Why did we start this project, the main aim of which is to ensure that all young people have access to inclusive opportunities to gain vocational experience and, later on, enter the labour market with the necessary skills?
I believe it is essential to respect our values and, to that end, work with institutions that share our beliefs and goals. After an Erasmus+ traineeship, I started looking for my next job, but most of the options available were unpaid or were not what I was looking for in terms of their values, so I decided to take a different route — Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs — and contacted an organisation in Malta which was reconstructing a building in Valletta’s old town to turn it into a community space. When I first applied, I had the idea that entrepreneurship was something for other people, so I drew up a business plan, which would never be put into practice, solely to access the programme.
For six months I was involved in various projects, but the experience which changed the course of my life was Social Innovators Mastermind, a project designed for eight social entrepreneurs to develop their business. Being in constant contact with people with innovative answers to social problems made me want to be part of the change, even though I did not yet have my own ideas, the tools or the courage to implement a specific project.
As I reached the end of my Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, I started making applications again but had the same problem and, with it, the same sense of frustration. But, I thought to myself, why not turn that frustration into action? I started to share some project ideas that I wanted to turn into action with the persons who would subsequently become the Youth Cluster team. From our long discussions emerged many new ideas.
In reality, we are a group of people constantly on the lookout for voluntary projects, traineeships and jobs that mean something. To this end, during the pandemic we spent our time researching and creating a platform that includes inclusive, paid, and alternative opportunities. Finally we are online and closer to achieving our goal — to support young people planning their careers, so that unpaid traineeships and jobs where our voice is overlooked become a thing of the past. To reach more young people and increase our impact we need the support of everyone. Come and see how you could support this project and bring it to more countries that could benefit from these programmes!
It happened to us, and it could happen to you! Do you already have a potential response to a societal challenge but need people to become part of the team, create a website or an app or deal with the finances? Please consult our entrepreneurship support programmes and take the plunge - there's always an answer to any challenge!