The Brussels employment service Actiris is looking more intensively for young people who have turned away from all official bodies. The budget for this target group ranges from 700,000 euros to 1.6 million. A call has been launched for the project to organizations that still reach these young people.
"These partners can be youth centers, street workers, or sports clubs," explains Caroline Mancel of Actiris. 'We really want to tackle this in an innovative way.' Soon two workshops will be organized for interested organizations.
In the official labor market jargon, the NEETs target group is mentioned. These letters represent 'not in education, employment or training'. Actiris focuses specifically on young people who have not registered anywhere and therefore are not reached.
Sometimes this is because their entitlement to an integration allowance has lapsed, sometimes because they are simply disappointed in society. Because they are not registered, Mancel does not know how many dropouts there are. "A few thousand," she estimates.
The additional money that is now available to reconnect the drop-offs comes for one third from the Brussels Region, one third from the European Social Fund and one third from the Youth Employment Initiative from the European Union.
This program makes money available for regions with youth unemployment of 25 percent or more. Thanks in part to European money; Brussels is quite successful in reducing youth unemployment. It has been going down for 4.5 years now.
'We already have many instruments to get unemployed young people back to work, such as the Job Guarantee plan and the contracting agreements', Mancel explains. 'But we do not reach the group of drop-outs enough. That is why we now use our resources more than before. '
There is no ready-made recipe to help this group of young people back to work. It is intended that during the two workshops original ideas will be bubbled up. 'I hope that it is thought out of the box', says Mancel. 'That innovative approach is new. If we succeed, we can share and bundle that expertise. The hardest thing is to find the dropouts. Once they get back to work, it's less difficult to hold them. "