involve her as a volunteer and of course they involve numerous
other citizens of Patras.
In fact, 25% of the population of Patras have been registered as volunteers.
They express their interest by filling in an application form – they provide
information about their studies, interests, time availability, etc. Registration
is “open” to everybody. All data are inserted in an electronic database that
makes management effective. The volunteers belong to all social
backgrounds, have various educational levels, different cultural
characteristics and age.
Patras volunteers have supported high-level events that took place in our
city, such as the 2004 Olympic Games, 2006 Patras European Cultural
Capital, 2007 World Gymnastics Championship. They also provided valuable
help when cleaning the burnt places in Ancient Olympia (fires of summer
2007). Furthermore, each year they contribute with their efforts to the
success of Patras Carnival, Patras International Festival in summertime,
theatrical performances, exhibitions, etc
c) The main objectives of “ASTO-we communicate” NGO are: a) the
development of actions promoting an active citizen with principles such as
respect, solidarity, peace, participation, b) the intervention on environmental
and cultural actions of the society c) encouragement of volunteerism and
self-expression and d) cooperation with other NGOs for activity in common.
The operation of ASTO is based on team working of specific topic. There exist
teams of members dealing with photography, theatre, singing, etc. as well as
with other social interventions such as newspaper on the wall, thematic
movies, speeches, etc. In addition, there exist teams of creative occupation of
young people (14-17 years of age) and a chorus. ASTO is “open” to all adults
willing to contribute on a voluntary basis. For further information, please
visit their web site (www.astopatras.gr).
Involvement in Networks related to Youth
The Municipality of Patras through its Municipal Enterprise called ADEP
S.A. (Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning & Development) (public
equivalent body) participates in LAYOUNET international network dedicated
ADEP-Municipality of Patras is a member of “Layounet” which is a network
of local Authorities/Administrations and other local stakeholders (identified
by those local Authorities/Administrations) committed to the principles of
promoting young people’s active participation in democratic life, promoting
the development and exchange of best practice in youth participation and
the adoption, implementation of policies involving young people at local,
regional, national and European levels.
Please, find below other participants of LAYOUNET:
Galway City Council (IE)
Göteborgs Stad Härlanda (SE)
Kreisausschuss des Odenwaldkreises (DE)
Olomoucký kraj (CZ)
Provincia di Arezzo (IT)
Provincia di Mantova (IT)
Provincia di Perugia (IT)
Provincia di Pesaro-Urbino (IT)
Provincia di Ravenna (IT)
Provincia di Rieti (IT)
Provincia di Rimini (IT)
Võru Linnavalitsus (EE)
Zirc Város Önkormányzata (HU)
Since 1993, ADEP S.A. (public equivalent body) is active within the broader framework
of Local Authorities, by providing high quality integrated consulting services, contributing
decisively to assisting the activities of the Municipality of Patras and of other institutions of
the region. Confronting the development process of the region with an integrated approach,
ADEP S.A. aims to sustainable development and constitutes an important and irreplaceable
tool of intervention into a variety of topics, such as:
• Strategic planning
• Support of local economy via the encouragement of business initiatives and plans
• Exploitation of information society and development of applications concerning services
for the citizens
• Planning and application of effective measures for environmental protection
• Promotion of the tourism and cultural product of the region
• Development and strengthening of social services for targeted groups of population
• Creation, strengthening and upgrading of structures concerning employment which
provide services both to unemployed and to employees, as well as to all who are
threatened by or have been facing social and/or labor exclusion
ADEP S.A. has drawn up and has implemented a great number of projects concerning all
sectors of action having obvious impact to the city of Patras.
Within the recent period of 2005-2007 it implemented more than 50 European and
national projects and initiatives, having a budget of more than 6.000.000 euros, for
- Regional Business Program of Western Greece (2000-2006) / Measure 4.5 & 4.6:
Integrated urban development in small – sized local zones (actions of European social
fund and European regional development fund) / “Upgrading the quality of life of the
old part of the city Patras”.
- Regional Business Program of Western Greece (2000-2006) / Measure 5.3 : Local
Employment Initiatives / “Network supporting employment in Achaia prefecture”.
- Business Programme “Employment and Vocational Training” (2000-2006) / Measure
5.3 : “Integrated interventions for women” / “EGRIGORSI”.
- Business Programme “Health – Prevention” (2000-2006) / Measure 3.1 / “YPER:
Support of the personal activation of the citizens of Patras facing or threatened by
social exclusion towards their linking with the labor market”.
