CLUSTER conducts Focus Groups to create inclusive training materials for young people and women
With the aim of improving the employability skills of youth and women in the Mediterranean, CLUSTER is developing Curricula to train them in four sectors of sustainable economy: aquaponics, hydroponics, organic farming and food processing. Such trainee-oriented curricula will reduce the mismatch between the labour market demand and youth skills, increasing job opportunities for unemployed young people, especially women.
In order to create inclusive training materials, Focus Groups have been organised in the Mediterranean countries and regions where the project is being implemented, to discuss the materials’ strengths and areas of improvement.
On 29 June 2022, the European Institute of the Mediterranean gathered 11 stakeholders, such as public institutions, TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) institutions, business operators such as SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), in addition to specialized experts and researchers operating in Catalan region. The debate was very fruitful and led to the identification of soft skills as a key area of training, to improve young people's ability and motivation to work with others.
A very intriguing discussion was held on 6 July 2022 at the premises of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry, with the active participation of businesses and TVET institutions from Cyprus, providing valuable feedback on the training curricula developed. Overall, there is a growing interest in the country on sustainable economy sectors, as they can be a key player in improving the employability of young people living in rural areas.
In the South Region of France, Petra Patrimonia took an alternative approach, conducting multiple meetings in the month of July, to reach the broadest range of stakeholders. In total, 14 representatives of local authorities, TVET providers and young unemployed people support groups gathered to stress the potential of presential trainings in the fields of organic agriculture and circular economy.
Also, in Jordan, the National Agricultural Research Center, in cooperation with the Business Development Center, conducted a Focus Group on 29 June, with 12 stakeholders with a background on the training materials that are being produced.
Moreover, Business Women Forum conducted a Focus Group with 20 relevant social economy actors at its headquarter in Ramallah, Palestine, on 29 June 2022. The participants provided suggestions and insights based on the Palestinian context and the needs of the local market, particularly highlighting the cruciality of female capacity building in the agricultural field. The discussion, which benefited the design of comprehensive curricula, also included networking sessions to facilitate exchanges of ideas amongst stakeholders.
Finally, on 5 July 2022, the General Agency for Regional Development conducted a Focus Group in Tunisia. Under the guidance of professionals from the agricultural sector, the Focus Group took place with the dynamic participation of more than thirty representatives of local public and private actors in the training, employment and business fields based in the Nabeul region. A particularly instructive moment was shared with the participants by the Manager of the local start-up operating in the field organic farming in Tunisia.