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CLUSTER – advanCing youth and women sociaL inclUSion in The MEditeRranean

Duration: September 2021- August 2023
Total Budget: € 1.108.162,62. Executed by the IEMed: € 227.251,56.

The economic hardships following the COVID-19 pandemic have heavily affected employment opportunities in the Euromed region, raising numbers of citizens at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The most vulnerable groups – youth and women – are facing, as a result, serious socio-economic challenges. Moreover, changing labour market demands and the growing importance of diversifying and investing in Sustainable Economy sectors to better cope with future economic and climate crises require reskilling or upskilling of youth as part of an effective response to such challenges.

Against this background, CLUSTER adapts multi-actors, integrated and regional approach, and aims to create a supportive environment for youth/women employment schemes, by equipping NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training), in particular women, between 18-30 years of age, with employability skills in Blue Economy, Circular Economy, Green Economy and Sustainable Agriculture sectors, promoting long-lasting partnerships between Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions and the private sector, and raising awareness of public authorities and policy-makers.

The overall objective of CLUSTER is to tackle social exclusion and poverty amongst vulnerable groups in Cyprus, France, Italy, Jordan, Palestine, Spain, and Tunisia by capitalising on results of previous projects and equipping NEETs and women with marketable skills in the Sustainable Economy sectors. To that end, CLUSTER seeks to:

  • Facilitate access to the labour market for NEETS, in particular women, through targeted online and on-site training courses and coaching and tutoring actions, based on innovative models of intervention, developed following needs assessment and combining successful experiences.
  • Encourage partnerships between TVET Institutions, SMEs and professional sector stakeholders operating in the Sustainable Economy sectors through local, regional and cross-border exchange, networking practises and best practice sharing initiatives.
  • Engage public institutions and policy-makers in providing supportive environment and implementing youth/women employment schemes, through Action Plans, policy-oriented regional reports and advocacy sessions at the Euromed level.

CLUSTER will create lasting impact on its final beneficiaries across the Euromed region. Through online tools such as training courses, e-platform and coaching sessions, the project will impact at least 2800 young NEETs, strengthening their skills in sustainable economies and increasing their employment opportunities.

Employment services and education providers will boost their capacities to blend demand-supply skills, and economic actors will benefit from skilled youth workforce, which will contribute to long-term growth of the companies. Moreover, public operators in the Euromed area will be provided with tangible recommendations on the design of sustainable youth/women employment schemes based on designed Action Plans.

Target groups:

  • 1925 young NEETS, in particular women, between 18-30 years of age, in the partner regions of the project (Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia)
  • 140 teachers and trainers from TVET institutions established in project targeted regions
  • 140 representatives of private sector, in particular local SMEs in the Sustainable Economy sectors
  • 180 public authorities and policy-makers in targeted project countries

The CLUSTER project is co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin (ENI CBC Med) Programme, with the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) as the Lead Beneficiary and implemented through a consortium of partners from Italy, Cyprus, France, Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia.

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