INTERCEPT project – which you were able to get acquainted with in one of our spotlights last year – was wrapped up in a final closing event in Brussels earlier this year. The project was aimed at unleashing the potential of NEETs aged 25-29 in the green sector though a pilot scheme that was tested in Italy (Tuscany), Lithuania, and Malta. The main objectives were to improve employment opportunities for 300 young NEETs in the focus group, enhance participants’ skills that are relevant to the green economy as well as create a channel of engaging green economy employers with potential employees.
The intervention had three main phases:
1. RESEARCH PHASE – understanding the context. For this, the Visionary team analysed the characteristics and situation of 25-29-year-old NEETs in the selected countries; good Active Labour Market Policies (ALMP) practices in countries involved in the implementation of the pilot, as well as experiences from across Europe; and key cross-cutting competencies related to green jobs and the stakeholder’s perspective. The survey compared responses from different European countries: Malta, Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy, Luxembourg, and Poland.
2. DESIGN PHASE – designing how to connect NEETs to green jobs.
Training design – the insights from the research phase showed which competencies and skills should be strengthened to make it easier to connect NEETs and green jobs. This resulted in the paid training programme for NEETs and an additional training programme for partners and staff, which were provided in all three countries:
- 25 hours of specialised training for NEETs aimed at imparting the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes relevant to green jobs, along with addressing important motivational and behavioural factors.
- 40 hours training programme for the Jobsplus, ANCI, and Lithuanian PES staff. This specialised training focused on the green transition and the green economy, addressed the emergence of new jobs and sectors, and the challenges faced by NEETs in Europe.
Pilot design – aimed at answering the question of how NEETs and green companies can be connected. The INTERCEPT pilot scheme was established to provide participants in all three countries with the opportunity to engage in a paid 240-hour work placement or internship experience spread over 12 weeks (approximately 3 months). During this period, participants were able to collaborate with employers within the green sector and therefore gain meaningful on-the-job experience.
3. PILOT PHASE – 240 hours paid internships/work placements for NEETs aged 25-29 in green companies in Italy, Lithuania and Malta. The pilot (training and internships) was carried out from October 2022 to December 2023. The evaluation of the three pilots was conducted, resulting in the Evaluation Report.
During the final event, Visionary Analytics team together with the Institute of Economic Research – Slovak Academy of Sciences presented the findings from research activities carried out during the pilot. Additionally, the Maltese and Lithuanian PES and Anci Toscana presented how the Green Career Pathway Scheme was implemented and adjusted to the three local contexts illustrating which solutions were put into practice to overcome local challenges and achieve the greatest possible results.
Green Career Pathway results
From the initial target to activate 300 NEETs on the pilot scheme, a total of 242 participants were effectively activated in Malta, Lithuania and Italy. A further 134 NEETs were assisted by the three national partners but this support did not result in enrolments in the scheme.
As for job creation, the Green Career Pathway objective was to create 80 new jobs, whilst in fact , after only 1 month after the scheme’s closure, 90 participants successfully secured employment subsequent to their activation in the pilot.
The Green Career Pathway has been positively evaluated in terms of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability and innovativeness, however its transferability depends a lot on how the pilot scheme will be adjusted to local contexts.
If you are interested in the project further, feel free to visit the project website at https://interceptproject.eu/