- “EQUAL” Community Initiative / “Development of a quality system for the provision
of services of consulting and support of employment”.
- “Leader+” Community initiative, Veneto–It area / “Improvement of the tourim
receptivity in the protected regions and distribution of the culture concerning the
meaning of viability”.
- “MEDA EUMEDIS / Measure 305: Networked journeys/ «Tourist Itineraries
following ancient trade routes of the Mediterranean: Trade & culture, a bridge
- “URB-AL”: «Stirring the local labor market into life»
- Initiative for the protection and the exploitation of Panahaeko mountain
- Environmental Training Program for the Municipality of Patras (1994-2005)
• IINTERREG IIIC: South / «Rete dei parchi (Δίκτυο Πάρκων)», - North / «Regional
Wind Technology - Knowledge Transfer Strategies», East / «Aap2020 - Adriatic
action plan 2020», «PORT-NET/ Promoting interregional co-operation of Sea Ports
and Multi-Modal transport structures in the EU», MunServNet «Improving
Sustainability of Municipal Service Provision in the Field of Water and Waste Water
Management», «House Energy», «International Communal Net Work», «Sport
Urban», «URBE VIVA», «NEW e-REGIO», «SIPROCI: Interregional response
to natural and man - made catastrophes»
• INTERREG IIIB, CADSES: «ROMIT: Roman Itineraries», «ROME»
• INTERREG IIIB, MEDOCC: «MAVITRA: The virtual labor market in the
In addition, ADEP has completed various projects in the past such as:
URBAN Ι / «URBAN-Patras» (ESF & ERDF), SAVE / «EHLIS: Energy efficiency
Help Line & Internet Support», ECOS-OUVERTURE / «DETOUR», Leonardo da
Vinci / «EUROINSERTION», «TRANSURBAN», «TRANSFORM», INFO 2000 /
Interactive Well being Web Map, Technical support for the design and construction of
the landfill site of the Municipality of Patras and environmental monitoring of its operation
Restoration and reformation of the old landfill site of the Municipality of Patras
Foundation and operation of the Recycling centre of Western Greece Elaboration of
the study on the foundation and operation of Patras Craft Park.
ADEP has established cooperation with various partners in Greece, for example:
- All the municipalities and communities of Achaia prefecture
- Local Union of Municipalities and Communities (TEDK) of Achaia prefecture
- Environmental training office of primary and secondary education (Headship of
- Hellenic Agancy of Local Development & Self-Governance
- ACHAIA S.A. – Development Agency of Local Self-Governance
- Network ROM
- Institute of computer technology of Patras
- Union of craftworks of folkloric Arts of Athens
- Achaia Chamber of Commerce
- European Business Support Center in Athens
- Institute of maintenance of marine heritage
- Institute of labor GSEE-ADEDY
- Research Center for Equality Affairs (KETHI)
- Center of environmental education of Klytorea
- Local Development Center of Western Achaia (KTADA)
- Movement “PROTASI”
- Social services network “GEFYRA”
- Prefecture of Eastern Attica
- Achaia Prefecture Committee of Popular Training (NELE)
- Development Agency of Achaia Prefecture
- Development Organization of Workforce Potential of Patras
- Economic Chamber of Greece, Branch of Peloponnese, Western and Central Greece
- University of Athens
- University of Patras
- Regional Administration Unit of Macedonia and Thrace
Furthermore, it has links with organizations from countries all over the world within the
framework of European projects:
ARGENTINA, AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, BULGARIA, CROATIA, CZECH REPUBLIC
DENMARK, ECUADOR, ESTONIA, FRANCE, GERMANY, HUNGARY, ITALY,
LATVIA, LITHUANIA, MALTA, MAROCO, PANAMA, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
ROMANIA, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, TURKEY, UNITED KINGDOM.
Datum: 8 September 2008
Van: Axel Dingemans, Steven Penneman en Koen Bastiaens
Betreft: Urbact II Baseline Study Antwerp 2008
URBACT II: BASELINE STUDY
This baseline study was established in a short period of time (one week). As known by the
leading partner, we were only asked to participate to the My Generation network at the end of
July 2008. Due to vacation of the Vice-Mayor for Education, Employment, Economy and Retail
Trade we only received the permission to participate on august 29th. In the remaining time we
have tried to make the best out of it. It must be clear that we weren‟t in the possibility to rely on
professional support (translation) to compose this baseline study. If certain things are missing,
we are always available to offer more information.
