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Enabling Human Impact
Next generation work
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Next generation work


In this project, we investigate which factors can ensure low-skilled and unskilled youngsters stay away from the low-wage job market.

Type project ESF, innovation by exploration
Project partners Mentor vzw, Rhizo Scholengroep
Duration November 01, 2017 - June 30, 2020
Contact person Roel De Rijck

With the financial support provided by the European Social Fund.

In this project, we investigate which factors can ensure low-skilled and unskilled youngsters stay away from the low-wage job market.

Job market

Lots of middle-wage jobs are under pressure because of the accelerated changes in the job market. Because of this, the group of job-seeking, experienced middle-class workers will expand, which causes the low-wage job market to be under pressure as well. Due to the rising competition, low-skilled and unskilled school leavers will have a hard time finding stable and high-quality jobs.


Stimulate youngsters’ personal development

In this project, we investigate how to help low-skilled and unskilled youngsters to discover their internal motives to keep moving forward in their personal development, which could pave the way away from the low-wage job market. That way, we can motivate them to engage in life-long learning with potential access to the high-skilled job market and/or better arm them to compete on the low-wage job market.

The possible role of ‘future skills’ development is investigated as well. Future skills stand for:

  • Cross-linking of knowledge across disciplines.
  • Purposeful use of creativity in function of solving complex problems.
  • Critical thinking in function of exploring to reach solutions.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration in teams.

Development of the ideal service concept

In a first stadium, we will investigate:

  • Which levers make it possible that low-skilled or unskilled school leavers, despite their lack of a (high) degree, after dropping out of high school, still can develop successful professional careers.
  • Which needs low-skilled and unskilled school leavers have that currently aren’t addressed in the larger training ecosystem.
  • Which role ‘future skills’ could play in keeping low-skilled and unskilled youngsters away from the low-wage job market.

One to one interviews will be linked to co-creation sessions and qualitative research techniques tailored to the target group in order to get a correct insight.

After which, with key stakeholders, an ideal service concept will be developed through an iterative “fast prototyping” approach.

Future skills for a future job market

Teaching ‘future skills’ to low-skilled and unskilled youngsters won’t only benefit them getting a degree, but it will also further their personal development, which allows them to adopt a more active, flexible and empowering attitude. Because of that attitude, they will personally grow in a future VUCA world and the future job market. We expect those future skills to be one of the most important levers that will prevent the expected increase in unemployment figures for low-skilled young people. Above that, a part of the low-skilled youngsters can continue to grow towards the highly educated job market.

VUCA stands for:

  • Volatile
  • Uncertain
  • Complex
  • Ambiguous

Intended result

The intended result is a service initiation that ensures that low-skilled and potentially unskilled young people, in their transition from training to the job market or higher education, receive elements that make them feel good in their personal learning trajectory. The aim is to better arm them in terms of training and personal development against the ever-greater competition on the low-wage job market and to successfully let them grow towards alternatives that they otherwise would never have dared to take on.

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Roel de rijck

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Roel de rijck

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