Volonteurope, together with partners from several EU states, is launching a program called European Volunteer Inclusion Program (EuroVIP) to help reduce youth unemployment in Europe.

Across Europe, the youth unemployment rate shot up after the financial crisis of 2008, and many EU member states have struggled to cope with this problem in the subsequent years. In 2015, the European youth unemployment rate exceeded 20% in many states, including Belgium, France and Romania.

Many young people are stuck in a negative cycle and lack the work experience that will boost their employability. At Volonteurope, we believe that young people can escape this cycle by developing transferrable skills through volunteering.

EuroVIP has two main aims. Firstly, it aims to explain to companies and organisations why the skills young people acquire through volunteering are valuable, and secondly, the project aims to encourage young people to record their volunteering achievements by using the ProfilPASS workbook.

Volonteurope, Fondation Agir Contre l’Exclusion (FACE), Pour La Solidarite, Federatia Volum and Wisamar Bildungsgesellschaft will deliver workshops to organisations in five participating countries, to explain why organisations should consider employing young people with volunteer experience.

The consortium also plans to encourage young volunteers across Europe to make good use of their volunteering experience in their CV writing and interview preparation. The ProfilPASS workbook is an excellent tool for encouraging volunteers to recognise and record their achievements, and the consortium will be promoting this workbook to volunteer organisations throughout Europe.

Pieter Baeten, European Projects Co-ordinator of Volunteering Matters, said: “I believe this project has great potential to improve the employment prospects for young Europeans who are struggling to find secure employment in these challenging times.   

All the consortium partners feel strongly that young people can gain valuable skills through volunteering. We are excited to have this opportunity to raise awareness amongst employers about the benefits of volunteering, and to encourage young people to be proud of their volunteering achievements and communicate this confidently in their job applications and interviews.”