Virus on the Job Market

Youth Exchange 22/09/2022 – 30/09/2022 in Gdynia, Polonia

The project under the title ‘’Virus on the job market’’ took place in a graphic scenery in Gdynia in Poland, on 22 – 30 of September 2022 hosted by the Polish Association ‘’Strategic Partnership Institute’’. 


36 young participants from Czech Republic, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Turkey united in a beautiful place in the nature of Poland in order to experience and learn more through non-formal activities about how youth unemployment deeply affects young people and remains the main concern in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The youth labor market is highly sensitive to economic cycles and in times of economic instability, youth is hit more severely than adults. Young workers are often “first out”. Economic crises force young people into long-term unemployment, inactivity, and discouragement, all of which affect their long-term career prospects. Young people in developing and developed countries make up the majority of workers in the wholesale and retail trade, accommodation, and food services sectors, all of which suffered most during the pandemic.


The pandemic has shown that someone who is going to succeed in a new “normality” will need to be able to adapt to ever-evolving workplaces and have the ability to continuously update and refresh their skills. Many jobs will disappear and new jobs will leave many young people behind.


The purpose of the project is to combat the popular idea that covid-19 only affects adults and the elderly and address the needs of youth suffering from social and economic impacts of the virus by improving youth skills that are likely to be in high demand in the post-coronavirus world. 


Objectives of the project


 Learn new and improve existing methods of work with unemployed youth

– Learn new non-formal education methods of working with youth and facilitate their integration process


– Deepen the knowledge about unemployment in Europe and learn new ways to support youth employment


– Learn innovative non-formal education methods that can be a useful tool in professional life while working with groups


Workshops & Activities


In the course of 9 days we got the chance to take part in many activities that were creative and unique, but first we got together, came closer to each other through a series of ice-breaking and team-building activities and took part in a fun scavenger hunt.


Our days started with different energizers that woke us up and prepared the ground for the following workshops and activities that covered a wide range of topics.


Many activities stood out as they involved our acting skills in order to portray the roles of young people seeking jobs in different contexts. Through these workshops we got familiar with the struggles of disabled people, women and their rights in the workplace and also bullying and its effects on the employees and employers.


A lot of the activities had a strong creative aspect. First of all, a fun and unique songwriting contest about youth unemployment took place on the first days and became a highlight of the trip as it was combined with an excursion on the beach. Another project involved the simulation of a TV program covering different aspects of our daily activities that took place in small groups and required creative filming of our interactions and workshops.


We were also given the chance to get familiar with useful computer tools in order to create online surveys about various topics (including unpaid internships, remote v.s office jobs etc.), send it to our peers from different countries and present our results on the following days.


Our afternoons included discussions regarding issues that concern us and then presenting our ideas. Some examples of the topics that we talked about are the following :


– The modern wages and how they are affected given the conditions of the pandemic


– Education and its contribution in shaping young people ready for the demanding conditions of the job market


– Initiatives that young people can take to become better entrepreneurs in the future.


In the last days, we gathered in national groups and created our own workshop based on the knowledge that we acquired through the previous activities.


In the evenings, we were closing our days with intercultural meetings where we presented our countries, danced, and had a lot of fun. The project ended with a party and an exciting award ceremony, the reveal of our secret friends, and some videos of our memories in Poland. 


Testimonies by the Greek team!


Magda: <<Our trip to Poland was an unforgettable experience, I made new friends from different countries and I got to know about their culture and lifestyle. This trip also allowed me to improve my English and made my communication in a foreign language easier>>.


Damianos: <<This Erasmus project in Poland was my first one and it was a life-changing experience. Interacting with so many people with different characters and at the same time getting knowledge together was impactful and gave me new ways of thinking and different ways of perception. These memories will always be part of me and I will look for more projects of this kind>>.


Anastasia: <<My trip to Poland was an amazing and different experience. I met new people and made new friends through this program and learned more things about different cultures>>.


Kostas: <<In the program in Poland I had one of the best experiences in my life. The activities, the guys, the nights, and the international connection combined in an excellent mode, and the result was for all the people to feel like members of a family. Moments and experiences like Erasmus+ are the best for young students and I hope all the people have a chance to experience something similar to this program!!! Also thanks to the trainers of the Polish organization and of course our Greek organization EKO Greece>>.


Sophia: <<Through this Erasmus+ project I had the opportunity to travel to Poland and it was one of the most unique and fun experiences in my life. First of all, I got the chance to acquire new skills, learn through unique and creative ways, and share my worries about the impact of COVID-19 on the job market. On top of that, I interacted with so many people from different countries, learned about their cultures and struggles, and at the same time created memories that made this trip unforgettable. I am grateful for the chance to participate in such an amazing project and even though it was my first Erasmus+ project, I can’t wait to apply to the next one>>.


As EKO, we are very grateful and we thank Tomek from Strategic Partnership Institute for making this project happen and offering all participants an amazing interpersonal experience and lots of wonderful memories! Special thanks to all the members of the Polish association for making this project so special and for giving all their amazing energy and knowledge into every session.


Last but not least, a big thank you to the EKO team – Sophia, Kostas, Magda, Damianos and Anastasia –  for being so open-minded, motivated, passionate and active and for giving the project’s backbone a heart!