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EU fit! - Perspectives for Young People in Ireland and Recklinghausen

The project EU fit! addresses young people and single mothers between 18 and 30 years of age, who have finished their school career and have up to now unsuccessfully tried to find an apprenticeship or a job.
By participating in an exchange programme to Ireland they shall be given the chance to try out and establish new behavioural patterns. They shall be enabled to gain new abilities and skills to sustain their self-esteem and their personality.
Via new social competences and empowerment the youngsters shall gain an easier access to the labour market. They will be encouraged to broaden their flexibility and mobility.

Each exchange cycle is subdivided into 5 phases:

1. Acquisition:
In this phase young people can apply for the programme. There will be twice as many participants chosen as will finally be sent to the hosting nation. The decision which participants go abroad will be made during the preparatory stage according to personal skills and the general competence portfolio the participants come with or are willing to acquire during the preparatory stage.

2. Preparatory stage:
After evaluating for each participant if the exchange programme is appropriate for him/her, the participants will be prepared for the exchange within 12 weeks. The preparation includes language training as well as cultural distinctions of the host country.

3. Exchange:
During their 3-month stay abroad the participants go through a language and cultural training course including regional specifics. After that the participants complete a practical training in local businesses. The company will be looked for by an on-site employee of the project executing organisation as well as the employees of the transnational cooperation partner, according to affinities and competences of each participant. A socio-pedagogical attendance through an employee of the German project executing organisation is guaranteed at all times. This employee will be known by the participants from their preparatory stage, can be contacted by participants and host families via mobile phone at any time and speaks the language of the host country fluently. In Ireland participants will be placed in families.

4. Wrap-up:
After their exchange the participants shall be placed in corresponding follow-up projects or activities, in apprenticeships or jobs. The sense of achievement, standing one’s ground in a foreign country and an unfamiliar vocational field, shall result in a high motivation for the participants to actively strive for their vocational integration. In this they will be supported through one-on-one interviews and trainings in groups at the German project executing organisation. Apart from assistance in creating application documents they will be systematically prepared to profitably present their experience resulting from the practical training abroad at job interviews. Self-marketing strategies will be systematically worked out and rehearsed to pursue this goal.

5. Exchange to Germany:
The Irish young people come to Germany for a 3 months exchange. The contents of this exchange will be arranged according to the request of the transnational partners.

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