"Looking for change : mobility is for you !", : when young from La Reunion take the Erasmus steps to promote their employability
Reunion Island, is a French overseas department located in Indian Ocean, which is situated next to Madagascar. The island presents a very specific situation with alarming statistics concerning employment. The unemployment rate stands at 22,4 %, which represents 44 % of the young people aged between 18 and 25 years old. The geographic isolation of the island imposes a certain degree of mobility for the young people from Reunion.
Active in the vocational and social inclusion, our non-profit organization and the Mission Locale Sud, is aimed at opening the range of opportunities for this target group. Most of young people are under skilled which means that we must be innovative in providing alternative training solutions, through non-formal education, based on experience and hands-on learning. But here on the island, mobility is not easy to organize.
The aims of the project were :
- to provide to young people from the island an opportunity of mobility to discover new horizons
- to nurture curiosity and open-mindedness which are essential for the job market, here and elsewhere
- to improve their linguistic skills, which are vital for the tourism industry on the island
- to gain experience in a given sector as part of a vocational validation project to strengthen their skills.
The project called "Looking for change : mobility is for you !", has provided 26 unemployed young people from Reunion, aged between 18 and 25 years old, the opportunity to be trained via an Erasmus Pro internship in European firms (Spanish, Irish and British) for a three or six month stay. The project included linguistic preparation, intercultural and practical workshops and a specific workshop to help the young people determine their learning objectives. We focused on the recognition of their skills and the project also created follow up sessions after the mobility to increase the value of this experience. The supervision of the training program, with preparatory preliminary visits and the movement of professional guides for assessments, brought the guarantee of educational quality to the project. This quality opened the access of this program to our public with less opportunities.
We observed the following impacts :
-Learning outcomes have increased the employability of learners, with an increase in their professional, transversal and personal skills. This translates into integration for almost half of them, while the last groups have recently returned. A 1/4 has concluded an employment contract ; Another 1/4 are in civic service, while others have entered qualifying training or are advancing in their career (Obtaining their driving license and reorientation). Their openness to the world and increased motivation added to this impact. We also noted the "accelerating" effect of Erasmus Pro mobility on the public's journeys. We believe that a subsequent assessment will bear even more witness to this impact on their integration.
-The integration of the Erasmus + program into the toolbox of our team of advisers has been strengthened ; the positive results have enabled us to further strengthen our role as a major player in the field of mobility. Our team has truly professionalized internationally, ensuring preparatory visits and support missions.
-The success of the project and our dissemination activities also impact our territory. Partnerships with the Pôle Emploi Réunion and the Réunion Region developed during the project, allowing us to strengthen ties with these institutions. In addition, two Reunion Missions Locales joined us on the following projects, which were submitted to the Consortium. The Erasmus + offer for young people entering the job market is becoming regional, while maintaining its specificity for our ultra-marine youth, with the difficulties inherent in our isolated territory.