Community of Practice Session: Good Practices in Non-Engaged Youth (NEY) services: the Cases of the European Union, South Korea, and Hong Kong

As COVID-19 pandemic brings challenges to many industries and the global economy at large, young people feel even more lost about their future. Among them, Non-Engaged Youth (NEY), who are at risk of becoming not in education, employment, or training are most vulnerable. If left disintegrated, this group of youth who could have otherwise contributed to the workforce and community would end up nowhere; ultimately posting huge social costs to the society. Career and life development (CLD), which is a lifelong journey of career and life identity development, becomes crucial. There has been a pressing demand globally for stakeholders to devise systematic and rigorous youth programs that can effectively help NEY develop their CLD competencies to navigate and build their career and life roadmaps.

CLAP@JC believes in meaningful engagement with NEYs and mainstreaming CLD into youth services. On 22 April (Thursday), we have lined up a strong panel of local and international stakeholders to speak at community of practice session on the theme of “Good Practices in Non-Engaged Youth (NEY) services: the Cases of the European Union, South Korea, and Hong Kong”.


Content and Speakers

Topic 1: The European Youth Guarantee – Managing School-to-Work Transitions

Promoting youth employment and improving school-to-work transitions has been an important priority for the European Union (EU) since the adoption of the Youth Guarantee in 2013. The transition of young people from school to work is burdened by specific challenges. The result is relatively low employment rates, high unemployment and high rates of young people who are neither in employment, education or training (NEETs). Just when youth unemployment in the EU was at a record low, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an economic downturn that has significantly worsened young people’s employment prospects. As a response, the European Commission adopted a youth employment support package in July 2020 which included a proposal for a reinforced Youth Guarantee. With the reinforced Youth Guarantee, Member States have committed to ensure that all young people under 30 years of age receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.

Speaker: Mr. Pablo Cornide
Policy Officer – Youth Employment, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

Presentation Deck Download

Topic 2: Lessons Learned from a Youth Employment Support Program in South Korea: Focusing on the Outcome of Preventing NEET

Not in employment, education, or training (NEET) is one of the concepts that captures the difficulties in the process of school-to-work transition among the youth. Given that the labor market situation of young people becomes more difficult in recent years, policy interest in youth NEET is also growing in South Korea. The Vision Plan Program, a youth employment support program, was developed by the Community Chest of Korea (United Way of Korea) in order to prevent NEET at the community level. The program was implemented across 11 communities from 2016 to 2018. The Vision Plan Program was developed based on the ecological perspective encompassing interventions at individual, family, and community levels. The main purposes of the presentation are to provide an overview of the Vision Plan Program, to discuss some of the implementation issues, and to report the results of a three-year longitudinal outcome evaluation study.

Speaker: Prof. Bong-joo Lee
Professor, Department of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Presentation Deck Download

Topic 3: CLAP@JC: Piloting CLD Practice for NEY to Regain Meaningful Engagement and Establish Career Aspiration

CLAP@JC is a pioneer initiative providing Career and Life Development (CLD) services to non-engaged youth (NEY) in Hong Kong and the well-established community intervention has been considered as a gold standard across Hong Kong. Unlike those widely adopted career planning models, CLAP@JC developed an additional service componentStage of “Engagement in CLD”. At the beginning of CLAP@JC, for the relatively low youth unemployment rate in Hong Kong, the critical needs of NEY were to pursue their career and life meaning.  The boundary between work/study and leisure became diffused. Thus, exploring different leisure activities, life & work experience and their meaning became more significant than ever.
With the introduction of an expanded notion of work (ENOW) in CLAP@JC services practice, this has enlightened us to intervene NEY from Play to Work (paid work and non-paid work), and from Work to a Meaningful Life Direction. Our presentation will showcase CLAP@JC Interest-based Development Model for career and life planning of NEY.

Speaker: Ms. Apple Tse | Dr. Kent Lam
Co-directors (CLD Mainstreaming), CLAP@JC

Roundtable discussion


Prof. Howard Williamson
Professor, European Youth Policy, South Wales Business School, University of South Wales

Prof. James Côté
Professor, Department of Sociology,
University of Western Ontario

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