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EPALE - Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe


Small events with a large reach 2017 (5/7): Opportunities for strengthening competences of young adults during their transition from school to employment

by Zvonka PANGERC ...
Language: EN
Document available also in: SL


The fifth Promoting Adult Skills (PAS) event was hosted in Maribor on 14 June by the Maribor Adult Education Centre (AEC). According to the directress of the centre, Irena Urankar, throughout the year they organize several programmes for young people (especially disadvantaged). An example would be the well-known Project Learning for Young Adults programme (Projektno učenje mlajših odraslih – PUM-O). This particular June event gave seventeen young people who participated in its practical part the opportunity to strengthen their social and civic competences. 

The representative of the student’s trade union Mladi plus, Zala Turšič, familiarized them with the topics of employment and the position of the youth and their labour rights in a workshop with the meaningful title For decent work. Participants rated the topics as extremely educational, useful and applicable to real life situations.


Prior to this workshop at the professional part of the event, we discussed these topics with 29 stakeholders. This part of the event included six expert presentations from different organizations: Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Infopeka, Pekarna magdalenske mreže, Maribor Regional Office of the Public Employment Service of Slovenia (PES), Prizma – Foundation for the improvement of employment opportunities, Ormož AEC and the aforementioned student’s trade union, Mladi plus.


It is not enough just to possess the skills, the key is how actively you use them


This is one of the most important findings of the study on measuring adult skills – PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences), whose key findings on the global and national level were initially presented by Jasmina Mirčeva, MSc, from the SIAE. Skills become outdated way too quickly. It is also true that the skill level does not differ much between employed or unemployed young people. The achieved level of formal education and the (un)involvement of youth in education – be it formal or informal – have a much greater impact. No wonder the OECD has called for the implementation of measures to prevent youth from dropping out of school and their prolonged inactivity. Employment agencies, centres for social work and NGOs have a central role to play here.


Young people who can transform disappointments into challenges and opportunities have the advantage

This opinion was presented by the representative of the Maribor Regional Office of the PES, Andreja Motaln. Young people with clear objectives and interests, who are aware of their strengths, have it easier on the labour market. In addition to the already acquired knowledge and skills, they only need to obtain soft skills to be able to properly communicate with their potential employers, solve problems, make decisions, develop synthetic and analytic thinking, work under pressure and finally – to participate in teamwork. Young people can benefit from consulting services and vocational training at the career centres, where they can not only obtain the fundamental and professional competences, but also expand their circle of acquaintances. At the employment service they have dedicated a special website for young employment seekers, where they, among other things, invite them to network more intensively and work actively on their career. The event also provided us with information about current tenders, the Work Trial and Permanent Youth Employment programmes, which bring financial and other incentives for both – the youth and the employers.


Young people need an environment for innovative ideas and their implementation


In their local environment there are also other possibilities for young people. Vasja Bajde from Prizma gave a presentation about project-based opportunities designed to improve the employment opportunities for young people. For example, the Network for the Development of Entrepreneurship (NDE) ensured the transfer of knowledge and experience and contributed to the integration and better accessibility of the offer of entrepreneurial training and consulting, as well as the informing of young people on both sides of the Croatian border. 26 young people participated in the project, out of which 9 were from the Podravje region. The results of the programme include 16 promoters for the work on points of entrepreneurship, a developed and implemented training program for the promotion of entrepreneurship, a handbook about entrepreneurship support for young people and last but not least – four self-employments of young people and many business plans for self-employment.


Vasja Bajde caught our attention with the project Weaving professions for boys = girls, which aims to overcome the stereotypes affecting decisions regarding education and career path. But also with Nefix employment solutions, the Interreg project NewGenerationSkills and more. But you better visit the website Prizma Foundation, which proves that opportunities exist, you just have to grab them!


Ormož Youth Centre


Young people are moving out of Ormož and its wider region. At the Ormož Youth Centre, which operates as a branch of the Ormož Adult Education Centre and is stationed in their premises, they are unwilling to accept this. They offer young people of all ages the opportunity of development-oriented socializing, which is based on the principle of democratic leadership. The centre also organizes vocational trainings, consultations and debates, performances, exhibitions and workshops as well as a special event – a wilderness survival camp. The camp is organized in cooperation with the Slovenian Army. Otherwise they also work together with numerous partners in their region and broader. Viki Ivanuša, the directress of Ormož AEC, pointed out the involvement in the European Voluntary Service project (EVS), which enables young people to create an independent life and to work abroad.



“That’s just how it is...” No, you should know you rights and take action!


Most young people are poorly informed about certain topics relating to employment and those who are better informed feel like that they cannot do anything to improve their situation. This is particularly true for precarious forms of work, when employers only employ young people for a fixed time and thus replace regular employment. That is why the role, which was taken over by the student’s trade union Mladi plus is of the utmost importance. They publish informative materials, such as articles, magazines, podcasts, organize trainings and workshops on labour rights, discrimination, unionism. They made a breakthrough with the campaigns Stop the violations – SAY YES to decent work! (Stop kršitvam – ZA dostojno delo!) and Nothing but hot air (Buče), they also make efforts to achieve legislative changes and the integration and a more effective organization of the youth.


Urška Breznik from Infopeka reminded us what criticism actually means: the awareness about one’s own cultural and socio-political position in a specific situation, the ability and motivation to look at the reported truths and their self-evidence from different angles, to uncover any errors and manipulative or ideological aspects and to observe the messages of texts with moral judgment, which must be reflected in our actions”. She connected criticism with literacy of young people and presented the four resources model, which should enable young people to assess their current social situation. The former is a prerequisite for their equal and active participation in society, she pointed out.


At the PAS event in Maribor we were there with the youth for the youth. Many opportunities to acquire various competences and forms of support in providing a decent life and work were presented. We believe that they will happily seize the opportunities – at least some of them, which might then in turn inspire others by example. A video with some of the speakers and participants was also published.


You can find more information on EAAL PAS events focused on various existing activities for promoting the development of basic skills and key competencies of adults, and for presentation of achievements and definition of opportunities and challenges at this page.

You are kindly invited to read about our past events:

Small events with a large reach 2017 (1/7): Involvement of volunteers in working with migrants 

Small events with a large reach 2017 (2/7): Youth on their path to entrepreneurship

Small events with a large reach 2017 (3/7): The development of the competences of adults in rural areas – opportunities and challenges 

Small events with a large reach 2017 (4/7): The development of knowledge and skills of human resources in economy 


Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MA ( Institute for Adult Education


Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik works at the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education in the field of promotional and information activities. She is the national coordinator for the implementation of the European Agenda on Adult Learning. She is interested in effective promotional approaches and promotion of cooperation and connecting of stakeholders in adult education.

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