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Certificate Introduction

Certificate Introduction

Certificate Introduction

Through BET “Living and Learning Abroad” project young people were given the opportunity to expand their understanding of themselves and develop an awareness of their place within Europe.

They had the dual benefit of personal development, allowing them to overcome barriers to inclusion in their own communities and through positive challenges to their attitudes to Europe they developed an awareness of their role as citizens within Europe.


An important element of this project is that of mutual assistance where by one marginalised group assists another to the mutual benefit of both groups. Their work placements abroad were all on deprived projects such as orphanages for disabled children in Bulgaria or centres for street children in Turkey, a direct benefit for the participant being that upon their return to the UK; they were far more receptive to new opportunities and had a higher self esteem!

The main content of the project included:

 

  • Working with marginalized groups within the host country
  • Cross fertilization of knowledge between organizations
  • Vocational training, helping renovate orphanages including painting, carpentry, plastering etc
  • Academic qualifications and guidance to a suitable career
  • A greater appreciation of Europe in particular the customs & traditions of the host country

 

Through this multifaceted project Bhagavat Educational Trust reaches the most disadvantaged young people within the UK focusing on 7 priority target groups: unemployed, educational underachievers, offenders and ex-offenders, former substance abusers, those in or leaving care and the mentally and physically challenged.

 

Strategies

Our international mobility strategy and objectives
primarily constituted on the 10 best practice
principles of the European Charter for Quality in Mobility.
Given this opportunity of the certificate we were able to
further develop these and extrapolate on our current
strategic policy to incorporate the aspirations of the
EU 2020 strategy.



We wholly concur with the aims of this strategy i.e.
in a changing world; we want the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. There are five objectives on employment, education, social inclusion, innovation & climate/energy - to be reached by 2020, we anticipate our activities helping address the first 3, striving to achieve greater cohesion between our policies and those of the EU 2020 strategy in particular incorporating such flagship initiatives as: European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion; An Agenda for New skills and Jobs; Youth on the Move.

To enact these policy changes it is fundamental to further incorporate the 8 Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. These are needed for personal fulfillment, social inclusion and employment in a knowledge society and are a prerequisite for adequate personal performance in life, work & subsequent learning (European Reference Framework)

Becoming a Certificate holder was an extreme honour, this emphasized the trust our National Agency had in our organization. More importantly it enabled our organization to plan at a strategic level as we were now able to plan for a 3 year period. We have always believed that the projects are not Bhagavat’s but instead belong to all stakeholders. In light of this we contacted all stakeholders, both sending and hosting requesting how we could maximize this opportunity of working together with a mutual aim of incorporating the aspirations of the EU 2020 strategy several suggestions were made the most salient being:

  • Greater cohesion between the course and the careers seminar, we realized that often the course we undertook with the young people were the first run on the academic ladder. We set about finding a suitable and relevant course that would incorporate such topics as how to prepare for an interview, interview techniques, maintaining a job and so on.

 

  • Establishing Social Enterprises, an example of this is Turkey, we have formed a partnership with the local municipalities, trainers and the Roma community in order to establish a candle making workshop. The trainers will teach both the Roma and the participants on our project how to make candles; the municipality has offered a shop in a shopping mall to sell them and a market stall, where by both groups can participate. This will directly benefit both groups, provide extra skills, (i.e. entrepreneurial and soft skills) and assist with social inclusion.

 

The rationale behind undertaking such projects

 

The emergence of mass youth unemployment on a scale not seen since the early 1990s was confirmed by the jobless figures released in June 2009, raising the spectra of a new generation scarred by being locked out of the labour market

 

  • Since the recession Feb 2008 to June 2009 , unemployment among under 25 rose by  33%
  • Jobless rates for those actively seeking work is now 20%
  • 75% rise in the number of 18 to 24 year olds being paid job seeker’s allowance
  • Young people have been far harder hit by unemployment than any other age group
  • 35% of those made jobless were aged 18 to 24

 

The TUC`s general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "With over one in six young people out of work, unemployment is already at crisis level."   Labour Market statistics 2009

 

  • Youth unemployment rate reached a record high of almost 20% in December 2009.
  • Almost half of  black people, aged 16 and 24, in Britain are now unemployed
  • Mixed ethnic groups have witnessed the largest overall increases in unemployment

Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

 

For further information on this topic – please refer to Youth Unemployment Western Europe

 

 

  • 11% of young people claim that unemployment drove them to drugs or alcohol.
  • 15% of young people across the country feel their life lacks direction
  • 32% feels down or depressed all or most of the time.
  • 10% `rarely` or `never` feels loved, this figure increases to 15% for those out of work

 

The Prince`s Trust YouGov Youth Index 2010

 

The results

 

The outcomes of the project are very promising, bearing in mind
our target group recent figures (October 2011) have revealed the following:

             
Employment/self-employment                      39%
Education/Training                                      29%
Voluntary/community work                           9%
Unemployment/Other                                  23%

 

These figures also reveal lower success rate than the one measured
during our earlier survey (October 2010). i.e. 77% this call in Employment,
Education and Voluntary work compared to 84% in the previous call, this is
still particularly favorable, when considering the current economic climate and
downturn in Western Europe (5 million young Europeans are currently unemployed,
in some countries the rate of youth unemployment is as high as 50%, while the
average rate in the EU is approximately 21% as announced by the President of
the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso on 20.12.2011).

 

The participants refer to the project as ‘A Life Changing Experience’, they are far more receptive to new opportunities, appreciate more their roles as European citizens with higher self esteem and confidence. In addition to which they gain vocational skills, improved academic skills and a
greater understanding of other cultures. The participants also improve their soft skills, such as greater empathy, tolerance and patience, for further information please click here Soft Skills

 

  • In addition to the above accompanying people also benefit from the
    experience, through cross-fertilization of knowledge and after participation on
    the project improving their career prospects, gaining valuable experience on
    mobility projects, experiencing different cultures and customs and often
    learning a new vocational skill.

 

  • In addition to the above the host country marginalized groups i.e.
    orphans and 100 Staff benefited, the orphans felt far less abandoned and more
    worthy in society, confident and less aggressive. The staff also benefited from
    the experience - a noticeable increase in motivation often stakeholders
    adopting best practice.