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EYES project: Showcase for projects with impact

Published: 29th November 2019 Last updated: 29th November 2019

Thanks to its Impact Program, Tilburg University is a partner in a European project to develop coaching for young people who do not have a job and are not in any form of education or training. The project is called EYES: Empowering Youth through Entrepreneurial Skills. This project has now been selected by the European Union as a showcase for projects with impact. Dr. Sonja Bekker has been asked to present success factors for fighting youth employment during the NWE Making an Impact! market on December 4 and 5 in Tourcoing, France. 

EYES is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Interreg NWE (Northwestern Europe) program. This program was set up to foster transnational collaboration within Northwestern Europe, to improve citizens’ quality of life, and to stimulate cohesion within the regions. During the NWE Making an Impact! market several NWE projects will share insights about youth employment and entrepreneurship in a community center and discuss the different social innovation approaches to these topics.

Within EYES, five large northern European cities, NGOs from those cities, and three universities collaborate to develop a new methodology for personalized coaching of so-called NEETS: young people who are Not in Employment, Education or Training. From science the project also collaborates with young people, social workers (coaches) and municipalities to find new ways to reduce youth unemployment. In Northwestern Europe, 14 percent of the young people aged between 15 and 34 qualify as such, mainly in the larger cities. Because they are hard to reach for authorities and social work, they run the risk of long-term exclusion from the job market.

On behalf of Tilburg University, dr. Sonja Bekker and Professor Ton Wilthagen (both from Tilburg Law School) provide academic knowledge on the labor market, youth unemployment, and NEETS towards developing the prototype for the coaching as well as a training module for coaches. In addition, they collect data and measure the results of the project, that forms part of Tilburg University’s Impact Program on Empowering the Resilient Society. The other participating universities are those of Louvain (Belgium) and Greenwich (UK). The project was started on June 1, 2018, and will run for three years. The City of Tilburg is participating as well.

Watch the video EYES Tilburg meeting 2019.