“Mobility makes opportunity!” - Project Description

Purpose and success criteria (indicators)

The purpose of the project is promotion of youth employment and the creation of a favorable climate in the pilot border regions of the Russian Federation (4 regions - the Republic of Karelia, City of St. Petersburg, the Murmansk region, the Kaliningrad region), pilot Nordic border regions (South Karelia, Finland, Varmland county, Sweden, Hedmark region, Norway) and a pilot Baltic border region (Marijampole region, Lithuania) by establishing close networking between employment centers, NGOs, educational institutions and business organizations in these regions, as well as exchange of practices between institutions; the provision of advisory assistance to young professionals in the field of employment mobility, with the creation of a digest for the pilot regions of the most relevant job opportunities (“regional barometer of jobs”).

Success criteria

  • Youth (individuals or organizations) take part in the project activities;
  • Youth is better informed about possibilities of self-employment, their entrepreneurial skills are developed;
  • International Youth forum is organized;
  • The companies have become а part of a network, and the companies are familiar with methods/tools that support increasing youth employment.

Objectives and acceptance criteria (indicators)

The main objectives:

  • To exchange and disseminate effective regional and local practices on youth mobility aimed to combat youth unemployment and to increase the youth employment rate 
    • At least 20 new best practices addressing youth unemployment in different regions of NW Russia, Nordic and Baltic countries (Lithuania) will be presented and discussed within the project’s implementation
  • To strengthen dialogue and expand close cooperation between social centers, NGOs, educational institutions and business organizations in the pilot regions of the Russian Federation and in Nordic countries and Lithuania;
    • An informal network consisting of representatives of labour market, educational institutions, researchers, practitioners, youth organizations, trade unions and other stakeholders from the Nordic countries, Baltic countries and North-West Russia is expanded
  • To increase public awareness on special programs and job opportunities, and also on the possibilities of self-employment
    • At least 10 best practices of self-employment in different regions of NW Russia, Nordic countries and Lithuania will be presented and discussed within the project’s implementation
  • To create and distribute a special digest for pilot regions, which accumulates all the relevant employment opportunities of young professionals (“barometer of jobs”)
    • A special digest (collection of articles and practical tips) on employment opportunities of young professionals will be collected and presented for pilot regions of NW Russia, Nordic and Baltic countries

Background of the project

The problem of unemployment among young professionals has always been relevant both within the border regions of the country, and on the territory of the Russian Federation as a whole. Despite the fact that according to the Russian Statistic Committee the unemployment rate among the economically active population on May 2016 was 5.8%, which is within the scope of the natural rate of unemployment in Russia, however, the analysis of statistical data does not allow to predict a positive development of the situation in the sector of employment. Currently the 22.5% of all unemployment population are young people, and it is about 1 million people. It is worth mentioning that a large percentage of young people who studied in higher and secondary vocational schools makes into the situation of long-term unemployment, it means that they try to find a job for 12 months without positive result.

Moreover, according to the data of an independent survey about 84% of Russian citizens in 2015 are not willing to move into another city in order to find a job; it indicates the low territorial mobility of the labor force.

Today the problem of the slow growth in internal territorial mobility of the labor force is particularly urgent for the Russian Federation. At the moment, the country is integrating into the global market economy, it raises the need for a speedy resolution of the issues of economic modernization, as well as giving it an innovative orientation. The mobility of modern labor resources in Russia is much lower in comparison with Western countries; they have already embarked on the course of post-industrial development. This lack of labor mobility in modern Russia is one of the reasons for the relatively high unemployment in some regions of the country.

In 2016, in Russia, it was recorded that the percentage of youth unemployment in some regions of the country can reach a higher level in comparison with the average. For example, according to the Russian Statistic Committee the level of youth unemployment in the Republic of Karelia accounts for 30% in May 2016. At the same time, the problem of youth unemployment is not so acute in St. Petersburg; the overall unemployment rate for the city district is 1.6%. One of the reasons for the regional differences is an unbalanced distribution of finances for the job creation.

The lack of effective dialogue between different institutions, responsible for combatting youth unemployment is a sensible subject in many Russian regions. In some regions, there is no constant interaction of public authorities, employers and employment services. There is also no network communication between authorities, non-government organizations and employment centers of various regions of the country. Such basic employment support areas as public works, temporary job placement, self-employment are moving very slowly.

The unemployment among young people in the Nordic countries is much higher than the average unemployment. Especially alarming is the growing group of young people which neither study nor work. Among 10 percent of the young people between 15-24 years are at risk to live their lives in the periphery.

