KEEPING UP WITH THE DIGITAL AGE WITH ROMA YOUTH
Roma citizens are believed to be between 2 to 5 million in total population in Turkey and are the most exposed to social exclusion and discrimination in the community (Kara, 2017). Roma work in jobs that lead to the formation of an unskilled, temporary and informal economy; they are excluded in the labor market, and they do not have regular employment opportunities and regular income.
Roma youth is still unable to access resources in the 21st century and are becoming increasingly out of contact with the industrialized society due to inequality of opportunity – they are defined as an ‘at risk group’ (https://bit.ly/2Y8QEar). With this project, we aim to ensure social integration of Roma youth residing in İzmir with their vocational, practical and social skills training and to increase their employability by taking part in the labor market. The specific objectives of the project are; Increasing the digital competencies of Roma youth through vocational trainings, increasing the capacity of the institutions working on the subject, especially project partners and affiliates, providing career coaching services to Roma youth, encouraging them to enter the registered workforce by guiding them to register with İŞKUR, to contribute to the reduction of prejudices in the society and the labor market, and to raise awareness for their families in order to continue education of Roma children and to take part in the labor market of young people.
With the vocational trainings to be applied, NEET Roma Youth will increase their knowledge on computer use and technological developments in the sector, their digital skills will develop, and they will specialize in graphic design. They will also have a valid vocational training certificate on “Basic Computer and Office Programs Use” and “Graphic Design”. With effective communication, diction, CV preparation, interview techniques, teamwork, and etc. social and productivity-enhancing skills training, their self-confidence will improve, and they will learn to express themselves and their motivation will increase. With the internship programs to be provided after the trainings, it will be easier for them to adapt to the labor market. Career coaching services for Roma younth and their families will contribute to removing obstacles to their entry into the labor market, with the guidance to be they will be enrolled in İŞKUR and will contribute to the prevention of unregistered employment. Contribution will be made to breaking prejudices in the society and the labor market against Roma. With the seminars to be held, awareness will be raised on the importance of education and participation in the labor market in Roma children, youth and families. The Roma Community Support Network will be established with the cooperation of the academia, public, private sector and NGO, and will be shared with decision makers by producing solutions to the problems of Roma. Decision makers will be encouraged to carry out different projects for their needs by conducting research on labor, education, skills and competencies related to Roma living in İzmir. At this point, possible obstacles for the project such as reaching the target audience, ensuring regular participation of the target audience in training, persuading families and ensuring sustainability will be overcome through the activities above. At this stage, Karşıyaka Municipality and ROMGEDER will take an active role. KASİAD and AOSB will play a facilitating role in ensuring labor force and coordination with employers.