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  3. How to ignite the spark? Participation Lab 3: How can participation support young people in difficult educational and work situations?

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How to ignite the spark? Participation Lab 3: How can participation support young people in difficult educational and work situations?


23-26 May 2017 | Manchester, United Kingdom

The 3rd participation lab of “Ignite the spark” explores how participation can support young people who are in difficult educational and work situations. In this lab we want to learn, share and experiment.
Under the impact of the actual challenges facing Europe there seems to be various perspectives on how participation, a sense of citizenship and democratic values need to be further developed today. Current research shows that young people tend to participate rather in non-traditional forms and different examples can be found all over Europe where young people do get involved if their interests and needs are directly addressed. Across Europe the understanding of what participation actually is differs – mainly at the divide between social, civic and political participation. This project assumes that all three forms are interrelated, and lead to a greater democratic participation and active citizenship. Reflection on this concept is at the core of “How to ignite the spark”. This long-term project aims are:  Contributing to a better understanding of alternative and diverse forms of participation in democratic life;  Promoting the value of young people as part of a vivid and contentious democracy under development;  Bridging the ability to articulate an individual interest to an ability to articulate a common interest with others;  Reflecting on the learning of participation as a way to inspire critical citizens;  Enabling multipliers to empower young people to take an active role in democratic society. The project has a core interest in strengthening participation for groups which are normally underrepresented and have less access to ways of influencing their living environment. This includes young refugees and migrants, people of black and ethnic minority background (BME), NEETs, young apprentices, trainees and workers, young people in vocational training centres, schools or non-formal settings such as youth initiatives. This activity is the third of a set of three Participation Labs with 25 – 30 participants. Each lab brings together a good mixture of field experts, researchers, practitioners, trainers, political educators and other multipliers to explore a current challenge and find out about the burning questions, existing knowledge and models of practice. This may lead to one or more training courses in the future as result of the labs. The first lab was implemented in Bonn, Germany in November 2016 and it focused on how to give young people with fewer opportunities a voice. The second lab is being held in Lund, Sweden and focuses on whether there is a role for youth work and civic education in defence of democracy and European values. The application deadline for the second lab is 24 March 2017. See: It is not necessary to have participated in previous labs in order to attend either the second Lab in Lund, Sweden or the third lab in Manchester, UK. Objectives for this Lab  How the situation of young people in the labour market and in transition phase be improved by youth participation;  Giving students, young employees, young entrepreneurs, trainees, apprentices, NEETs, young people in precarious work situations, unemployed young people etc. a voice;  Striking a balance between individualization and contributing to a common interest;  Reflecting on the role of youth workers, educators and multipliers in this process – leading to a better understanding of the needs and situation of young people.

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Training overview

This activity has already happened!

This Seminar is

for 25-30 participants

from Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries

and recommended for

Youth workers, Multipliers and people active in: trade unions, student councils, communities of interest, lobby groups, NGOs, foundations, youth organisations, career guidance officers, employers/CSR units, educational institutions, and employment offices.

Working language(s):



Erasmus+ UK National Agency (Ecorys) (National Agency)

The Erasmus+ UK National Agency is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.


  • SALTO-YOUTH Participation Resource centre (SALTO) (SALTO Resource Centre)
  • German, Swedish and Hungarian “Erasmus+ Youth in action” National Agencies (National Agency)

Contact for questions:

Elenor Macdonald


Phone: (+44) 0771 469 5180 / (+44) 01324 562978

Before applying please contact the NA of your residence country to check if it is involved in this concrete project and committed to cover travel costs. NB! Learn about possible participation fee and other relevant rules.


This project is financed by the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme. Being selected for this course, all costs (accommodation, travel, visa, etc.) relevant to participation in the course will be covered by the NAs involved in this project - except a participation fee which varies from call to call and country to country. Please contact your Erasmus+: Youth in Action NA to learn more about the financial details, and how to arrange the booking of your travel tickets and the reimbursement of your travel expenses.

This training activity is funded by:

The Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme

Participants are entitled to receive a Youthpass certificate from the organiser, for recognition of their competence development during the activity. Read more about Youthpass:

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