about the project

GLEAN [Growing Levels of Employability/Entrepreneurship in Agriculture for NEETs] is a european project, funded by “Erasmus+”, the EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sports and implemented by six partners in three european countries greatly affected by the NEETs issue: Greece, Italy and Spain.

The NEETs issue

The term NEET describes young people who are Not in any form of Employment, Education or Training and has come into the policy debate in recent years. Young people with low levels of education are three times more likely to end up NEET than those in higher education. The risk is 70% higher for young immigrants than nationals while having a disability or health issue is also a strong risk factor.

According to a 2012 Eurofound report, in 2008, young NEETs at the age of 15-24 years old were estimated to 11% and 17% at the age of 25-29 years old. By 2011, these rates had increased to 13% and 20% respectively. There are currently 14 million young NEETs in Europe, leading to a massive economic loss, constituting a threat for society and social cohesion and increasingly threatening the future of an entire generation.

GLEAN’s innovative approach

The GLEAN project comes to address the significant increase in youth NEET rates in Europe by means of a training programme for establishing a career path in agriculture targeted to young disadvantaged people, aged 18-24, including NEETs, immigrants, youth with mental illnesses etc.

Facts and numbers demonstrate that the agricultural sector has vast potential for employability and previous experiences highlight the added value of agriculture work for disadvantaged people, particularly through social farming. Previous projects and initiatives - in urban agriculture, in particular - have found that working outside, working with peers, caring of plants and animals and accepting the pace of nature lead to an improved self-esteem and self-confidence that is often lacking in unemployed people, while developing soft skills, such as self-management and personal responsibility, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills.

Based on these findings and building on previously established patterns of intervention for disadvantaged youth (paid internships, training courses, community-based projects etc.), GLEAN proposes an innovative, engaging approach to learning. The project is based on the design, development and implementation of the NEET Employability/Entrepreneurship Programme (NEEP), in the form of a blended course, including classroom and online/self-learning with an emphasis on hands-on experience, in view of learning the job in the agricultural field. The programme involves also teachers and trainers in the agricultural sector, guidance workforce as well as employment agencies, social services, including social farms, VET schools, policy makers and the labour market as a whole. Ongoing and individualised tutoring/mentoring is envisaged throughout the course.

For details on the expected results of the GLEAN project, please click here