Šibenik | Croatia
Based on the research conducted by Youth Council of the City of Sibenik and youth organization ‘Youth in the EU’ in 2019 for the purposes of the Local Youth Program 2020 – 2022, the following could be determined from the online questionnaire and focus groups with young people:
• Lack of opportunities for spending free time during which they could strengthen their own competencies and discrover new skills.
• High seasonality of cultural and entertaining activities which causes lack of activity and social interaction of young people during winter period.
• Lack of information about means of participation in the local policy making process.
All mentioned above had a negative impact on youth in a way that youth was encouraged to migrate to bigger urban areas (in-country and abroad) and they didn’t have opportunities to strengthen their own competencies and discover new skills which led to the impossibility of fulfilling one’s own potential putting them to the risk of marginalization. Also whole situation has worsened during a pandemic period. So City of Sibenik had started with several activities to tackle negative effects on local community with the special focus on youth. These activities were:
a) Starting a process of obtaining national ‘’Youth certificate’’.
b) Sustainability study on digitalization of public spaces in old town.
c) Implementation of free of charge ‘Trokut digital NEET Academy’’.
Young people 16 – 30 years’ old
a) Lack of information of young people about possibilities in local community and lack of trainings for public servants in the field of youthwork.
b) Public spaced didn’t used in their full potential (no matter of the pandemic).
c) Higher unemployment of young people that results by their emigration.
a) In 2021, based on the application, the city of Šibenik became the first of 9 cities in Croatia to be awarded the ‘City for Youth’ certificate. In order to obtain certificate City of Sibenik had to adopt ‘The European Charter on Local Youth Work’ and check 72 indicators in different fields connected to youth (some of them are: public spaces, promotion of mobility, health, free time, education). In the same year City of Sibenik had applied for participation in project ‘Europe Goes Local’ – Supporting Youth Work at the Municipal Level “. Europe Goes Local is a European cooperation project to develop and strengthen local youth work. Project is implemented by 26 National agencies in cooperation with EU-CoE youth partnership, European Youth forum and two European networks: POYWE – Professional Open Youth Work Europe and InterCity Youth Network.
That is why up to this day City of Sibenik:
• Have adopted The European Charter on Local Youth Work.
• Participated on the trainings for policy makers in the field of youth.
• Implementing youth participation project financed by Erasmus+ program,
• which aim is to make a Management model of future Youth Center together with young people, NGO’s and other experts.
b) The Study on sustainable digitalization have been made in January 2022. A series of guidelines were presented how to use public spaces in innovative ways by using public Wi-Fi infrastructure and accompanying activities/facilities.
c) Until July 2022 young people have been awarded with the certificates for Full sack developer – highly competitive position in the IT.
With b) and c) there are multiple there are multiple benefits for local community. With investment on digital infrastructure citizens have access to free fast internet connection which during the pandemic was important due to raising number of people working remotely. Also this study is valuable starting point for setting up stimulating environment for attracting digital nomads which can stay in Sibenik during whole year. With free courses in the field of IT City of Sibenik did not only strengthen competences of NEET’s. However, in the same time it had made a fertile soil for development of community of young people who will be able to use their digital tool in promotion of City of Sibenik as city where young people can come to work in the field of IT.
What are the main activities carried out?
Application for obtaining certificate ‘City of Youth’ which consisted of mapping more than 50 policies and activities in the field of youth which City of Sibenik was implementing fully, partially or not at all.
When and where were the activities carried out?
Beside above mentioned already carried activities, project design of management model of Youth Center which is financed by Erasmus+ program foresees implementation of 10 focus groups with the NGO’s, schools, experts in the field of youth and policy makers. Also will be made an online questionnaire which will be focused on future program of the Youth Center. After all involved stakeholders agree on management model of Youth Center, the latter will be sent for the approval to the City Council. With that NGO’s and youth will have direct impact on the future document which will voted by the members of the City Council.
City of Sibenik as the beneficiary of the project Europe goes local and partner on the project ‘Management model Youth Center’. City of Sibenik was giving logistical support for the implementation of the activities. City administration is also in charge of the Study. And co-working space ‘Trokut’ was leading ‘Trokut NEET digital Academy’
As the project ‘Management model Youth Center’ is financed by Erasmus+ program there are no resource implication. Also with participation of City of Sibenik in the project ‘Europe goes local’ their key employees and policy makers are attending trainings in the field of youth and getting support by the mentor who is assigned by Croatian National Agency.
a) As it was mentioned in the previous box up to this day following outputs were achieved:
1. The European Charter on Local Youth Work were signed by Mayor -> The aim of the charter is to contribute to the further development of local youth work. It does this by stating which principles should guide it and how different aspects of it should be designed in order to meet these principles.
2. Local Action plan in the field of youthwork was designed -> premises for development of management model of Youth Center together with young people and NGO’s. In this way youth together with the NGO’s will have direct impact to local policy.
b) Concrete result was the Study which will help to city employees and experts in implementation of future city projects in the field of IT and usage of urban spaces.
c) Young NEET have obtain certificates in Full sack developer, which help them to obtain their first jobs. They are also encouraged to participate in more long-life learning programs.
Local Action plan in the field of youth has specific indicators to follow in order to achieve the outcomes. The main result will be a document that will be the basis of the work of the future youth center. That same document will be designed by policy makers together with youth, experts and NGO’s. Regarding ‘’Trokut digital NEET academy’’ the main results was the number of newly enrolled students which have successfully obtained their certificates.
With indicators and questioners.
a) It’s expected to involve more young people in dialogue with the local government and as a consequence to encourage young people to be more active in local community by setting up all measures which will guarantee the creation of stimulating environment for young people.
b) and c) More young people will be more competitive on the employment market with certificates in the field of IT. That will reduce the number of young and unemployed people.
a) Because it involves young people on the large scale in direct interaction with local government. Young people will not only be included in process of defining a management model of youth center and by that feel that document like their own output. But furthermore we believe that will until the end of this project many young people regain trust in local authority and as a result be more keen to say their idea and have further impact in their local community.
b) and c)
As it was mentioned in the box above, more young people will be more competitive on the employment market with certificates in the field of IT. That will reduce the number of young and unemployed people. Also with the newly published Study City of Sibenik got a set of guideline in order to adapt public spaces to the needs of citizens and digital nomads.
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