Open the Doors

New directions in NEET prevention
through teacher capacity building.

The objectives pursued by Open the Doors

- To create new capacity in NEET preventions by working with the professional staff in the prevention provisions, mostly teachers, social educators and youth workers.
- To innovate the didactics of NEET prevention by applying 21st century entrepreneurial learning, linking youth interest with the community needs and creating practical learning processes.
- To build capacity among NEETs to re-engage in learning, community and work.
- To link this new experience to the education institutions responsible for training the new generations of teachers and youth workers.
- To upgrade the recognition of the NEET prevention institutions
- To produce experienced based documentation to share among education institutions in order to unify the criteria in NEET prevention.



NEET prevention educators and youth teams building capacity through engaging in problems and challenges important to the community and the surrounding world


NEET prevention educators and youth teams building capacity through fully integrating physical and virtual realities in the work processes, also inviting a linking of local and global.


NEET prevention educators and youth teams building capacity through creating partnerships with a variety of community players from educations and private enterprises to NGO’s and local authorities


NEET prevention educators and youth teams building capacity through creating projects based on identifying community needs and interest and taking action on these needs and interests


NEET prevention educators and youth teams building capacity through documenting their work and learning processes with creative media and sharing experience through professional, social and gaming networks

YEAR 1 – Opening doors and trying out

In the first year NEET prevention teachers and youth educators will create mutual understanding of the missions and create readiness. They will open some of the doors slightly and try out in small scale, based on the project didactic principles.
They will work along two rounds of trying out, interrupted by a time-out lessons learned and followed by a major collective reflection on the first year’s successes and failures. The collective reflection will take form of a 5 days transnational seminar at the end of the year..

YEAR 2 – Opening the doors fully and stepping out

In the second year teachers and youth educators will engage in full scale 21st century didactics, based on the project principles for NEET prevention. The two large rounds of full scale experimentation will be interrupted by a time-out lessons learned, including the second transnational collective reflection seminar. The time-out phase will include collaborating with a) other NEET prevention teachers to share the experience and with b) teacher and youth worker educations to offer the new generations of teachers and youth educators to work with the project initiatives as real-life cases.

Local teams

Step 1

Create local teams and get ready for the project – use the guidance provided and create mutual understanding in the teams

Transnational activities

Step 2

Participate in the transnational activities – 2 partner meetings and 1 capacity building event

Start dialogues

Step 3

Start dialogues with teams of young people to get involved in the project

Small experiments   

Step 4

Along the first year, create small experiments with teams of young people, using the project’s principles and values

The community

Step 5

Start collaborating with relevant resources in the community; use the European project to mobilize resources for collaboration with the youth teams; mobilize additional resources through sponsoring


Step 6

Increasingly document your activities and involve the youth teams in such documenting (see the paper on documentation…), including collaborating with the other NEET workers in the project, also virtually

Possible initiatives

Step 7

Slowly start to imagine, create or draft possible initiatives along the second year


Many NEETs and also NEET workers are very skeptical towards new and well-meaning initiatives. Such as: yes, yes, the clever people in Brussels have very good ideas, but they do not know what kind of resources we have…

Many NEETs have been pushed through all sorts of activities are do not trust new ideas very much. They are right. This means that a great part of the project effort must be focused on rebuilding trust, renewing interest and re-mobilizing motivation – among the involved young people, but also among the sometimes burned-out NEET workers. Resistance and lack of interest among NEET youth and NEET workers is therefore not a problem to the project; it is expected; it is the way it is, and we must work with that. 

This is important and should be discussed and addressed continuously along the project.

We have a big challenge, along with all other European projects: we do not speak the same language, and we cannot expect everybody engaged in the project to speak English. This is big challenge, sometimes even a big problem. It can complicate the  communication between the project and the local activities considerably, and we need to face this challenge from the beginning of the project, not trying to pretend that it does not exist. First of all, you will have to discuss this problem in your local NEET worker teams, and with the young people involved: what can we do about it? There are no simple solutions, but what is needed is to take this  language problem seriously and to come up with some practical  solutions. Solutions include of course translating materials from the project to the local partners and the other way round, but the problem is also verbal  communication along the project.

The project’s approaches to new directions in NEET prevention is very much linked to working with the community – part of the open the doors, so to speak. What does “community” mean in this context? First of all it means that learning, engagement, capacity building and activities take place as interaction between the institution, the young people and the community at large. The work place is not the institution, but the community = the reality around the institution. The community can mean the local geographical community, or it can mean the project community – but it can also mean virtual communities that the young people engage in through their social networking or online gaming.

This is why we try to think local and global at the same time, as this is the future reality of the young people.


    Competences to live and work and learn in a constantly changing society            
    Creative technology competences to exploit present and future opportunities to work and learn – in non-academic ways
    Competences and mentality to manage change along a long life full of surprises and unexpected turns
    Entrepreneurial mind-sets to create their own living 
   Competences to learn through self-directed internet resources 
   Experience in working with communities, virtual as well as physical and social
   Self-confidence to take action and create something for themselves
   Learning through and in mixed realities of non-linear problem solving
   To navigate in a virtual mess, not reading books
   Recognition for intellectual capacity not confused with academic capacity


Short-term labour market skills
To be devaluated to manual workers only able to perform practical tasks
To be measured against an outdated education system
To be exploited to fill short-term skills shortages
To receive discount learning environments
To be offered compensatory jobs and traineeships to help unemployment statistics
Charity and compensation


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