Researchers from the University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Business are leading part of a Europe-wide project aiming to encourage young people to consider becoming entrepreneurs.
‘Innovating Youth Work to Foster Youth Active Citizenship’ is a €200,000 project involving partners in the UK, Italy, Greece, Lithuania and Poland.
Funded by Erasmus+, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, the aim is to give disadvantaged young people new skills that will mean they can improve their lives and their communities, particularly through social entrepreneurship.
The project will carry out research into the social and educational profile, learning style, needs and attitudes of young people not in education, training or work, and other groups who may find it harder to access employment. These could include people with learning difficulties or disabilities, as well as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
As part of the work, the University team will be talking to around 250 young people from across Devon and Cornwall. This research will feed into the design of an innovative entrepreneurship e-learning platform, as well as a new training course that will be tested as part of the project.
Jonathan Moizer, Associate Professor in Business Operations and Strategy, is leading the UK arm of the project from the University of Plymouth. He is working with colleagues Dr Jonathan Lean, Professor Shaofeng Liu, and Research Fellow David Carter.
Dr Moizer, a former trustee of Gwellheans, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity based in Redruth, Cornwall, recently attended a launch meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania with representatives of the other four partners. He said:
"This is about getting people who have been marginalised outside employment and training into a non-formal education and training experience, to help inspire them to get involved in careers around entrepreneurship."
"We are looking to survey about 250 young people who may be defined as outside the system. We also need to find six mentors, ideally younger people who have been there and done it, to engage online in mentoring people that are outside the system."
"The project will then bring young people from the UK together with those from other partner countries to experience some intense training, once the learning materials are developed."
The 22-month project will run until autumn 2019. Anyone who would like to find out more about becoming a mentor can contact: Dr Jonathan Moizer on firstname.lastname@example.org / 01752 585635, or David Carter on email@example.com / 01752 585874.