Life chances for hundreds of young Belarusians: EU4Youth Employability and Stability project highlights final results after three years

Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

Hundreds of young people in Belarus have benefited from the ‘EU4Youth: Employability and Stability’ project, which held its final conference in Belarus on 18 February.

The conference was attended by senior education officials and teachers from the Minsk region, as well as commercial enterprises and public associations. The conference was held simultaneously in offline and online format.

The event presented the results of the project, discussed the effective implementation of the "Life skills and employability" educational programme, held thematic workshops, and discussed prospects for further cooperation.

Over three years of the project's implementation, 108 specialists from educational institutions were trained to use the methodology for teaching the Life Skills and Employability programme, which is now being successfully implemented for 339 young people in 20 educational institutions in Minsk and the Minsk region. A total of 132 young people have successfully graduated from the professional courses and 70 have gained employment or internship experience. Sixty people were trained in entrepreneurship skills, out of whom 17 youngsters received funding to launch their business and are already developing their enterprise.

The conference heard testimonies from young beneficiaries and trainers who shared their experience and results.

Victor Runets, a pupil of the SOS Children's Village Borovlyany, was one of the first to complete the Life Skills and Employability Programme. “I didn’t have enough skills in CV writing, communication,” he says, “and thanks to this programme I learned how to write a CV, what to write and what not to write, how to learn to communicate.

Participation in the project has become a landmark moment for many. Anna Zykova admits the project helped her to come one step closer to an independent life: “I was just starting to study, it was difficult to adapt to a new city, and now, thanks to the training, I managed to get a little more familiar with adult life and start to understand what to do next.”

The trainers and mentors themselves underwent special trainings that allowed them to master the programme in order to teach young people, and then apply the acquired skills in their institutions. Special attention was paid to the fact that the programme provides valuable tools for working with children who are insufficiently motivated and need support. In one of the gymnasiums, a block of individual lessons was even created for children who find it difficult to interact in a group.

Thanks to the fact that the programme is based on non-formal learning, children got the opportunity to learn to think, make independent decisions, show initiative in choosing their own life path and understand what they want professionally.

Thanks to partnerships, hard teamwork and constant interaction with government educational institutions and the commercial sector, the project has achieved remarkable results - positive changes in the lives of young people through a well-defined path in their lives, getting a job or starting a business.

Running from 2018-2021, the EU4Youth: Employability and Stability in Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine project worked to develop youth employment and self-employment skills, expanding the opportunities for active youth participation in the labour market.

The ‘EU4Youth: Employability and Stability in Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine’ project is funded by the European Union and co-funded by the Austrian Development Agency.

EU4Youth: Employability and Stability success stories

It’s all about your attitude to humanity: how Valeriya launched her social enterprise, with the help of EU4Youth

How EU4Youth project helped Ella from Belarus find opportunities in hard times