Published 14 May 2024

Poland – an example on how the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region can make a difference

Council Recommendation on Youth Guarantee encourages Member States to promote development of integrated service models, such as one-stop shops.

In Poland, the share of 18–24-year-old NEETs was 11.9 % in 2019, which increased to 12.6 % in 2020. The labour market department at the Ministry of Family and Social Policy is responsible for regulatory and strategic framework of the employment policy in Poland. They coordinate the implementation of the Council Recommendations relevant for labour market and employment – one of them is Recommendation of 2020 on A Bridge to Jobs – Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee. (especially for vulnerable youth).

The Coordinator Training Programme

Until 2021 the one-stop shops approach had not been applied in Poland, however the department started to analyse the models used in other countries. In 2021 the Coordinator Training Programme - Multi-Professional Guidance for Youth 2021-2022 was launched as part of School to Work and two representatives from the department decided to join the programme.

The Coordinator Training Programme started in autumn 2021 with 25 participants from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany. The training program was conducted in four modules from September 2021 to May 2022.

  • Module 1. Building One-Stop Guidance Centre
  • Module 2. Delivering the services in a client-centred way
  • Module 3. Managing, coordinating, and developing multidisciplinary services and team
  • Module 4. Creating and developing sustainable networks 5/2022

A coherent vision

The practical implementation of the programme involved sharing and reflecting on experiences and knowledge through active participation and cross-context and cross-national dialogues . The modules included independent assignments, collaborative work in peer groups, online workshops, and two study visits. One of them onsite in Aarhus, Denmark and one online in Jyväskylä, Finland.

Three of the 25 participants came from Poland, two from the Ministry and one from the Małopolska Region (Regional Labour Office) in Krakow. During the programme and its modules their vision of the possible approach in Poland emerged and crystalized. After internal discussions they came up with the working plan that translated into a coherent vision:

  • Pilot project on Youth Guidance Centres financed from the national Labour Fund
  • An ESF+ scheme to evaluate the pilot and formulate the comprehensive approach in Poland
  • The ESF+ project „Coordination of the support for vulnerable groups from the central level” launched in January 2024 and providing, inter alia, for capacity building of the Youth Guidance Centre providers (incl. study visits abroad for the local labour offices employees)
  • A new legal provisions elaborated, under the RRP reform on the labour market in Poland (i. e. youth counsellors in labour offices and the legal basis for youth guidance centres)

Shortly about the pilot "Time for Youth – Youth Guidance Centres”. Call for proposals launched in March 2023 (preceded by the workshop with the stakeholder in November 2022 and a survey on currently existing services for youth in labour offices. Project providers were the Local Labour Offices. The objective was to test different models of Youth Guidance Centres, to identify the best practices to be implemented on the national scale. The scope was at least 3 services: vocational activation, information on social assistance possibilities and psychological support; 4 next services are recommended: educational counselling, health and health prevention counselling, housing advisory, legal and financial advisory. In total 76 projects were co-financed (all applicants approved) with a total value of 16 MEUR. The project was implemented from July 2023 to December 2024.

You find the 76 labour offices that received funding on this map:

Map of 76 labour offices that received funding

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  • Gunnar Anderzon

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