Youth, Work and Hope is a project of De Nieuwe Poort and supported by the Goldschmeding Foundation. It aims to provide a platform for investigating whether and how young people can better connect with the job market and, consequently, to society as a whole. Despite the economic growth, there are still over 150.000 unemployed young people between the ages of 15 and 25. Also in the age group 25-35 there are over 150.000 people unemployed. Dutch people with a migration background and low-educated women face growing disadvantages in the job-market.
The project ‘Youth, work and hope’ examines whether and how it is possible to help more low-skilled young people find employment. Within this project, stakeholders are invited to join forces, work together and determine how to connect these young people with opportunities that help them build their own future.
Giving attention and offering opportunities helps young people to dream
Youth unemployment is a problem which does not have a clear-cut cause and therefore also no simple solution. To deal with this complex issue multiple ‘Diner Pensants’ have been organized in 2017 with the ‘think-group’ of the platmorm Youth, Work and Hope. During the Diners Pensants, a group of professionals came together to approach the problem from different angles and determine suitable actions, and which hypotheses should first be clarified through scientific research. Joining the ‘Diner Pensants’ were for example the former Minister of Social Affairs, teachers, a young government official, a research journalist, and the directors of the most profound initiatives and foundations centered around young people.
As a result of the Diners Pensants, five themes are formulated that form the basis for five alliances of various foundations and experts that are involved on a daily basis with disadvantaged youth. This group ranges from ‘Stichting Lezen en Schrijven’ to ‘Giving Back’ and from ‘Jinc’ to ‘Netherlands Cares’. Together they form the ‘do-group’ of the platform Youth, Work and Hope that will set up projects and tackle problems together. By connecting existing initiatives in a joint platform, we are stronger and hope to make a lasting difference for young people. The alliances are centered around the topics ‘Attention’, ‘Opportunities’, ‘Connections’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Dreams’.
In addition to the alliances, an important pillar within the platform is researcher Fabian Dekker. As a labour sociologist, he studies what approaches work to battle youth unemployment. The impact of projects is not or hardly evaluated. What is the success of a project? Which initiatives work? Which not? By working closely together with the various alliances, Dekker is developing a tool or model to evaluate how effective projects have been.