2. The focus and priorities of the city sub-project in My Generation
2.1. What is the main entry-point/ theme the city wants to address?
Our main entry point to participate is employment. Antwerp wants to gain new knowledge about
how we can achieve a better integration of our local youth on the labour market. The description
of the context in Antwerp (3.) makes clear why this is such a main issue for us.
The strategic policy plan (2007-2013) of our city contains the following objectives of which we
think the participation in this network will help us to realize them:
- The city guarantees the right to life-long learning and to life-wide competence
development to every inhabitant.
- Everyone in Antwerp gets and takes the chance to achieve a qualification leading to active
citizenship and access to higher education and/or the labour market.
- International mobility in order to learn from other experiences.
- Strengthening the link-up of education and the labour market
- By 2013 there are three fully developed youth competence centres in the city.
- Every recent graduate has a relevant working experience in the first year of his
- Everyone in Antwerp is informed about the educational offer in Antwerp.
- Everyone knows which studies are available to get a job qualification.
- More Antwerp tutors, education experts and policy-makers get the chance to learn from
other cities about the way of dealing with certain challenges in the development of young
people in the urban space.
- After their secondary education the Antwerp young people get the chance to have an
international trainee period. This experience extends their chances on the labour market
and their capacity of self-help.
2.2. What other theme(s) is of interest?
To reach our main goal we should gather more information about the other living areas of our
young people. We are convinced that an integral focus is required to reach a positive
integration of our young people in the adult life (work, culture, leisure time, family, ...). Following
this conviction it‟s important for us to incorporate the Antwerp youth work organisations (non-
3. The challenge and proposed solution in promoting youth as a positive resource in
3.1. The Context
In january 2008 Antwerp had 471.100 inhabitants. 97.310 were of a non-European ethnicity,
47.492 of them had a Moroccan or Turkish origin. 96.062 people were younger then 18 years and
40.272 were aged between 18 and 24. In 2005 21,7% of the newborn children were part of an
underprivileged family. In Flanders only 5,9% of the born children belonged to an underprivileged
In the school year 2005-2006 the Antwerp secondary schools counted 37.603 students. 47% of
the students suffered a delay in education. 10.574 students did not live in the city.
When we compare the Antwerp (12,46%) unemployment degree with the Flemish (6,54%) you
see that we gain inferior results. In comparison with the Flemish (15,84%) unemployment degree
of young people (<25 y.) the Antwerp (21,95%) one is high.
In august 2008 Antwerp counted 25.510 unemployed people. 5363 were aged less than 25 years.
46,40% of them had a non-European origin. 3214 of the Antwerp unemployed young people
(<25 y.) don‟t have any diploma, 1640 of them do have a diploma of the secondary school and
509 of them have a bachelor or a master degree. 1723 young people of the 3214 who don‟t have
any diploma have a non-European origin. 521 of the group of unemployed young people have
been workless for more than one year.
The Antwerp labour market counted 5313 unfilled vacancies in different sectors.
3.2. The Challenge
a. What is the main challenge? Why is this important?
o Reinforcing the integration of all Antwerp young people on the labour market and in
the adult life:
- Diminishing the number of unqualified school leavers.
- Preventing negative leisure activities
- Refining or create efficient methods to (re)integrate workless young people
- Reach a mentality change when it comes to diversity
- Recognition of competences gained elsewhere
o In Flanders Antwerp is the city with the highest unemployment rate, the highest level
of diversity and the city with the most inhabitants. Although the general
unemployment rate is high, there are a lot of vacant jobs in our city. In
general we can postulate that the education of our young people is not sufficiently
attuned to the demands of the employers:
1. The demand side
a. The high demands of employers.
b. The perception towards certain groups of young people
c. The fast technical development
d. The globalising economy
e. The status of the policy with regard to competences gained
f. Cultural conflicts
2. The offer side
a. The study selection
b. High amount of school drop-outs (unqualified school leavers)
c. The language gap
d. Generation poverty
e. Cultural conflicts
f. Reaching certain groups of young unemployed people
g. Cultural bias towards „blue collar jobs‟.
As a city we have a big responsibility for the quality of life of our inhabitants and for
the liveability of the city in general. We are convinced that having a qualitative job is
an important guarantee to a fair quality of life. For the economic development and
the positive evolution of the life quality it‟s important to us to find answers to the
matter of integration of young people. We should work towards equal opportunities
for all young people and stimulate young people to utilize them.
b. How has it been (possibly) dealt before, and by whom?, Key learning points and/or
evaluation results (if any) of former attempts? Has there been a local action plan on the
issue before? To what effect?
