TEAC Conference Report Dec. 2015 - Page 13

First I-LINC project panel on youth employability Theme: Empowering youth for employability for either. More soft skills training is needed for young Panelists: people. As Manus Hanratty form Fit Ltd Ireland put it • Andrea Parola (European E-skills Association, Belgium) • Ave Lauringson (Estonian Ministry of Economic “From the perspective of unemployed Affairs and Communications) youth, employability is like a wall • Manus Hanratty (Fast Track to IT, Ireland) that stands between young people • Maria Garrido (Information School's and a good job. But breaking it down, Technology & Social Change Group TASCHA, University of Washington) employability is essentially about • Kosta Andric (ICT Hub Belgrade, Serbia) knowledge, and competition and skills - all of which can be learned.” 13 After the lunch break, Telecentre Europe’s annual conference continued, this time with an interactive panel discussion on the topic of youth employability. The session served to provide the perspective on youth employability from five different stakeholder groups: companies, entrepreneurs, policy makers, researchers and training providers/telecentres. The aim was to initiate an open discussion within the telecentre community and continue the conversation on the new platform created by the EU funded I-LINC project, a portal that organisations and individuals can join at www.i-linc.eu. After the panel discussion, I-LINC Project Manager Laurentiu Bunescu presented the newly created I-LINC platform and invited stakeholders to join. Often young people are unaware of the unwritten “norms” in the world of work where designing a good CV or knowing how to dress and speak about yourself may be the deciding factor for a candidate. This is why successful training programmes place soft skills at the same level as hard or technical skills (e.g. www. FIT4jobs.eu) and why young people need mentors or advisers who will help them throughout the journey. Employability: A set of skills, with soft skills on top Education to attract children to technology and computational thinking Panelists agreed that soft skills are as important as hard skills for the work environment today, but formal Within formal education a stronger emphasis on education is not preparing young people sufficiently STEM subjects or general logical and computational skills are needed. In Estonia for example, this is the