SEPAL Newsletter—Issue no.
           January 2019      

What is SEPAL?

Supporting Employment Platform through Apprenticeship Learning—SEPAL aims to create an innovative model for job insertion of 300 NEETs minimum. SEPAL’s target group are NEETs aged 24-29 years old, that belong to the following vulnerable groups: youth with disabilities, Roma, migrants, low skilled and school drop-outs. SEPAL is implemented in 5 European countries in partnership with: Bucovina Institute in Romania, Fundacio Privada Pere Closa in Spain, with ZISPB in Lithuania, with KoiSPE Diadromes in Greece and with Collegium Balticum in Poland. 
The project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment             (https://eeagrants.org/fundforyouthemployment).
 

Special points of interest

Apprenticeship – the vocational training at the workplace that is conducted on the basis of an apprenticeship contract.
NEET – youth aged 15-29 years old who are Not in Education, Employment or Training; NEETs aged 24-29 years old are the target group of SEPAL.
WISE (Work Integration Social Enterprise) – developing supported employment services as a specialized department within existing organisation or social enterprise.

Social Innovation through Supported Employment

Supported Employment is a methodology that helps people belonging to vulnerable groups to obtain and maintain paid work in the open labour market.

 

POJECT INFORMATION

SEPAL innovation is represented by the integration of vocational training (apprenticeship) with supported employment. Given the particularities of NEETs target groups, such as lack or insufficient work experience and a less clear vocational path, this mixture is needed to facilitate selection of the best career options, given the existent competences and labour market offers. Also, this model encourages co-finance of private sector that is always interested to recruit competent labor force to support business growth and profitability. Labor authorities are becoming partners in the field of employment and are sensitized at the employment of the most vulnerable groups.

The process starts with assessing the existing skills and competences, followed by 4 months of apprenticeship stages within social enterprises or private firms and 2 months of internship within private firms. Vocational training at the work place – social enterprise or public firm – capitalizes on existing motivation and lowers the chances of drop-out. Apprenticeship programs are needed to support the existing career goals that are unmet due to lack of competences. Also, they provide a smooth transition from unemployment to a structured activity, adjust expectations and prepare the youth for future employment. Both soft skills and practical skills that are needed to maintain job and obtain success are trained during the apprenticeship program. Internship programs further enhance the development of work skills. Ideally the internship is to be continued with employment on the open labour market.

 

Partnership information

 

Bucovina Institute was founded in 2011, as a non-profit organisation, with aims to support the sustainable development of communities in the North Eastern part of Romania, South – West of Ukraine and entire Republic of Moldova through learning partnerships projects and organising continuing training programs for adults. http://www.bucovinainstitute.org/

KoiSPE Diadromes – the word “KoiSPE” is the equivalent Greek Abbreviation of the Social Cooperative of Limited Liability. “KoiSPE” is a special form of cooperative, aiming to include or reintegrate people with mental health problems in typical workplace settings. http://koispediadromes.gr/home/

Szczecińska Szkoła Wyższa Collegium Balticum founded in 2000 is continuously ranked as one of the best private universities in northern Poland. It is characterized by great human capital and huge development potential. https://www.cb.szczecin.pl/ 

The Pere Closa Private Foundation is a grassroots entity that has been working for over 18 years to promote and support education within Roma community. The Foundation dedicates its efforts and enthusiasm to the education of the Gypsy people in Catalonia and to enhance their positive image, preserve their rich cultural legacy and make it known to the rest of society. http://www.fundaciopereclosa.org/

VšĮ Žmogiškųjų išteklių stebėsenos ir plėtros biuras (ŽISPB, NGO Human Resources Monitoring and Development Bureau) is a nongovernmental non-profit organization, established in 2010. ZISPB aims to support and empower the most disadvantaged groups in society and to create social balance by providing services and education. The services are provided for different target groups: social workers, families-atrisk, disabled people, youth, juvenile offenders, ex-offenders, DV perpetrators and victims, etc. http://www.zispb.lt/

 

Meeting in Brussels

Three representatives from LP 1 Bucovina Institute (project coordinator, financial coordinator and communication representative) participated on the meeting with FO, kick off operational capacity building 15-17 October 2019 in Brussels. Our project was selected as BEST PRACTICE in order to be presented in front of donors from Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland.
SEPAL was presented as a best practice in Brussels
 

Suceava kick-off meeting

Romanian team, Bucovina Institute organised the first dissemination event of the project on the 15th of November 2018 with an audience of about 30 people coming from NGOs and LSC context. The hit of the meeting was an ellaborative and applied talk on the apprenticeship situation at a national and international level concluding with regular firms representatives talk about the legal frame of the action and its advantages and disadvantages.  http://www.projectsepal.com/kick-off-meeting-romania/

 

SEPAL promotion in Lithuania

On the 7th of December 2018, ZISPB, the Lithuanian side of our partnership had their dissemination event. 50 representatives from local NGOs, schools, associations of disabled, local stakeholders and others attended the Conference-Contact fair in Siauliai, Lithuania. Participants were introduced to the main aims of this project, WISE concept, discussed the pros and cons of the apprenticeship method and situation in the labour market related to the different target groups. Exchanging ideas with guests how we can cooperate, helped us improve the ways to reach disadvantaged youth, excluded from the labour market, and create the basis for the network of persons concerned.

 

Next steps…

We are looking forward on our upcoming Know How Exchange meeting taking place in Badalona, Spain, hosted by our Spanish partner Fundacion Privada Pere Closa between the 28th of February and the 1st of March 2019, meeting that aims in a best practice exchange from all of the 5 partner countries regarding supported employment services.

For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/projectSEPAL and http://www.projectsepal.com/.

In the coming up process one of the best practices from the project, the SEPAL Innovation book aims to be kept at as a resource for people and organisations interested in creating new opportunities for youngsters belonging to vulnerable groups. It is designed to provide information about developing and implementing WISE structures and supported employment services for disadvantaged target groups. In March, partners will launch the first outline of SEPAL innovation book.

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