After a month in Sicily I could learn a little more about the association with which I volunteer. As the topic on which turns our project Island Shake is youth employability, today I wanted to make my “boss” Eva a couple of questions to understand a little better how volunteering can influence the employability of young Sicilians.
How many European projects have been connected with the issue of youth employability? What kind of project was it? Do you think you have been successful?
Right now we only discussed this issue via Bancadati Informa Giovani (http://www.islandshake.com/bancadati-informa-giovani/). Between 2000 and 2009 we did have an information desk where young people could go and get information on kinds of job orientation, how to write a CV …
The most popular inofs in Bancadati Informa Giovani are summer job, for example, two of our partners were working at Disneyland Paris thanks to a deal that they saw in the Bancadati newsletter.
I would think that it does have quite positive results. We have not done any survey that can give us a realistic feedback, but, for example, the last newsletter was sent to 24,000 recipients.
How many applications are received for a European volunteering placement?
It depends. Usually we receive more applications for leave to come to Sicily. For example if we offer a place to come to Sicily we usually receive a maximum of 5 applications while, for example, for a vacancy to go to Iceland we have just received 11 resumes.
Does the EVS is popular in Sicily?
Not much. Only those who are in contact with associations dedicated to volunteering or those people born that such concerns know it. In Italy is best known The Servizio Civile Nazionale (http://www.serviziocivile.gov.it/Contenuti/Default.aspx?PageID=6). It also depends on how the rest of Informa Giovani associations work. For example, in Turin, it is very known because the Informa Giovani association of there advertised it enough.
Is there a difference regarding participation among young people from the peninsula and young people from the island?
Depends more on the town or city that if it is an island or the mainland. For example in the “rich” cities where young people find jobs faster rarely make volunteering as their interests become different (keep the job, buy a car, buy a house …).
As an organization, do you think the European projects affect employability?
Yes, obviously it depends on the person, but the EVS experiences serve to open the mind, to show the world outside of your town, to promoting the learning of other languages and improved English, make you lose the fear of living in a foreign country, promote tolerance and mental flexibility… And it also help you to know yourself better, to know where your limits are, what are your strengths, how to react to different situations …
If two candidates take the same job with the same curriculum except for the fact that one of them has been EVS do you think is more likely to be given the job to that one who has been a volunteer?
Yes, precisely because everything I’ve said before I think it should be.