We want young job creators, not job seekers!
Östersund, Jämtland region (S), 29 August 2008
Although around half of Europe’s young people are interested in the idea of becoming entrepreneurs, less than 5% of youth are actually following that path. The Assembly of European Regions’ (AER) 13th Summer School and 7th Youth Summer School, which concluded today in Östersund (Jämtland, S), brought together over 150 politicians, officers, experts and young people (known as AER’s “Youth Ambassadors”) from regions across Europe to help change those statistics.
Focusing on youth entrepreneurship in the European regions, this year’s 5-day program offered a number of study visits and specialised workshops, along with around 20 presentations by guest speakers.
Joni Simpson, AER Summer School speaker (International Labour Organization):
“This summer school brings together leaders of tomorrow and allows them to exchange on a level playing field with decision-makers from their regions. Young women and men are interested in bringing about positive and sustainable change in the world, and this forum is a place to learn, exchange ideas, network and promote sustainable development practices across generations.”
This was the first time that the summer school and youth summer school were combined to meet the needs of both regional policy-makers and the young people affected by those policies. While AER’s youth ambassadors from the regions had the opportunity to create, develop and exchange ideas, their politicians and officers learned about the value of supporting youth entrepreneurship in the regions.
Klaus Klipp, AER Secretary-General:
“We want young people to be job creators, not job seekers. For regional authorities, youth entrepreneurship is an under-valued source of job creation, of combating ‘brain-drain’ and contributing to economic growth. So the AER member regions who’ve brought their youth ambassadors to this year’s summer school are investing not only in the future of their young people, but of their whole region.”
Eva Andrea Csep, Mures County Councillor (RO):
“We have a lot of young people in our region, so I want to present to my council the ideas I have brought back from this summer school and set up an entrepreneurship project with our region’s three universities.”
Shannon Visser, AER Youth Ambassador and young entrepreneur, Flevoland (NL):
“Meeting so many new people and hearing about their experiences has given me inspiration for my own business and for projects in my region.”
AER is offering a “Youth Ambassadors Project Award 2008” to encourage its youth ambassadors to develop and implement their youth entrepreneurship projects. Entrants will have the opportunity to present their submissions early next year, when a panel of European policy-makers will select a winning project.
Recognising the valuable role youth entrepreneurship can play in the regions, AER is also planning to initiate “peer reviews” in this area based on the successful methodology of AER’s peer reviews in other policy fields. Multinational review teams of policy experts from European regions would undertake study visits to host regions and provide advice on enhancing regional policies and practices in youth entrepreneurship.
Download AER Acting President Michèle Sabban speech at Summer School:
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