Activities of the project will focus on social integration of disadvantaged people by providing support and assistance to young people, whether nationals, migrants or refugees, who have deficits in the professional and personal field, in their social competences and in civic participation. Their social inclusion and access to labour market are hampered by difficulties in school, dropping out of education and training. This may lead to discrimination and exclusion. Inadequate educational achievements, inappropriate soft skill competences and lack of languages knowledge endanger access to vocational training or the world of work. As a consequence these young disadvantaged people are at risk of marginalisation leading to their resignation and being vulnerable for radicalisation.

Every young person should have a personal and a professional perspective, and should be able to fully participate in society.
Education and training are the most effective instruments for inclusion into the labour market as well as into the fabric of society.

The project intends to apply an innovative approach by combining international practices with intergenerational cooperation of mentoring and coaching. In this context non-formal education and training provided by skilled volunteers with substantial long-term experience in their various professions provide valuable assistance in the form of coaching and mentoring to young people in order to facilitate their education, training and access to the work place. Young women or men, including young prisoners, irrespective of their social background, of their country of origin or their religion can benefit from the life experience capacities and competences of these dedicated volunteers who offer their time to the individual young person in need, often in a 1:1 relationship or to a small group of young people. Mentoring comprises learning difficulties in general, inadequate performance of trainees at the workplace, vulnerability through lack of confidence and self- confidence, discrimination, bullying or exclusion from the group.

Mentoring of young people enables them to openly express concerns, fears, shortcomings and all sorts of problems towards an unrelated third party. The support based on mentor's life and work experience will help the young person to identify problems and solutions by themselves and ultimately gain self-confidence. A relationship of trust based on mutual respect encourages the mentees to reconsider existing attitudes, behavior and prejudices and to develop critical thinking in a divers Europe, accepting European values and diversity. This integrated approach will foster the development of social, civic and intercultural competences of the disadvantaged young people and will combat segregation, exclusion, racism, bullying and violence. It will help them to better integrate into their educational or vocational environment and enhance their chances to access the world of work. A trainee or a person with a job is less likely on the one hand, to become victim of discrimination or exclusion, and on the other, to engage in radicalisation.

Social integration of the targeted disadvantaged young people is in particular facilitated and expected as the mentors are equipped with know-how from all backgrounds and branches – industry, handicrafts and services – , good social skills and ready to adapt to the specific person thereby able to reach a maximum of mentees from different backgrounds and origins.

Mentoring young disadvantaged people for inclusion
New approaches for supporting young people