Duration : 01-04-2023 – 31-07-2024
Project number: 2022-3-PT02-KA210-YOU-000098785
The project’s overarching objective is to enhance the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of young people as they make decisions about their future after completing their mandatory education. It aims to promote a positive approach towards the concept of a gap year as a means of fostering personal growth and employability. Often, when young people finish school or university, they face confusion in choosing their next steps, primarily limited to studying or finding a job. By focusing on the gap year concept, the project seeks to promote European citizenship and raise awareness about the various opportunities available, including those offered by the EU.
The specific objectives of the project are as follows:
Instructing youth workers and organizations about after-school alternative paths, with a specific focus on European opportunities, to effectively communicate this knowledge to youths.
Promoting the gap year and its potential for personal growth and employability by training gap advisors, facilitating job shadowings, and utilizing experiences of ex-gappers.
Strengthening the connection between schools and organizations involved in the project, enabling them to hold meetings with students to share knowledge gained from project activities, especially training courses, job shadowings, and study visits.
The project aligns with two key priorities of the Erasmus+ program, “strengthening the employability of young people” and “common values, civic engagement, and participation.” A gap year provides a unique opportunity for young people to improve essential skills required in different ways than traditional education, such as problem-solving, teamwork, organizational skills, and autonomy.
The project’s results include the creation of a template for a website section about gap years and European opportunities, development of a map containing organizations promoting gap years and European mobility, and a set of interviews with ex-gappers to showcase the benefits of taking a gap year and dispel related stigmas. These results will be available in multiple languages (English, Italian, Portuguese, and Lithuanian).
The project targets both direct and indirect groups. Direct beneficiaries are the organizations involved, with volunteers and collaborators exchanging experiences, know-how, and best practices related to gap years and project management. Indirect beneficiaries include local organizations, youth workers, schools, and universities, which will benefit from project activities and outcomes through dissemination activities. The ultimate beneficiaries are young people between 17 and 25 years old, who will directly participate in mentorship, interviews, and dissemination events.
The project aims to involve NEETs and economically disadvantaged young people, as European opportunities, such as Erasmus+ and ESC programs, can offer solutions to financial constraints and empower them to explore new paths beyond traditional education and work.
The lack of support and guidance often leaves young people uncertain about their future and contributes to the risk of becoming NEETs. The project seeks to address these issues by promoting the concept of a gap year, providing information about international mobility opportunities, and supporting young people throughout their experiences.
To achieve its objectives, the project will share best practices, experiences, and knowledge among partner organizations to ensure young people receive the best possible support and opportunities for personal growth and employability. The project will conduct various activities, create useful final products, run dissemination events, and implement sustainable actions to benefit the organizations and participants in the long term. Funding for the project will enable the provision of high-quality training and follow-up actions to monitor results beyond the project’s duration.