Link to the future. Youth. Internet. Career

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Link to the future. Youth. Internet. Career: Young inspire the young

Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

How to make young people find their way on the job market better? Sometimes it is just an impulse, a meeting with an inspiring professional who has become successful despite his young age thanks to ICT, his own work and understanding the market needs. Young people learn about his way to success, talk about the jobs of the future and take part in a job market quiz. Who can inspire them better than other young people who have become successful?

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Polish economy has been changing rapidly towards a modern knowledge based economy, however changes in the education system and young people’s awareness do not keep up. The unemployment rate among young people reaches 26.1% (Eurostat, July 2013). Meanwhile, the EC estimates that the ICT sector across Europe may lack even 900,000 employees. However, many young people choose career paths that do not make it easy for them to find a satisfactory job. A problem that often occurs particularly in small towns is that people are not fully aware of the possible career paths and they lack self-confidence or knowledge of how to take a full advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT. The Link to the Future provides a response to those problems.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Libraries and schools in small towns organise meetings with young professionals in the form of workshops creating a friendly atmosphere and encouraging an open discussion. Young people learn about their way to success, talk about the jobs of the future, take part in a job market quiz and think about what success is. After the meetings they have an opportunity to use an online tool and improve their knowledge and check their own aptitude, they receive a newsletter and an invitation to a discussion on Facebook. A follow-up to the meetings takes the form of webinars and local meetings. Soon the participants will also get an opportunity to translate their inspirations into activities as part of a contest for social projects.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Michał comes from a small town 130 km from Wrocław. He was dreaming of taking up IT studies, but he did not believe that someone from such a small town had a chance to be admitted to such a course of study, and he doubted that it was the right choice. He met Karol, a Link to the Future professional, who despite being from a small village finished his studies and became successful in the ICT sector. He persuaded Michał and boosted his confidence and belief in success. Michał, just like 63% of those attending the meetings, believed that building ICT skills might lead to his future success on the job market. In Poland, only 4.3% students have IT as their field of study. Currently Michał studies IT and he wants to be a programmer.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The main idea of the project – meetings with young professionals – is relatively simple, thanks to which the project has a high development potential. Success depends on the right selection of professionals and their preparation taking into account the criteria that are crucial for the job market and the youth, sharing useful information about the job market in an accessible way, supporting materials for meeting organisers, and an online tool to improve the arrangements made for a large number of meetings. We will be sharing our know-how with pleasure. The representatives of organisations from several European countries (including Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Romania) have already confirmed that they are interested in implementing similar projects in their countries. Our domestic objective is to increase the number of online meetings and those involving local professionals.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Young Poles from small towns often have no practical support in taking important decisions about the choice of the appropriate secondary school or field of study, although this seriously affects their situation on the job market – in this respect, the Link to the Future is a unique project. The activities that are the most similar to it, but are conducted on a much smaller scale, are meetings with the representatives of professions and graduates. However, they are undertaken rarely and by few schools. Nor are they enriched with the job market context. There are too few vocational counsellors, however they also find it difficult to inspire young people to such an extent as young professionals do. In turn, public projects are primarily addressed to students and the young who have already entered the job market and become unemployed. It is necessary to focus more on prevention.


Success of the project rely on many roles involved in the project: young professionals, who can inspire the youth and share their experience, librarians and teachers, who organize the meetings and the young people, who enthusiastically perceive the form and the content of these meetings as well as the activities offered them after that like the individual contact with professionals. Very important is the content provided to the young people based on know-how of all organizations involved in the project (FRSI, PAFW, Microsoft, FISE, SDSiZRP) as well as perfect cooperation at the management level. To implement the project both FRSI and Microsoft have appointed people with experience in the ICT sector as well as experience in the implementation of social projects. This mix of roles and qualifications makes the project so highly evaluated by the youth and other parties involved in it.