Project NEETs2 (EEA Grants GR07/3757)- Identity
Title: “Research and Comprehensive Intervention for the social inclusion of a major socially vulnerable group: Psychological profile/ psychopathology, skills’ profile, needs assessment and programmes’ development for training-reskilling and psychological support towards the re-inclusion of «young people not in education, employment of training»”
Funded by: European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014
Programme Operator: GENERAL SECRETARIAT FOR RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY (GSRT)/ ΜINISTRY OF EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
Project Duration: 15/12/2015 – 14/12/2016
Team Leader (Person in scientific charge): Professor Nikos Papadakis (University of Crete)
Project Coordinating Person: Assistant Professor Nikos Fotopoulos (KANEP/GSEE & University of Western Macedonia)
Deputy Team Leader: Professor Argyris Kyridis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Project Coordinator Partner: KANEP/GSEE (Centre for Educational Policy Development/ General Federation of Greek Workers)
Project Partner 1: University of Crete: Centre for Political Research & Documentation (KEPET/UoC) and Centre for Human Rights (KEADIK/UoC)
The Project at a glance.
Based on the approved Project Proposal 3757 (see in detail: “DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 PROJECT SCOPE & CONTENT – IMPACT”, the Project “NEETs 2” (EEA GRANTS GR07/3757) focuses on a) the research of the psychological profile of the target group (NEETs) and simultaneously the existence of possible psychopathology, identifying the need for NEETs’ psychological support and b) NEETs’ needs-in-skills assessment. Thus, in the context of the Project “NEETs 2”, the above mentioned research findings will lead to a) the development of a targeted competence-based training-reskilling programme for NEETs, based on their skills profile and needs and b) the development of a proposed set of psychological supportive actions for them. Essentially, the research leads to the development of a proposal of a comprehensive intervention programme, towards the re-inclusion of this socially vulnerable group. In short, the concept of the Project “NEETs 2” is constituted by the abovementioned twofold research process and the development of a comprehensive intervention programme on two levels (psychological and reskilling).
According to the data of the Eurostat and the World Health Organization (among others), the economic crisis in Greece has a great impact on the sharp increase in both the rates of youth unemployment and the phenomena of mental disorders. Taking into account the above mentioned, as well as a number of studies related to NEETs (such as the study for NEETs by the Eurofound), the Eurostat data for NEETs in 2015 and based on the research findings of the prior primary research of the Consortium, titled “Absents’ Barometer: NEETs in Greece” (which, among others, highlighted issues for further detailed research, such as the NEETs’ increased stress levels in Greece, the extremely reduced participation of Greeks NEETs in training and the extensively negative attitudes of NEETs about the operation of the educational system, the effectiveness of training and the linking of both education and training system with the labour market in Greece), the Project “NEETs 2” (EEA GRANTS GR07/3757) includes and aims, through qualitative and quantitative research, at: a) the analysis of NEETs’ psychological profile (and their related classification based in their individual characteristics) as well as the mapping of possible correlations among the inclusion of being NEET and the existence of psychopathological disorders, b) the NEETs’ needs-in-skills assessment and analysis via the mapping of their skills profile and the subsequent taxonomic categorization and c) the research-based development of a comprehensive training-reskilling programme (based on the findings of the triangulated needs-in-skills assessment) and the development of a set of psychological supportive actions towards the actual inclusion of this major socially vulnerable group, namely NEETs, (young people who are off the key domains of institutions of welfare state and, therefore, are extremely vulnerable to social exclusion).
Considering that, the study of social vulnerability and social exclusion needs to take into account the psychological parameter, the Project attempts the research mapping of the relationship between Greeks Neets and psychopathology. In the previous Project entitled “Absents’ Barometer” the research findings showed that Greek NEETs are a heterogeneous and psychologically vulnerable group with high rates of anxiety and despair feeling. Moreover, studies, which carried out abroad, have shown that the existence of psychopathology can be both a risk factor and a consequence of NEETs’ phenomenon. Based on the above mentioned, the Project will investigate, among others, issues related to symptoms of anxiety, mood disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), drug and alcohol abuse, suicidality and personality traits, which, possibly, related to behavioral disorders, using weighted, structured questionnaires and scales validated in Greek. Specifically, the aim is to trace NEETs’ psychological profiles and investigate the relationship between being a NEET in Greece and having symptoms of psychopathology (through a national scale quantitative research). To achieve the above objectives, a collaboration with a Professor of Psychiatry and a Clinical Psychologist exists (evident in the Research Team, which submitted online, in the context of the submission of the Proposal 3757). Therefore, it is expected the Project, using specific research tools, to identify the psychological profile of Greek Neet and to lead to research-based distinct sub-categories.
Afterwards, the Project proceeds to an extensive nationwide needs-in-skills assessment. Taking into account the fundamental function of training as active employment policy (and thus as potential inclusive policy) as well as one of the key findings of the research “Absents’ Barometer” i.e. the extremely low participation of Greek NEETs in training programmes and (at a very large extent) the disappointment of those participated training programmes, the Consortium proceeds, through qualitative and quantitative research, a) to the development of Greek NEETs’ skills profile (ending in taxonomic categories) and b) to their needs-in-skills assessment (by sub-category and taking into account other parameters such as prior work experience).
Training constitutes one of the main pillars of the “EU2020” Strategy and consequently one of the key pillars of the new European Strategy for Lifelong Learning. The development of Lifelong Learning, as effective process of NEETs’ social inclusion is a crucial challenge both for the Greek Welfare State and the Greek education policy and employment policy. However, the international trend concerning LLL is towards the development of targeted and modularized training frameworks, in terms of constant reskilling. The above mentioned requires a comprehensive needs-assessment for the target-group (namely NEETs). Grosso modo there are 11 needs assessment tools in international level and needs assessment is usually based on triangulation. In this context, it is obvious why a major part of the concept of the Project concerns a) the triangulated needs-in-skills assessment utilizing the composition of the individual semi-structured interviews, focus groups and check lists of educational needs and b) the development of a targeted and competence-based training-reskilling programme (including learning objectives, learning material, teaching methods, expected learning outcomes).
In parallel, the findings of the quantitative research for the NEETs’ psychological profile (including the issue of the possible impact of the economic crisis on that) will constitute the basis for the formation of a set of psychological support actions for NEETs.
To conclude, based on the multilevel research, a comprehensive and implementable training programme will be developed, towards a competence-based and targeted modularized reskilling process, modularized to the different taxonomic categories (which will be highlighted by the needs assessment), and it will be accompanied by a proposed programme of psychological interventions or referral to mental health specialists (based on the findings of the quantitative research on the psychological profile and the potential psychopathological risks, which will function as an accompanying measure for NEETs’ social inclusion.