It’s no secret that a lot of high school subjects fail to keep up with the times and needs of teenagers. If parents have the opportunity to offer their children new learning contexts, youths manage to be competitive in the labor market. But if the young person comes from a disadvantaged environment, they lose the chance to find a job that will help them break away from the environment in which they grew up.
Starting from this reality, United Way Romania decided to direct its efforts towards vulnerable youth, by launching the pilot program InnoMate – Innovation for the future. The program is aimed for young people in a socio-economic disadvantage, in a situation of social vulnerability or with school difficulties and is focused on reducing the gap between what young people learn at school and the knowledge they need to successfully access the labor market.
The InnoMate program offers teenagers new contexts to develop their verbal skills, to correlate information in order ti find unique solutions for various problems, to interact with peers, to negotiate, but also to efficiently manage the resources they have: time, knowledge, skills, information. All in order to make them more employable and better adapted to current professional requirements.
For this, United Way Romania developed and adapted in collaboration with United Way Hungary the InnoKit curriculum starting from the students’ needs to develop and plan their professional path. 13 trainers have already received training of trainers to be able to train teachers to use the InnoKit curriculum. Also, 24 teachers received training to be able to use the available tools as efficiently as possible.
“In the good tradition of United Way, we intervene in an integrated way. For really good results in working with young people, we focus on both the direct beneficiary and the teachers. Through a dedicated curriculum and training courses dedicated to teachers, we offer new tools for working and communicating with vulnerable young people. I am convinced that in this way we can open the horizons of those youth with still undiscovered potential ”- Adriana Dobrea, Executive Director of United Way Romania.
Since June, the program is underway in 6 high schools in Timiș, Ilfov and Bucharest where 240 students from high school final classes benefit from:
• individual and group vocational and career counseling services
• activities to develop entrepreneurial skills, soft skills and metacompetences
• meetings with professionals from various fields.
In order to effectively support the activity of teachers and to have the desired result in working with young people, 24 teachers took ANC accredited courses in the field of vocational counseling.
Through all these activities in the InnoMate program, we plant the seed of the initiative in adolescents and at the same time create the right ground for this seed to grow.
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