Equipping vulnerable youth today with skills and knowledge needed for tomorrow employments
Give an opportunity for better jobs to vulnerable youth, enhancing their skills and promoting success in Vocational Training.
Youth - Work - Future
Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.
Initiative's representative name
Initiative's representative date of birth
August 7th, 1974
Initiative’s representative gender
Which eligible market are you based in?
Where are you making a difference?
Spain. 12 cities with major impact in Barcelona and Madrid.
Website or social media url(s)
When was your organisation founded?
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
Creating digital tools
Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)
Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed
During the '90s our founder was volunteering in Barcelona's Raval, the city neighborhood with the lowest life expectancy, inhabited by a humble population and one of the main Barcelona immigrant population reception areas.
He used to work with at-risk youth, helping them to stay out of the streets and to make a living for themselves. He soon realized that goodwill was not enough: these young people needed to have the skills to face their future, they needed to be placed into jobs, and the business world would have to be part of the equation. At that time the social world would look at the companies as "the enemy", but he saw it clearly: we had to build a bridge between the social and corporate world. This is how Fundación Exit was born.
2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?
In Spain 1 out of 5 young people drops out of school early and 1 out of 3 people under the age of 25 are unemployed. The less qualification young people have, the higher unemployment rates they will face, which makes them more vulnerable to adverse situations. Moreover, the gap between the companies hiring needs and the qualifications of candidates is important: 27% of job offers in 2018 could not be filled due to a lack of skilled applicants.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We bring together vocational schools, companies, and at-risk youth to reduce the gap between the skills and knowledge needed for tomorrow’s employments and the actual ones’, to give an opportunity for better jobs to vulnerable youth, reducing youth school dropout and success in vocational training.
Starting with an early orientation, we aim at increasing the number of youths that get a Vocational Degree in sectors with identified skills mismatch; in this way we promote their employability, focusing on skills that will improve their job-placement opportunities.
The Vocational training school in Spain (Grado Medio) lasts two years. We orient young people towards market sectors with a high need for hiring before they get to the first year of VET school (GM1).
During the GM1 we focus on enhancing the youth knowledge of the sector, their digital culture, and their motivation to pass to the second year. During the second year (GM2) we focus on soft skills and abilities to have access to employment once they finish their vocational training.
The youth profit from the mentorship of business professionals throughout the three phases of the training itinerary.
4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?
The vast majority of the social actors working with at-risk youth on school dropout and employability apply the Second Chance Schools approach, targeting youth excluded by the education system, facilitating short trainings and tutoring.
Fundación Exit is seeking a systemic change and for that, decided to work inside the schools, partnering with the education system itself and bringing innovative education methodologies and companies know-how, through corporate volunteers, in the classrooms since the first day.
Aware to be tackling a complex problem we believe that we need to mobilize as many agents as possible to work together as an ECOSYSTEM: the youth, governments, schools, companies, social entities, donors, media, innovation experts.
5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?
• Service-learning: we co-create a challenge between teachers and companies for the youth to solve using the soft skills, linking it to what was learned in the class. We always try that the challenges / projects have an impact on the community, especially among the most vulnerable collectives: this is a powerful drive among young people.
• Group Mentorship: we work the youth skills map linked to job profiles most demanded by the companies participating. In these sessions, we validate the participants’ level in the key skills to enter the labor market. We train the youths' ability to identify their own skills and strengths and areas of improvement for each of their skills.
• Soft Skills Development in blended format: it is fundamental to work soft skills with young people with attractive formats and materials, like video contents developed by their peers (ex. http://bit.ly/32PdC6W)
5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress
We work with a dictionary of key Soft skills for youth employability using the norm of nine soft skills and one basic instrumental skill:
- DISPOSITION TO LEARNING
- EMOTION MANAGEMENT
- INITIATIVE ‐ AUTONOMY
To measure the skills progress we use a tool called Emplea+ that we have developed collaboratively with a group of NGOs and the support of Accenture Foundation. This tool allows the third sector having a shared skills dictionary and an online tool for the measurement and objective self-measurement of the skills level.
7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
Several NGOs are addressing the problem: Fundación Tomillo, Asociación Cultural Norte Joven, Opción3, Fundación Adsis, Formació i Treball, Fundación Rey Ardid… Most of them focus individually on the youth and work outside the educational system.
In Exit we seek a systemic change and for that, we work inside the educational system and address all the social, governmental and corporate actors necessary to achieve this change.
Companies are key: they fund and participate in our programs defining what skills and profiles they demand and from there we adapt the projects to those needs.
8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
In 20 years, we have supported approximately 8,600 young people in 12 cities and collaborated with more than 700 multinationals and SMEs, 4,500 corporate volunteers, 400 educational centers and social entities. We have been facilitating these projects across Spain from our offices in Madrid and Barcelona with a small team of 20-25 employees. Last year, our projects effectively impacted 1,375 youth.
Beyond numbers, is the very model based on mentorship created by Exit that had a profound impact on the way the social sector works with at-risk youth in the areas of school dropout and job placement. Exit pioneer activities’ bridging the corporate world and the social sector, have set quality standards and an example for both, our partners NGOs and the companies we have been partnering with overtime, generating best practices and lots of strong, trust-based collaborations.
9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?
In a financial sustainability logic, to attract business partners, we created a campaign with the potential to engage companies and made them feel proud of being part of a select group of businesses that are changing the future of the youth labor market in Spain. We choose the challenge format, creating a quality seal: the #E3Challenge: Empowering Education and Employability.
Also, we expect to attract and maintain 4 types of funders to make the projects sustainable:
* Ecosystems Champions, for the 20% of the total budget;
* Companies interested in corporate volunteering projects and/or with hiring needs: for 30% of the total budget;
* Strategic partners funding the 20% of the budget;
* Government: 30% of the budget.
Fundación Exit has a small team, currently, we count on 22 FT employees and 5 PT ones, most of whom working in the Projects Department, with specialized teams for each phase of the youth training and job placement itinerary. We also count with a Finance and Administration dept., a Communication and Fundraising team, all led by our General Director.
Our Board and the Advisory Board are mainly composed of people linked to the financial and the business world, with strong social awareness.
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