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Jan Wilker

Youth unemployment in Europe remains a significant problem, despite slightly declining numbers, and it has severe long-term consequences for young people, the economy and society as the whole. It can be best tackled before it even occurs, through a successful transition from education to work.

Effective solutions for such a complex issue bring together all relevant stakeholders. Schools, universities, companies, trade unions, job agencies, youth organisations, politicians and administrators can unite their competences, partners and initiate joint action in order to support young people’s transition to work according to the collective impact approach.
StartNet follows this preventive approach at two levels: in Italy through a pilot network in Apulia and Basilicata, and in Brussels, building a platform for dialogue between the pilot-network and other projects in Europe.

The network of StartNet Italy is composed of the Italian National Education Ministry, regional governments and education departments, schools and students, chambers of commerce, employers, unions and the civil society, who jointly develop and implement strategies for young people’s transition into working life. This includes projects on career and school guidance, internships, prevention for early school-leavers, cooperation between schools and enterprises as well as promotion of entrepreneurship skills.

StartNet Europe is connecting the pilot network in Italy with other innovative initiatives from Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland to exchange good practices, learn to overcome common challenges (outreach, multi-stakeholder cooperation, funding, monitoring, future of work etc.), support common goals or interests. The two levels inspire and reinforce each other.

The ultimate objective of StartNet is to improve youth employment solutions in Southern Italy, to create, reinforce and sustain regional partnerships for innovation in education and employment. At the European level, it aims to promote innovative solutions and practices, contribute to EU policies, programmes and fostering regional implementation across Europe.

Through a full-time monitoring, StartNet measures and aims to increase the impact of all its actions as well as the project overall at all stages.

StartNet is a project co-funded by Stiftung Mercator and coordinated by the Goethe-Institut in Rome and Brussels.