Antwerp has a history in the organisation of initiatives to enforce the school career of
young people and the integration of young people on the labour market. Recently
(01/01/2006-31/06/2008) we organised together with the Flemish government a big
action plan to reduce the youth unemployment in Antwerp. The plan was exclusively
directed to a group of unqualified young people aged 18 to 25.
The plan consists of different actions:
o Orientation and screening weeks
During the accomplishment of the plan we were confronted with the
limited self-knowledge of the young unemployed and the disability to
make a vocational choice. Therefore we organised collective (max .10
young people) screening and orientation sessions. For the creation of
these sessions we worked together with the youth work and the
employment sector. There was a strong emphasis on RAC (recognition of
acquired competences), development of generic competences, and the
realisation of a portfolio.
The stimulating effect of the group methodology
The mix of methods from the youth work and the
The reach of the unemployed who need this session.
The flexibility to adapt afterwards to the needs of the
The management of the administrative output: portfolio,
o Specific Vocational training for unemployed young people
We organised different kinds of vocational trainings (welder, logistic
worker, clerical employee, event-worker, …). Most of the trainings wore
exclusively accessible for young people. During the project our partners
integrated youth work (sport activities, rope area,…) methods in to the
trainings. Reason to do this was the conclusion that there was a drop-out
of young people because of the atmosphere in the group. In the
selection of the type of vocational trainings the amount of vacancies was
an important criterion.
The use of youth work methodologies
The adjustment on the questions of the labour market
The integration of a trainee period in the training
The integration (in some trainings) of an active guidance
Working together with a variety of organisations with a
The reach of the unemployed who need this training
The exclusive focus on young people was sometimes a
disadvantage. A to big concentration of certain groups
isn‟t in tune with the reality on the labour market.
o Guidance of young people towards a job
We set up a youth employment shop in one of the neighbourhoods of
Antwerp with the largest amount of unemployed young people. 20 route
counsellors wore active in the guidance of young unemployed people.
They had a caseload of 55 young people a year. The team was
composed out of seconded personnel from different organisations in
Antwerp. They offered the unemployed an integral (from help with social
problems towards help during the solicitation) guidance towards work.
The exclusive focus on young people made it possible to
tune the project on the needs and the lifestyle of the
The Multiple expertises.
The integral way of working.
The positive results and response of the target group.
The coordination of the different seconded people.
The settlement in one place.
o Creation of jobs in the social economy
For young people with a large distance to the labour market we created
jobs in the social economy (#= 70): child minder, road sweeper, event
worker, mobility worker for seniors, … The young people did get a fixed
treaty. During there working experience they get trainings and guidance.
The purpose is to prepare them for the regular labour market. Although
they get a fixed contract the meaning is to let them run through as fast
The fixed contract offers the time to prepare the young
people as optimal as possible.
Jobs that enclose to the interests of young people.
The training and guidance of young people
The positive evolution of there self-perception.
The economic rationality sometimes make that employers
in the social economy have to ask higher demands and
try to keep certain good employees longer then
The lack of connection to the interests of young people.
The missing of an RAC program.
The type of working experience facilities that isn‟t in tune
to the young people (to enter you need to be more then
one year unemployed)
Next to the action plan ANTWERK we also initiated other initiatives to strengthen the
educational traject, the personal development and the integration of young people in the
o The development of a youth competence centres (YCC)
In Antwerp we started two years ago with the development of youth
competence centres: Easy accessible centres for young people with an
integrated offer when it comes to leisure time, competences (recognition,
development and admission) and work/employment. The YCC‟s are
explicit learning and development places that strengthen young people in
their personal development and higher social orientation and
participation. It‟s a place were different methods (education, youth work,
RAC, employment, …) meet each other to strengthen the integration of
Until now we didn‟t succeed in the full expansion of the YCC‟s. We have
three centres but until now they haven‟t got a fully integrated offer.
The potential of the integrated concept.
The mix of different methods
The location of the centres
Finding financing for the complete project.
The tension between the different methods
o The study guide
Central office for educational information. Driven by all the people
guidance centres in Antwerp. The office produces material to support
A cooperation of al the educational partners in Antwerp.
