From 17th untill the 26th of April, participants from Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal and North Macedonia took part in the Youth Exchange “START WORKS”. The project took place in the premises of “Pansion Kozel” near the town Vrchlabi in Czech Republic.
Hosted by Young Community the aim of this Youth Exchange was to help young people cross the gap between education and employment. The participants were engaged in everyday workshops which were made to help them improve their soft skills and knowledge in the field of self-presentation, communication and in dealing with the formalities during the employment process.
The first day was an opportunity for the participants to get to know each other through many teambuilding activities. After that the national teams had to present the employment or unemployment status in their countries and the reasons why the youth is or is not employed.By doing a personal SWOT analysis, everyone was able to assess their strengths and weaknesses so they can focus on them better in the following activities. Both nights the national teams hosted their intercultural nights, presenting music, dances and food from their countries. Once everyone settled in and started to feel comfortable, it was a time to take part in activities useful when looking for a job such as preparing for a job interview, making a representable CV, creating a linkedin profile etc. The participants also presented the best ways to look for a job in their countries and also many volunteering opportunities as a way for gaining invaluable working experience.
Although the workshop schedule was pretty tight, there was a time to visit Vrchlabi and also take a walk in the nearby forest where the participants enjoyed the picturesque Czech countryside.
In the final day, everyone took part in the making of one final presentation as a reflection of the project as a whole. The success of the project lies in the experience and the knowledge that the participants gained, which will hopefully make them stand out positively on the labor market. Apart from that it was really pleasant to see everyone making new friendships and getting in touch with different cultures from all around Europe.