From the 19th of February to the 1st of March 2019, 40 young people from different European countries gathered in the youth centre of Hodoš, Slovenia. An Erasmus + international project titled “Get Skilled” was taking place, which was attended by young people from Italy, Spain, Croatia, Portugal and of course Slovenia. The participants lived together, socialized, got to know the surroundings and simply had a nice time.
However, as Erasmus + projects are based on non-formal education, our participants have learned a lot in these days. These projects promote learning beyond the frames of the classical teacher-learner system that occurs in educational institutions. Therefore, workshops and activities carried out on this project were designed with the idea of involving all participants and the use of alternative approaches.
The main theme of the project was employability of young people and the skills they need in today’s labour market. Activities were based around the skills that young people may not learn during their formal education, e.g. how to write a resume, how to prepare for a job interview, and such. However, of course, it was not just about theory, and the participants thus had the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills in practice. They became familiar with many tools and programs, such as Europass CV and LinkedIn, which will facilitate their way to their next job. The participants learned about the situation and statistics of youth employment in other countries, and some learned a lot about the situation in their own country. Activities encouraged critical thinking of participants and the creative search for everyday solutions that help us, as individuals, improve our employment and life opportunities at local, national and international levels. In addition to the skills we already mentioned, the participants actively upgraded their skills in debating, team work and public speaking.
During those ten days, one was reserved for a short day trip to Murska Sobota. In the Prekmurje capital, the participants enjoyed the early spring sun, walked around the city and relaxed in the park. However, they also had a very important task. They were divided into groups to go around the city and exchange a small ball for something bigger, better, and then re-exchange this new object. Thus, they were forced to find their way and orient themselves in a city that they did not know, and at the same time to talk and bargain with the locals. They said that the locals were open people who were happy to cooperate and help, regardless of the various language barriers.
Young participants spent ten days in Prekmurje. During this time, they have learned a lot about themselves, each other and about foreign cultures. There were friendships made that will last years and memories created that will not be forgotten. They said goodbye with embraces, tearful eyes and promises to meet again.