The European Employment Forum took place on 27-28 November 2012 in Brussels. As a side event, Accenture, Adecco Group and Microsoft organized an interactive session on Bridging the Skills Gap for Youth in Europe that showcased the 2012 Youth Employability Award Winners.

Telecentre-Europe was invited to experience the award winning innovative practices on youth skills, entrepreneurship & mobility, that are successfully enhancing employment prospects and opportunities for young Europeans.

Finetuning skills for the market

As the organizers highlighted, the workforce of the future depends on the right skills acquisition in tune with the labour market.  There has never before been more of an urgent need and opportunity for industry, government, social partners and academics to work in concert to develop youth work-readiness partnerships to carve an innovative space in Europe.

As testimony, this generation of out-of-work, disengaged young Europeans cost EU member states €153bn (£124bn) every year, according to new research by Eurofound.

The interactive forum & awards recognized that NGO lead public/private actionable solutions across Europe are helping to bridge the productivity skills gap for youth struggling to get into a job.  They provided a platform for discussion between NGOs & industry executives as to how we can scale real impact on the employability of the next generation.

Award winners

The Awards were announced in three categories to the following winners:

  • Driving Youth Entrepreneurship (sponsored by Accenture)

Award winner: European Confederation of Junior Entrepreneurs, for developing and expanding the Junior Enterprise concept in all Europe. Being present in 14 countries, JADE represents more than 20,000 motivated students who set up and manage around 280 non profit SMEs, SMEs that aim to make a real impact on society by empowering young people and providing them with an entrepreneurship mindset and the skills that they will need for the challenging job market that awaits them after graduation. The award was announced by Olivier Gillerot, President of Belgium & Luxembourg, Accenture.

  • Empowering European Youth Through Technology Award (sponsored by Microsoft)

Award winner: PH International Ukraine, for the Information Dissemination and Equal Access (IDEA) project. IDEA creates and supports community-based Internet centres which provide residents with free technology training and access to computers. IDEA Centres increase the quality of education and the level of social and cultural development in the communities where they operate.  IDEA also works to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged groups by supplying specialized computer software and training aimed at expanding their educational, employment, and community-building opportunities. The award was announced by Jan Muehlfeit, Microsoft Europe Chairman.

  • Enabling Youth Mobility (sponsored by Adecco Group)

Award winnerAIESEC. Present in over 113 countries and territories and with over 86,000 members, AIESEC is the world's largest youth-run organisation. Focused on providing a platform for youth leadership development, AIESEC offers young people the opportunity to be global citizens, to change the world, and to get experience and skills that matter today. The award was recognizing AIESEC’S Global Internship Programme. The award was announced by Philippe Michecoppin, International Mobility Director, Adecco Group.

The award winners were selected through a competitive application process. They received a distinctive trophy and €3000 cash prize from the sponsors, had the opportunity to briefly present their organization in front of 100 participants and to pose a challenging question to the sponsoring companies.

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