One of the most diverse participant groups IFLRY has ever had gathered at the historic Hotel Ukraine on Maidan in Kyiv for the next phase of IFLRY’s Annual Work plan looking at youth autonomy, unemployment and how the global economic crisis has affected the ‘lost generation’.

The five day event formally titled “You(th) and the Employment Market: Tools and techniques to influence decision makers” followed on from the seminar held in Krakow in January, which looked at the issues young people face, established the importance of youth unemployment and created a common understanding of what the causes and effects were. This time around participants were tasked with taking on the issues identified by developing skills and creating tools to tackle them. The aim of the seminar was for participants to leave not only educated about the core issues, but ready to act as advocates for action right away. The first day provided an opportunity for the participants to meet each other and the team, as well as get introduced to IFLRY, the European Youth Foundation and the Council of Europe. They then explored the outcomes of our seminar in Krakow and reflected on the different perspectives on youth unemployment from their respective countries.


Day Two took a much close look at how we as young people can act on the issue, with the first session challenging them to analyse some innovative policy responses before moving into the ultra-interactive legislative role play session. This was full of energy as everybody took on the persona of a real-life politician and were forced to lobby for votes in the chamber to get their party’s initiative through. The winning team caused quite a stir as it saw an unorthodox alliance between the Social Liberals and Conservatives!

The day ended with a more forensic look at how you pull an advocacy strategy together, with a seven step plan presented by Ab Brightman prompting the coining of the term Ab-vocacy!

On the third day and at the mid-point of our week, we reflected on how we could put those seven steps into practice before taking the time to understand the context of the local area. A private tour of the Ukrainian Parliament was the highlight of the afternoon, followed by a Q&A with a prominent Deputy Vitali Ilashenko.


By day four, it was time to start developing the tools the participants needed to take action. But before that, we held a skills workshop to ensure that everybody was equipped with the basics – active listening, negotiation, and media relation skills.

By the final day, we were ready for the presentations from the different working groups – and the Seminar Team were amazed at the quality of the initiatives created. We saw people devising ways to get entrepreneurial skills taught in skills, fighting misconceptions and stereotypes around unpopular industries and equipping young people with the soft skills under-provided by the education system.

The third and final phase, where some of these tools will be implemented directly by IFLRY, is already being planned with events in Tunisia and Georgia scheduled before the end of the year. Find out more here.