Three summer days in Finland

Knowledge platform for innovative jobs, tailor made for migrants and youth is an ESF-project with two partners: Stebo/Upgrade2work –project from Belgium and municipality of Popovo from Bulgaria. People from these partners were supposed to come to Finland to meet our project FEELIX: Future work skills. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 -situation changed the plans so Belgian, Bulgarian and Finnish delegations met via ZOOM at online-seminar (3rd -5th of June, 2020). Seminar was hosted by Feelix.

The chairperson of the seminar was Dr. Anne Kärki. We had even 11 people taking part to this seminar simultaneously. During the three days, we had nice slide shows about Finland, city of Pori and Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, SAMK.


We began the meeting by introductions and setting the goals for the meeting.  Next in the program was the FEELIX-project. The target groups are young people who have different kind of challenges, and their coaches. The main activity are FEELIX-groups where the young ones learn about digitalization, scheduling, social skills, life skills etc. The emphasis is on the strengths of the people. We also have Future Work Skills seminars for the network of coaches. The name “FEELIX” comes from Future, Empowerment, Employment, Learning, Innovation and Factor X.

Next day the Belgians and Bulgarians had their own presentations. Representatives of Stebo told about the activities of Stebo, which focus on residence, work, entrepreneurship, energy and helping neighbours. Stebo’s base is in Genk, which is a city in the area Flanders, in the province of Limburg. Genk has a strong history in mining coal.

The target groups of Stebo’s Upgrade2Work-project are migrants over 18 years old and their coaches, and employers also. One goal is to study and develop a coaching tool especially those dealing with strengths. A second goal is to develop a digital toolbox (website) with tips and advices for coaches and for employers to improve the chances for work for migrants (and to create inclusive work floors). The project has a diverse network including coaches, researchers, employers and experts by experience. The focus is on integrating the migrants to labour market. Upgrade2 Work started with five themes in the project idea. The project has selected two proprietary themes as result of a participative appreciative inquiry process: psychosocial wellbeing and upgrading of survival skills.

The Bulgarians told us that Popovo is a city in northeaster-Bulgaria. They also showed us a video about Popovo. The target group of their project is inactive young people under 29 years old. The goal of is to create a web-based information portal for “green jobs” and tell about available green jobs for young people. The idea is to work mainly online. That is why the project has provided iPads for 30 young people to make this possible.

On the last day of the seminar, we heard about SomeBody® method, which is developed in SAMK. SomeBody-method combines social, mental and physical exercises in order to increase one’s self-esteem, body awareness and social skills.kuvituskuva

We also made future plans together. We decided to be active in our LinkedIn-group and have the next seminar in December 2020. Then we will concentrate on the results of the projects.

Mutual learning took place. Thanks to all!

Best regards,

Susanna and Kaarina