Adapting and developing an innovative approach to work engagement and inclusion of youth at risk through alternative programs.

The activity consists of adaptation and prototyping of the innovative approach to work engagement and inclusion of youth at risk, marginalized youths, ultras and young people with criminogenic behavior through alternative sports programs, animal-assisted therapy, craft entrepreneurship and music therapy according to the country’s specifics. This is the second stage of the social innovations ‘establishment.

Young adults are among the most vulnerable groups on the labor market. According to data from Eurostat, Bulgaria has the highest rate of young people neither in employment, nor in education among the countries in the EU. A great number of the unemployed and inactive young people are at risk, with low levels of education, no qualification and sometimes with criminogenic behavior. These factors, combined with the lack of work experience and work habits, obstruct their opportunities of finding a job and increase the risk of social isolation and radicalization. Among the unemployed young people up to 29 years old, those without a qualification make up the largest share (62,1%). Within the educational structure of the unemployed young people, those with elementary and lower education make up the largest share (47,6%). Bulgaria continues to be among the countries in Europe with high percentage of youth unemployment and the unemployment rate continues to grow. Unemployed young people cost the country over 2.4 million leva. Bulgaria has lost 3.3% of GDP due to these poorly educated and unemployed people aged 15 to 29. The consequences of this lost generation are not only economical but social as well and these young people are very likely to give up on their democratic participation in society.  The project proposal corresponds with the needs of the target group in Bulgaria and it is headed towards creating new creative models, practices and activities for work and social inclusion and support of young people at risk.

–              SubActivity1: Transferring the innovative approach, conducting local researches for collecting data, organizing focus groups and brainstorming with young people and discussing the approach.

The activity includes examination and analysis of the legislation responsible for the decision-making processes in regard to young people at risk and their daily lives.  It also regulates the process of making recommendations about relevant changes that allow empowerment and social integration of youths at risk; examining the successful models for social inclusion of youths at risk and their sustainable integration into the Bulgarian labor market. This activity is based upon the capacity of:

-I CAN to organize a brainstorming session with young people and a research activity.

-The partner organizations “Institute for the study of societies and knowledge at BAS” and Foundation “Institute for exploring change” to collect data, conduct researches and organize focus groups.

–              Subactivity2: Developing an innovative system according to the Bulgarian specifics which is based on Great Britain’s innovative experience

Based on the analytical data derived from research on the Bulgarian specifics and a research within the previous activity on the partner organization from Carmarthen about work engagement and  inclusion of youth at risk, marginalized youth, ultras and youth with criminogenic tendencies through alternative programs, in Bulgaria will be developed the first innovative system that, although based upon the UK model, will be adapted to the specifics of the Bulgarian social and institutional environment of the target group.