The previous cross-border projects (3 phases of CBC development, financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and implemented during 2005-2013), a small pre-project “Combating youth unemployment in the border areas of the Baltic sea and the Barents regions” (CBC Phase 4, April-December, 2013) and a current project “ComUnYouth” (CBC Phase 5, 2016-2017, finishes in summer, 2017) revealed a lack of common instruments and networks on one of the biggest problems of the cross-border territories – youth unemployment and one of the most important issue of it – a lack of mobility among young people to search for new jobs.

Thus, in the current situation of economic crisis measures aimed at improving labor mobility of citizens and, in particular, young people appear to be most relevant. Increased labor mobility allows to re-allocate labour supply among other markets in the country and contribute to the reduction of regional unemployment rate.

Description of activities and expected results

The project “Mobility makes opportunity!” increases mobility of the labor force of young people to facilitate their employment aims to contribute to solving the problem of unemployment among young professionals who just graduated from high educational institutions and facing the problem of finding job in the region of residence. Taking into account the high unemployment rate among young professionals in NW Russia, it can be concluded that the direction of professional training, which is popular among the high educational institutes and colleges do not enjoy equal demand among regional employers. The same situation exists in the other regions of the Russian Federation, where college, technical college and university graduates have to be in the status of unemployed for a long time, waiting for the right job, or even work in the specialty they have not trained in.  Moreover, young professionals are extremely reluctant to support the idea of moving into another city or in the countryside, where there are much more potential employment opportunities in their specialty. Thus, measures to increase labor mobility resources of youth allow to re-distribute the labor market, which in turn will reduce the level of youth unemployment.

The project work will be carried out in two directions.

  1. Under the project in pilot regions it’s planned to prepare and organize series of workshops for young professionals in several areas, including business planning, self-employment, employment of people with special need and others. Also, young professionals will be given the opportunity to write their business project which will be funded in case of wining the tender.
  2. In the pilot regions the project is planned to conduct a round table with representatives of employment centers, where they will discuss the most urgent problems of employment, as well as to exchange their best employment practice of young professional’s employment, cooperation mechanism of employment centers with educational institutions and the business community. The eventual result of cooperation should be a collection with to the most current and popular professions (the “barometer of jobs”), which will be distributed among schools high educational institutes and colleges in pilot regions.

Expected results

  • The project results providing solutions of the problems young unemployed people face in the Nordic and the Baltic countries and NW Russia will be presented at seminars in NW Russia, and the Youth forum in Finland, where participants from the NW Russia, Nordic countries and Baltic countries will be presented.
  • An extension of the project activities or a follow-up project (long term perspectives of the project) will be planned during the implementation of the current project and funding will be applied from external resources, such as NCM programmes and EU territorial cooperation programmes.
  • At least 20 new best practices addressing youth unemployment in different regions of NW Russia, Nordic and Baltic countries will be presented and discussed within the project’s implementation
  • An informal network consisting of representatives of labour market, educational institutions, researchers, practitioners, youth organizations, trade unions and other stakeholders from the Nordic countries, North-West Russia and Lithuania is expanded
  • At least 10 best practices of self-employment in different regions of NW Russia, Nordic countries and Lithuania will be presented and discussed within the project’s implementation
  • A special digest (collection of articles and practical tips) on employment opportunities of young professionals will be collected and presented for pilot regions of NW Russia, Nordic countries and Lithuania.

Communication plan

Stakeholder

What is to be achieved?

How?

Responsibility

When?

Nordic decision makers and the NCM Secretariat

Information about the project’s process and results

E-mails, (phone) meetings

Regional Council of South Karelia, Finland (Lead partner)

Throughout the project; if requested

Lead Partner

Information about the process and results of the project

E-mails, (phone) meetings

Project partners

Throughout the project

Project partners

Commitment, expertise and practical support

(Phone) meetings, e-mails,  agreements

Project partners, Lead Partner

Throughout the project

Participants of the project

Commitment and participation; enhancement of competence

E-mails, (phone) meetings when required, presentations at the events, project publications 

Project Partners

Throughout the project

Media

Increased interest to opportunities of combating youth unemployment, raised awareness about the project’s content and the Nordic–Baltic-Russian cooperation as such

Press releases, invitations for journalists to events. Project publications 

Project partners, Lead partner

Every project event; on-going information on web sites and the project platform

Public

Raised knowledge about the opportunities of combating youth unemployment, increased interest in opportunities for Nordic–Russian-European cooperation

Media reports, information on the project’s web platform, on

web sites; hand-out materials, project publications

Project partners, Lead partner

On-going