Platform Youth and Work

Moving towards a successful future

The prospect of work for young people is not self-evident. Even in times of economic growth and scarcity on the labor market, it is not always the case for all young people to come and stay in work. Unemployment among young people aged 15 to 25 is still 6.8%. This means that 102,000 young people have no place on the labor market. Young people without a basic qualification and young people with a migration background in particular have difficulty finding (suitable) work. The Youth & Work platform is researching in practice, with various alliances of implementing parties, how more young people can find their way to the labor market. On the basis of these practical experiences, any obstacles at system level are also addressed. For example, they work together to really change the vulnerable position of young people, so that they can build a sustainable future.

From the literature, but also from practice, we know that to be able to find a job you need more than simply applying for a job. Some young people need a helping hand in the form of extra skills, intensive mediation, guidance or simply a chance to show what they can do. In the Netherlands there are many initiatives that are committed to a more inclusive labor market by guiding young people with a vulnerable position to work. However, these initiatives are fragmented and strongly local. The Youth & Work platform wants to join forces, bring together knowledge and skills and work together on the impact on the future of young people.

The mission of the platform is therefore: A better world, in which all young people can develop their talents and make free choices to follow education and work.

Various parties, all of whom are experts in their field, work together within the Platform Jongeren & Werk. By combining the strengths of all parties, even more young people can be reached and activated. The parties are organized in five different alliances, each of which focuses on a different aspect of youth unemployment.

Talent development
This alliance focuses on setting up and executing a social traineeship for talent development and focuses on VMBO students from the third and fourth grade. By helping VMBO students discover their talents and offering a mentoring program, they can make the right choice for further education. This is expected to lead to more motivation and less dropout from the MBO.

Connection between MBO – Labor market
Young people who do not find a suitable job immediately after their training often end up between two stools. This alliance aims to build a lasting bridge between education and the labor market through the use of coaching and supporting MBO students. The Buzinezzclub focuses on the practical side and provides long-term guidance to young people towards the labor market and during their career. KBA Nijmegen focuses more on the research-based approach and the systematic description of the approach used.

The Way Free to Work
This alliance focuses on guiding young people to work. Young people who experience problems on their way to the labor market often also experience obstacles in one or more other areas of life. This alliance aims to remove these obstacles and then guide them towards paid work.

The Opportunities Alliance is committed to making young people part of the working society. They do this by offering young people a learn-work program at Paid Football Organizations (GFAs). From there they are helped to a paid job via the network of the BVOs.

Employer Perspective
This alliance is based on the expected growth of companies in the circular economy. This creates a need among employers, especially young people at the beginning of their career, who can be trained in new and specific skills needed to fill circular jobs. This offers good opportunities to fill these vacancies with the young people that the Platform Youth & Work focuses on.

In addition to the alliances, research is an important pillar within the Platform. Not only is the effect and approach of the various alliances examined, but the results are also bundled and further explored. From a scientific point of view, what work is being looked at for whom (target groups), in what way (mechanisms) and under what conditions (context factors). The activation theories that arise from this are tested in the evaluations of the alliances and then further explored. The various insights are brought together within the Platform and enriched by regular knowledge exchange with scientists and experts from the field.

Photo header: Kate Kalvach

Wouter Vos - Platform Jongeren en Werk
Wouter Vos Project Manager