RCE Oldenburger Münsterland-2016

1. Project Title: 
Youth in rural areas - Regional Youth-Report for the district of Vechta
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
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3. Project partner contact information : 
RCE Oldenburger Münsterland
Initiator and networking
Main Contact: 
Prof. Dr. Margit Stein
University of Vechta - Faculty of educational science
4. Project type
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5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

The regional youth reporting offers an important contribution to the future sociopolitical and economic decisions and development of the administrative district Vechta. Main goal of the pilot-project is to develop a quantitative survey for a regular and systematic regional youth reporting. It focuses on sustainable lifestyle. Every youth report will focus on one issue, which will investigate more deeply. The current youth report highlights entrepreneurship and employability of the young people and young adults.

The regional youth report raises data to explain the context between the professional awareness of young people and the needs and requirements of the local district business, economy and employers. The district of Vechta is a region of a highly developed agricultural industry. Unlike other rural regions it is structurally very strong but confronted with the problem of a future lack of skilled labors, which is increasingly reinforced by demographic developments and migration trends of young people. Finally the youth report provides informations about how the district of Vechta can attrack young skilled professionells.

Therefore the youth reports focuses on four activities:

1. Analysis of the current state: The regional youth report surveys young inhabitants and female inhabitants between 12 and 24 years as well as selected representatives from the SMEs, large companies, vocational schools and the association for commerse- and trade. Main focus is how the sample perceives the current situation.

2. Analysis of needs: What does young people require to stay or to come to Vechta and develop entrepreneuship and to foster their professional skills? On the basis of the raised data a criterion catalogue will be developed for future political taylor-made decisions.

3. Finding of specific regional features: The disadvantage of nationwide and international youth studies is that they often misjudge the specific situations and challenges of youngsters and young adults in rural regions (City-Bias) and meet the challenges of specific regions only insufficiently. In this sense the research project provides a scientific contribution to the development of precise elevation instruments and basic analyses for the purposes of use-oriented research for the regional youth reporting.

4. Establishment of an advisory board: For the support of cooperation and for the purpose of networking an advisory board was formed. The RCE Oldenburger Münsterland brought together experts from the informal, non-formal and formal educational sector to promote and activity plan for the district of Vechta and to develop guidelines based on the findings of the youth report. One important characteristic of the advisory board is the participation of young people from the vocational schools of the district.

The administrative district of Vechta and the European Foundation for regional development EFRD) funded the pilot-project. EFRD is one of the EU structural funds. Through this fund, financial aid is provided with the goal of enforcing economic and social consistency by equalizing the main regional differences. This fund supports development and structural changes in regional economies, including transformation of declining industrial regions and less-developed regions and through support of cross-border, national and international co-operation.

Design of the survey:
- Qulitative interviews: 24 semi-structured Interviews were realized with young people (12 and 24 years old) and additionall interviews with selected representatives from the SMEs, large companies, vocational schools and the association for commerse- and trade.
- Group-discussion: For group-discussions were held. In all group-discussion members of the advisory board were involved.
- Future-workshop: Three future-workshop with students from the vocational schools were realized.
- 120 BA-Thesis focusing on sustainable livehood: In order to prepare the regional youth report a research project with student of the University of Vechta was established. Meanwhile 120 BA-Thesis were accomplished and re-analysed for the purpose of the pilot-project.

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6. Project status
On Going
Currently we are disseminating the results of the first and second research period.
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