15 October 2013

SMYLE European simulation: Recommendations for policy makers

To: European policy decision makers, stakeholders 

Subject: Digital competencies boost youth employability 

Bucharest, 9th of October 2013 
Group of the European Youth for Change (GEYC) is organizing on the 9th of October 2013, the “S.M.Y.L.E” European Conference, taking place at the headquarters of the EC Representation in Romania. The conference is part of the “SMYLE – Social Media & Youth – Learning for Employment” project, financed by the European Commission through the Youth in Action program. This project brings together 25 young people and leaders from Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Romania and United Kingdom in Bucharest, Romania for a week. 

  • EC Representation in Romania;
  • Ministry of Youth and Sport;
  • Bucharest Municipality;
  • Bucharest Sector 1 Municipality; 

In the second part of the event, we have organized a European Parliament simulation on the following topic: ”Youth employability in the context of New Media technologies”. The outcome of this activity consisted in the following recommendations, which were voted by the participants in order to be submitted to European policy makers: 
• EU should develop certified training for educators to teach 6-25 year old people how to access useful information online and raise self-awareness on the importance of acquiring digital skills; 
• In order to improve labor mobility, governments should provide assistance and security for people which are planning to move abroad in order to fill in a specific job vacancy. 
• Governments should provide incentives such as lower taxes for companies that willing to provide paid internships (on both national and international levels) for young inexperienced students. 
Professional Orientation. To enable youth to better identify their strengths and plan their future careers, we propose that EU member states will encourage the implementation of student-professor advisor programs (in both High School and University levels). Additionally, we propose that youth should benefit from age appropriate skills assessment tests at 10, 15, and upon completion of High School, in order to help them better understand their own skills and competencies. 
Learning by Doing. The EU market requires more workers with practical and vocational skills. To address this challenge we propose the availability of funding for excursions to nature sites, museums, and other relevant locations as well as professional excursions for elementary school pupils, gymnasium and high school level. Moreover, vocational training opportunities for high school and university students should be encouraged in Europe. 
Educator Development. To improve the quality of education across the EU we propose the organization of educator summits, which concentrate on the sharing of common teaching instruments in varying national contexts. Additionally, we call for the promotion of group-work and dialog in classes, in order to prepare youth for their future working environment. This proposal aims to integrate theory and practice. 
Let’s Make it Practical. To better prepare youth for the job market we propose that the EU develops partnerships between universities and major companies and organizations for internship placements. Further, we propose the development and perfection of a database that coordinates all educational training, internships and entry-level job opportunities available through EU sources, which can be easily accessible by interested young people. 
• Lower taxes 50% (of normal tax) for young entrepreneurs in start –up companies for the period of first 2 years. By “young people” we mean people aged 18-30. 
• The salary of people with disabilities and HIV-positive diagnosed people, hired by young entrepreneurs, should be exempted from taxes and the Government should compensate 50% of these incomes. 
• Allow young entrepreneurs to hire up to maximum 10 other young people without having to pay salary taxes in the first year; 
• Entrepreneurship promoting classes in different level of school with the higher focus on primary schools. In order to help children use their creativity, to find out about different model roles for life, they should start taking those classes already in primary school. At this age they are more flexible and open-minded. In addition, it is easier for them to adapt to the philosophy of life. Entrepreneurship classes can include role play games and lectures on success stories. 
• State governments should help the establishment of social networks, where young visitors (young people who are searching for financial support) would be able to post their business ideas. The governmental authorities should track the list of ideas for three months and vote for the ones which are the most relevant for the specific country context. The business ideas which receive the highest score will benefit from financial support (fixed amount or during fixed period of time) from the governmental institutions (private authorities, sub-institutions, funds, etc). By "young people“ we mean people aged 18-30. 

Moreover, we kindly invite you to give us your feedback towards these recommendations made by the young people taking part in the event together with an official message on your side on the topic of ”how digital competences can boost youth employability”. We aim to post this message on our official Facebook page and on our website where we created a Resources section. 

Best regards, 
Gabriel BREZOIU 
General Manager 
Group of the European Youth for Change - GEYC