The manifold experiences of vulnerable youth: What can we learn from Youth Perspective?

The manifold experiences of vulnerable youth: What can we learn from Youth Perspective?

At the EXCEPT final conference on March 14th 2018, Sonia Bertolini, University of Turin, Italy, presented EXCEPT Comparative Qualitative Analysis. The objective of such analysis was to understand feelings and coping strategies of young people  in different phases of the life course. This bottom-up approach helps to bring out voice of youth and understand things from their perspective.

In her presentation, Sonia stressed the value of listening to youth:  

“Listening to them and creating institutional conditions for them to plan their future means preventing them from social exclusion and improving future of Europe.”

Sonia’s presentation was followed by a discussion, moderated by Kiki Deliyanni-Kouimtzi from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Involved in the discussion were:

Pablo Cornide, Policy Officer on Youth Employment, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

(DG EMPL), European Commission

Bjorn Hvinden, Scientific Coordinator of NEGOTIATE, Oslo and Akershus University

College of Applied Sciences, Norway

Karl Andreas Sprenk, Estonian National Youth Council, Estonia

All of the discussion panel agreed that youth insights can help to make services more appropriate to the needs of youth and talked on the need of more differentiated and personalised social policy. Talking on taking a youth specific approach, Pablo Cornide said:

“These voices of young people are important for member states and for us to change the way public services work […] I think the importance of the Youth Guarantee, which full potential is still needs to be developed, is not the Youth Guarantee per se but the fact that it recommends to member states to have this youth specific approach”.

Bjorn Hvinden warned:

“If things are improving now across European countries, even in countries most seriously hit by the crises, I think really it is important for people like us be very clear that it is not that we can just carry on as nothing had happened since 2008. We really need to tell both national and European decision makers that hey, you may really risk losing a generation of young people.”

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