Accumulation of expertise on study choices
Direct access to those people that need this information
o The School Leaver Cooperation/ The school leaver days
In February 2008 the city formed an alliance with different partners
(trade unions, the regional socio economic committee and the Flemish
employment service (VDAB)) to improve the transition from the school
towards the labour market or towards other schooling. The future
mission of this cooperation is ambitious.
In 2008 this cooperation organised school leaver days. During half a
day we gave the school leavers information about different topics:
how to achieve an application, labour law, the VDAB services. We
reached 2000 school leavers.
High penetration rate
A lot of students play truant.
The offer isn‟t tailor made for the target group.
The lack of interactivity
Concept lacks active participation of young people.
o Wacker (W: appreciate / A: Analysis / C: Competences / K: selection
based on / R: self-Reflection)
Was a cooperation between the youth work, the employment and the
education sector. They developed a method to enable young people
(16-25 years) to get to know their own competences. 6
It‟s a bottom up approach
Well documented method
Adaptable to different context
Driven by peer evaluation/ self-evaluation
Continuation without funding
o International internships for young people
Young people in or after vocational education get the chance for a
European internship of two till six months. The trainees are guided by
both sending as receiving organisations. Current network: Barcelona,
Madrid, Valencia, La Rochelle, Séte, Torino, Rome, Birmingham,
Leeds, Köln, München, Berlin, Göteburg, Kristiansand, Kuapuo,
Possibility to send deprived young people
Well developed system of guidance (ISO 9001 certificate)
Big time investment
Ability to find and convince the target group
c. How have the young people themselves been involved in the former attempts?
We can regard it as a weakness in our former attempts that we only involved the young
people in a position of user/client. One of the reasons for our participation in the My
Generation network is the explicit demand to involve young people in the development of new
strategies/projects. We‟re looking forward to exchanging experiences about the participation
of young people.
Concerning particpation in the youth policy, we have experience in Antwerp. For several
years there has been a youth advisory body. It can be an option to make them part of in the
My Generation Network.
3.3. Proposed solution
a. What needs to be done differently/ in a new way in terms of the idea, focus, networking,
partners, resources, methods…?
- Involve employers to get wider engagement from them
- Paying more attention to the perception on young people
- The realisation of a formal cooperation between the youth work, education
sector, employment sector, welfare, …
- Strengthening the international cooperation
- Stimulating the participation of young people in the development process of
- Changes in the educational system
- Changes in people mind set
- Closer cooperation between education and companies
b. What is the composition and role of the Urbact Local Support Group for the My Generation
As a city we have previous experience regarding the organisation of Support groups. In 2006
and 2007 we organised a local support group to support the youth employment plan. This
group had a diverse composition: employees, social workers, policy workers, youth workers,
... They formulated 16 recommendations to diminish the Antwerp youth unemployment.
We will use this expertise and these former contacts to organise the Urbact Local Support
c. How will the young people be involved in the project?
As we said above there is a possibility to call on the Antwerp youth advisory body. It will be a
challenge to involve certain categories of young people: unemployed, ethnic minorities,… In
the autumn of 2008 we will make work of the involvement of young people. We will inform
the leading partner (Rotterdam) about the development. We hope to get some experience of
the other partners about this topic.
4. What do you think you can contribute to the My Generation Project (1/2 – 1 page)?
a. Initially, on the basis of the good practices and strengths in addressing the youth theme, what
do you think you could contribute to sharing ideas and joint problem solving in My
Generation? (This will be further elaborated in the later stages as the cities get to know each
other‟s strengths and weaknesses better).
Antwerp has a broad experience in the development of youth projects in different fields: youth
work, schools, vocational training, working experience,… We are fortunate to have a range of
staff members who are specialised in different themes linked to youth:
- Youth employment
- Vocational training
- Experience in the integral working
- Experience/ the concept of a YCC
- Expertise with RAC
- Know-how in the implementation of RAC in the youth work
As you could see above we have a lot of experience with the implementation of youth
projects. We will contribute this know-how to the network.
5. What do you expect to learn/ benefit from the My Generation Project?
a. Initially, where do you want to become stronger/ more proficient? What would you want to
learn in particular? (This will be further elaborated in the later stages as the cities get to know
each other‟s strengths and weaknesses better).
We want to gain more information about topics who are related to our local subjective (2.2):
-how to achieve the link-up of education and the labour market
-cooperation of education an enterprise
-how to reach some specific target groups
-integral working: cooperation
-Ideas for the development of Ycc‟s