Skills4Sports contributes to the training of young people in the sport sector
The Strategic Alliance meetup for the Skills4Sports project took place from May 16th to 18th May 2023 in Palestine, bringing together representatives from participating countries. The meeting, hosted by Palestine, was held at the Carmel Hotel in Ramallah on May 18th, 2023. Partner institutions from Malta, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Lebanon joined forces with the Skills4Sports project to collaborate on empowering young people who are Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET), particularly those involved in the sports field.
Dr. Alaa Sulaiman, Chairman of the Salfit Development Association, one of the Palestinian partner of Skills4Sports, delivered a warm welcome speech at the start of the meeting. He outlined the project's objectives and activities, emphasizing its mission to empower unemployed youth by providing them with training and technological programs. The Skills4Sports project aimed to address the growing needs of young people, facilitate access to suitable job opportunities, foster the acquisition of diverse skills, utilize innovative tools for skills development, bridge the skills gap in the sports sector through social media, and promote gender equality.
Furthermore, Dr. Sulaiman highlighted that the project worked towards boosting youth skills and implementing training courses for young people on various topics. For instance, Salfit Development Association has trained more than 300 NEET’s through the project. Given that acquiring the necessary skills and training currently holds the key to employment, the project also focused on transferring expertise among partner institutions and stakeholders in the participating countries. Thus, it will increase job opportunities for NEET’s especially those who work in the sports sector, help to address the issue of youth unemployment, and allow them to spend their free time engaging in productive activities that are advantageous to both individuals and societies.
Dr. Sulaiman has also presented the implementation mechanism of the project over the course of three years, which was done through meetings with the municipality, youth centers, women’s institutions, and university students. After examining the causes that limited the availability of job opportunities of specialists working in the sports industry, Salfit Development Association prepared a questionnaire to determine the training needs of the target groups of the project.
Moreover, Dr. Sulaiman stated that the association signed a partnership and cooperation agreement (MOU) with the relevant institutions, including local bodies, sports centers, private companies, and other institutions related to the project. The agreements aim to achieve the project’s goals and foster cooperation to spot new employment opportunities for young graduates working in the sports industry.
During the meetup, Mr. Panagiotis Kinanlis (TREK Development) from Greece delivered a presentation via Zoom, providing an overview of the Skill4Sports project's objectives and results. He also discussed the current meeting's objectives, which aimed to engage as many young people as possible in training while ensuring the project's sustainability beyond European Union funding. Laila Awartani, Palestinian National Contact Point for ENI CBC MED Programme, also delivered a welcome speech, underscoring the program's significance. She mentioned that institutions receiving grants from the project were being closely followed by the Prime Minister's office. Mrs. Awartani expressed her hope for the participation of more Palestinian institutions in the program to secure funding and form partnerships with the European Union.
Duaa Qurie, from the Joint Technical Secretariat of ENI CBC MED programme, gave a presentation on the third programming period of the Cross-Border Cooperation Program in the Mediterranean Basin, its goals and priorities, the so called Interreg Next Med.
Additionally, representatives from Malta, Spain, and Italy, as participating countries, shared their experiences and summarized the project's achieved goals. For example, Skills4Sport partner from Italy, International Cooperation South South trained around 60 NEETs, while the Catalan Association Cluster of Sports Industry trained 113 people. Other partners like the Salfit Development association trained 241 young people and the Palestine partner, Sports for Life, included 358 NEETs in their training. Last but not least, Rene Moawad Foundation from Lebanon successfully introduced over 378 NEETs, a number, which showcases the need of youngsters to be part of the community and to create new job opportunities in the sports sector.
Ms. Tamara Awartani also spoke about the Sports4Life organization in Ramallah, which is a partner in the project and responsible for implementing the training courses. She highlighted how these training programs would enhance the skills of NEETs in Palestine, providing them with increased job opportunities. Furthermore, representatives from corporations, youth centers, sports clubs, and municipal and village councils actively engaged with institutions from participating European countries to exchange experiences and strengthen regional Palestinian institutions.
The meetup attracted the participation of over twenty-five institutions from Palestine, along with representatives from the Council of Ministers. Notably, the Palestinian Prime Minister's office played a significant role in overseeing the program at the national level.