Research Tilburg University

What kind of education and skills should an 18-year-old acquire today to be equipped for the labour market? The increasing digitalization of services in particular (e.g., new financial technologies) and of societies by and large (e.g., smart cities) makes tomorrow (and even yesterday) ‘disappear’ in time.

Nicoleta Balau provides input to the EYES project by analyzing existing research on the success factors of programmes that help young unemployed get a job. Which entrepreneurial skills should young people develop? Which digital skills should they have?

She has reviewed literature covering many academic fields, using a mixture of research methods. For instance, comparisons among social enterprises and profit-driven organizations. Collectively, studies capture different European regions (e.g., Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, UK) and beyond (e.g., Taiwan, Japan, Mexico). Young people need and seek to develop/improve their (digital) skills (e.g., Thornham & Cruz, 2017). Yet, the outcome of various interventions gives mixed results, depending on individual characteristics (e.g., Goldman-Mellor et al., 2016), life situations and biographies (e.g., Alegre et al., 2015), opportunity structures, economic and political resources, policies and interventions at various levels (e.g., Beck, 2015; Hazenberg, Seddon, & Denny, 2014).

This makes it difficult to come up with one solution that works for all youth. The EYES project is therefore an excellent opportunity to assess in a more systematic way what groups of young people benefit from what types of interventions.

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