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Wild ideas - Innovation tackling long-term youth unemployment

Scotland is a country that is renowned for innovation and expertise.

At Venture Trust that spirit of innovation has been channelled to successfully support disadvantaged people into work, education and training using the outdoors and wilderness areas of Scotland.

We combine expeditions in Scotland’s wilderness with personal social development theory and community outreach to help people turn their lives around.

Now Venture Trust’s expertise in outdoor learning has resulted in the organisation being selected as the expert partner for a European consortium that will use the outdoors to get young people into the EU labour market.

The FOLM "From Outdoors to Labour Market" project is being led by the CIE Center for Innovative Education and includes partners from Poland, Spain, Ireland and Scotland. FOLM is funded from a £3,000,000 (€3,400,000) grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

The successful model we have used for supporting long-term unemployed young people into work will be showcased at the European Parliament in Brussels in December at the New Education Forum (NEF).

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Innovation needed to tackle long-term youth unemployment

The forum is a platform for exchanging knowledge, experiences and contacts in the fields of social innovations. NEF acts at a European level and has representatives from more than 190 institutions. These include authorities from European regions and cities, higher education and research institutions, Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers and industry representatives from 17 EU countries.

This year, leading Scottish employability charity Venture Trust and The University of Edinburgh will take centre stage at the NEF forum. Scotland, like the rest of Europe, faces the challenges of finding new and innovative ways to reach disenfranchised youth: those young people furthest away from the labour market.

By supporting the FOLM project Venture Trust can share learning and extend the reach of our work by enabling partners to work in a meaningful way with hundreds of young people not in education, training or employment in wider Europe.

Our programmes continue to contribute to a progressive society here in Scotland and now we are delighted to be able to extend that approach to European partner countries.

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