Working on Europe`s social face


Participants of the new EU ALMA initiative and the German ESF Plus programme JUVENTUS network at successful kick-off event on 19 June 2023 in Berlin.

On 19 June 2023, the operators of the ESF Plus programme JUVENTUS and the European ALMA Network met in Berlin for an exchange of ideas. The event, which attracted more than 100 guests from 17 EU countries as well as more than 250 virtual participants from all over Europe, marked the start of the JUVENTUS-programme, which promotes disadvantaged young people through internships abroad.

"ALMA and JUVENTUS make the European idea tangible for young people. They become ambassadors for a social Europe", said State Secretary Dr Rolf Schmachtenberg from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in his opening speech.

Andriana Sukova, Deputy Director General of the EU Commission also supported this in her video message: "We must guarantee that those who are not in employment, education or training have the possibility to seize new opportunities to improve their skills and boost their self confidence."

The ALMA-Initiative ("Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve") was launched in September 2021 by European Commission president von der Leyen. It aims to provide individually or structurally disadvantaged young people with an internship abroad to make it easier for them to enter the labour market. Member states and regions from all over Europe participate in ALMA and implement their own exchange programmes in the framework of the initiative. The ESF Plus Programme "JUVENTUS" is the German contribution to ALMA.

Drei Personen im Podium
Fabienne Lėvy, the head of department responsible for the ALMA initiative in the EU Commission (right), in conversation with Wolfgang Husemann, head of the EF group at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, about the potential of the ALMA initiative and the JUVENTUS funding programme for the integration of young people into the labor market. On the left the moderator of the event, Carina Jantsch. © BMAS
The kick-off event was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs with the support of the European Commission and the Social Innovation+ Initiative from Lithuania. Under the motto "Strengthening mobility - for a social Europe" experienced JUVENTUS operators shared their knowledge and examples from practice. For the European ALMA network, it was the first face-to-face meeting and an opportunity to connect and help new ALMA members set up their programmes.

During workshop phases, representatives of ALMA and JUVENTUS exchanged views on technical issues related to their work. Experiences on finding transnational partners, acquiring and supporting participants, organising internships and finding suitable companies abroad were also discussed. Another important part of the programme was the cooperation with regional partners, such as job centres and employment agencies, which have a good access to the target group.

State Secretary Schmachtenberg also made reference to the second call for proposals for the JUVENTUS Programme, which was published on 15 May 2023. All public or private operators may apply for the programme. The application deadline is 15 August 2023.

The recording of the event is accessible here.