YOUTH TRANSITION is Slovenian project that aims at offering professional help to young people with special needs to facilitate their transition to higher level od education and/or labour market.
The project was created as a result of the difficult situation of young people with special needs in the labor market, which has long been perceived by the providers of the employment rehabilitation program. The data show that a very small number of young people with special needs are employed immediately after finishing school. Some young people register with the Employment Service of Slovenia after finishing school, while most of them stay at home for at least some time after finishing school. These young people are also often characterized by long-term unemployment. During unemployment, the pre-existing problems that cause them to have the status of children or adolescents with special needs are accompanied by additional problems, such as loss of acquired knowledge, loss of work potential and work habits, problems in the field of self-esteem and mental health. As a result, they become even harder to employ. Therefore, it is essential to offer help and support to these young people already in the school system and to help them in the transition to the labor market. To this end, the MDDZS has issued a call for tenders “Development and implementation of the transition of young people with special needs to the labor market” within which their services are being piloted.
In the analyzes that were carried out before the start of the project, it was established that for the success-ful transition of young people with special needs to the labor market, there is a lack of a connecting system that would connect the education system with the employment system. The main purpose and philosophy of the project is precisely the connecting role between these two sys-tems.They also believe that people with special needs, with the right support, can be just as effective and good workers as others. They can also offer a lot of work to employers and the wider society.
The services in the project consist of various activities that systematically provide young people with special needs with the most equal opportunities for integration into the labor market and thus social inclusion. The project enables the coordination and participation of young people with special needs, their families and all participating professionals from schools to employers and other support institutions.
Within the project, young people are involved in various activities and contents. Based on the individual plan and the goals defined in it, they work on motivating, empowering and monitor-ing young people in the active transition. At all times, professionals on the project work with professionals of professional teams for vocational rehabilitation as well as with counselors and professionals and colleagues at schools or other organizations attended by young people with special needs.
In the case of juveniles, parents or guardians are also included in the project, as their participa-tion is of key importance. The content of their work is also very important, as well as coopera-tion with employers with the aim of a work test, performing school or study practice, training and developing employment opportunities for young people. There is also an Youth Transition app where people with disabilities can search for professional help.
Their adivce for other organisation is: when working with young people, it is especially important that we trust their abilities, encourage them and help them achieve the desired goals and when working on a project, it is important to believe in its mission and insist on achieving its goals.