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European Year of Skills
News article7 December 2023Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Young Brains, Regional Gains - Inspiring Initiatives From Five European Regions

The European Year of Skills 2023 represents a collective challenge across Europe to ensure that young people participate in society and contribute to the future labour market. But how do we support young individuals in acquiring professional, personal, and social competencies that enable them to contribute to the green and digital transition? This question took centre stage at the 'Young Brains, Regional Gains!' event held on October 9 in Brussels, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities. The event spotlighted five inspiring initiatives that empower young people with green and digital skills and create opportunities for their future careers.  

People sitting and talking.


The event was organized by the Greater Copenhagen EU Office in collaboration with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Stavanger Region European Office, Regional Government of Extremadura, Cities Northern Netherlands, La Région Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Ringsted Municipality, Leeuwarden Municipality, Energy Innovation - Norway, and ERRIN - European Regions Research and Innovation Network.

Let's delve into more details about these five initiatives:

FGU Midt- og Østsjælland creates alternative learning environments (Denmark)

FGU Midt- og Østsjælland in Denmark offers preparatory basic education and training to young people under 25 across the municipalities of Ringsted, Køge, Faxe, Stevns, and Sorø. Through practical, work-related learning activities and international exchanges facilitated by their Erasmus+ accreditation, FGU Midt- og Østsjælland not only enhances the professional skills of young individuals but also, and perhaps more importantly, their personal and social skills. As of 2023, approximately 43,000 young people in Denmark under 25 are neither in education nor employed or in training. FGU Midt- og Østsjælland highlights the untapped potential of these young people, both for their own well-being and for the benefit of society.


For more information, contact: Sofie Tønsberg-Jensen, International Coordinator at FGU Midt- og Østsjælland shsatfgu4you [dot] dk (shs[at]fgu4you[dot]dk)

The Extremadura Region supports schools in designing classrooms of the future (Spain)

The Extremadura region in Spain has a Digital Education and Competence Plan called INNOVATED, featuring various initiatives that integrate technology, radio, and digital books in schools. One such initiative is the Aula Del Futuro, based on the principles of the European Schoolnet's Future Classroom Lab. With funding from the Regional Government, it equips schools with devices, technical support, and supports the development of improvement projects that enhance educational spaces by combining technology with pedagogy and new competency and methodological models.


For more information, contact: Sonia Barrás Nogales, Education Adviser at the Regional Government of Extremadura, atd3 [dot] inclusionateducarex [dot] es (atd3[dot]inclusion[at]educarex[dot]es)

Energy Innovation connects wind industry and education (Norway)

In the Rogaland region of Norway, Energy Innovation bridges the gap between industry and education through the Egersund Energy Hub for on- and offshore wind power. In close collaboration with Energy Innovation and Egersund Energy Hub, the highschool of Dalane in Rogaland has developed a wind technician education, mainly targeting 16-19 year olds. As a region gradually moving away from oil and gas and over to a more diversified economy, the Stavanger region needs staff trained in renewable operations. Energy Innovation also leads the Erasmus+-funded Centre of Vocational Excellence titled 'T-SHORE - Technical Skills for Offshore Renewable Energy.' This initiative builds upon regional partnerships among VET schools, industry partners, and governmental organizations, with a particular focus on the offshore wind sector.


For more information, contact: Frank Emil Moen, CEO at Energy Innovation - Norway, fematenergyinnovation [dot] no (fem[at]energyinnovation[dot]no)

MBO Rebound helps students get back on track (The Netherlands)

In Leeuwarden Municipality in the Netherlands, the MBO Rebound program assists students in secondary vocational education who are at risk of dropping out. Five days a week they provide a program to a very varied group of students who have one thing in common: they are stuck. The goal is to re-engage the students, and MBO Rebound emphasizes the importance of personalized contact. The program keeps in touch with students through calls, messages, home visits, and network involvement. Together with each student, a personalized action plan is developed to work on their learning goals within a maximum of 20 weeks. In this way, by creating a live practice classroom for life and all its challenges, MBO Rebound supports students in helping themselves and each other get back on track - and back to school.


For more information, contact: Joke Plantinga, Coordinator at MBO Rebound, J [dot] Plantingaatfcroc [dot] nl (J[dot]Plantinga[at]fcroc[dot]nl)

TUMO lets young people explore animation and programming (France)

Launched by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, the Regional Digital Campus near Lyon provides training in digital professions to over 3,500 students in the region. The Campus enhances young people's digital skills through open and inclusive educational methods. The digital creation centre called TUMO, part of the Campus, offers free extracurricular programs for students aged 12-18. At TUMO, students can develop their digital skills and explore eight different fields: animation, film, robotics, music, 3D modeling, graphic design, programming, and video games.




For more information, contact: Sybille Diterich, Policy Officer at Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region Brussels EU Office, Sybille [dot] DITERICHatauvergnerhonealpes [dot] fr (Sybille[dot]DITERICH[at]auvergnerhonealpes[dot]fr)

About the European Week of Regions and Cities

The European Week of Regions and Cities is the largest annual event for regional policy in Europe. Thousands of participants gathered in Brussels from October 9 to 12, 2023, to discuss common challenges, exchange experiences, and build networks across Europe. The week's program included over 300 different conferences, workshops, exhibitions, and networking events focusing on regional and local development. The event will return in the autumn of 2024.

More information:


Read the full article in Danish here