A Sustainable Future by Including NEETs in the Green Sector

9 August 2023/Evaluation

The INTERCEPT project is an ambitious initiative aimed at unleashing the potential of young people in the green sector. With a focus on NEETs (people Not in Education, Employment, or Training), the project seeks to address the needs and opportunities within this demographic while fostering sustainability. By selecting 300 NEETs aged 25-29 from Italy, Malta, and Lithuania, INTERCEPT will provide them with training and enrol them in paid internships in green businesses for a duration of three months. This pilot experience will serve as a testing ground for evaluating the project’s effectiveness and gathering valuable data to develop policy recommendations at the European level.

This new innovative project under the EEA and Norway grants fund and led by Jobsplus Malta together with eight partners from five different countries seeks to motivate, mobilise, and support NEETS through a green career pathway. The research aspects of the project are overseen by Visionary Analytics, CASE Research, Institute of Economic Research of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The communications outreach and training development are led by the Polo Universitario Grossetano, Regione Toscana and Anci Toscana in Italy. Moreover, Anci along with Jobsplus and the Lithuanian Public Employment Services (LT PES) will pilot innovative training in green skills across the three target countries. While lastly as the project expert partner, the National Employment Agency of Luxembourg (ADEM) will share knowledge of labour market mechanisms and guidance of young job seekers.

The context of the INTERCEPT project

Young people in this generation will be most affected by global climate change. Investing in a green economy is essential to ensure a just and equitable future that places a priority on social and environmental well-being. However, it is essential to create inclusive and sustainable solutions that actively involve vulnerable groups, such as NEETs. Supporting NEETs in gaining the knowledge and expertise needed to apply for green employment offers a major investment with considerable potential for both social inclusion and individual development.

The Visionary Analytics team plays a crucial role in the INTERCEPT project. As the organization for research and evaluation activities, we oversee two key work packages: (1) Analysis of the target population, and (2) Evaluation and development of policy recommendations for mainstreaming. In the first one, our researchers are responsible for developing the methodology to analyse the specific needs and challenges faced by unemployed and inactive citizens between the ages of 25 and 29. We collect relevant data, including statistical data, interviews, and surveys, to identify key lessons and contribute to the final report and recommendations. In the latter one, we lead the evaluation process of the pilot project in Lithuania, conduct a horizontal analysis of evaluated pilot projects, and develop policy recommendations. Our expertise in evaluating public policies and projects, coupled with our extensive experience in labour market trends and Active Labour Market Policy (ALMP) practices, ensures a comprehensive and insightful contribution to the project.

Lithuanian case: Target group insights

Reviewing the target population, which consists of NEETs in Lithuania between the ages of 25 and 29, provides light on significant traits and difficulties hindering their work chances in our societies. The “typical” young jobseeker in this category, according to key results, is a person with a secondary professional qualification, work experience in the transportation or service industries, and a balanced mix of men and women. In Lithuania, NEETs are dispersed throughout the country with a concentration in major cities. However, reaching potential employers is difficult for more than 40% of them due to mobility issues.

LT PES polled career advisors and NEETs directly to better understand the requirements and difficulties of the target population. According to the findings, people between the ages of 25 and 29 are more mature, have more defined goals, and want steady, well-paying work than their younger counterparts. Some of the efficient approaches to help their integration into the workforce were recognized as familiarization with the labour market and the educational system, training activities, and the development of social skills.

A more inclusive and sustainable future for future generations

In conclusion, the INTERCEPT project represents a significant step toward empowering young NEETs in the green sector. By providing training and paid internships, the project aims to equip these individuals with the skills and experience necessary to access sustainable employment opportunities. With the involvement of all the stakeholders in research, evaluation, and policy development, the project benefits from comprehensive analysis and recommendations that will contribute to the broader European policy landscape. Through these collective efforts, the INTERCEPT shall not only raise awareness on this important sector project but will allow each partner to build a compendium of green competencies based on each partner-specific labour market whilst also upskilling youth and thus creating a better-equipped workforce.

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