Article September 2017
The Gamelab project was initiated in September, 2017. The project is funded by the Erasmus + programme and entails four international partners. The partners are Fundacja based in Poland, Cazalla Intercultural based in Spain, UK based Praxis Europe and Citizens in Power operating from Cyprus.
The project was designed to work with young people who are in the NEET (not in education, employment or training) category. The core aim was to develop a game that can be used by educators and youth to initiate different key competencies and promote certain values. The objective of the project is to engage NEET youth through activating economical knowledge, entrepreneurial attitudes building social skills and behaviours. The project looks at youth who are at risk of social exclusion and exist on the margins and fringe of society.
The Gamelab project will bring together experts across Europe through multiple mobility’s where best practice will be shared, planning and execution of the project, discussion of intellectual outputs amongst exploration of key targets and outputs.
Article October 2017
The Gamelab project will consist of a key aim which is to test and create a game. This is also one of the key outputs of the project. The project focuses around working with NEET (not in education, employment or training) youth. Games are powerful mediums in relation to providing education and teaching skills. There are many benefits to the use of game play. There are also a number of different forms games can come in. Some formats of games can be digital such as video games, board games, dice games, card games, role play games etc.
Games can become a positive tool for promoting team work, confidence, self esteem and personal development. Those games that are offline and multiplayer can be effective in helping reduce isolation and provide a platform for individuals to engage particularly in the digital age where many young people are deeply entrenched in the use of digital technologies.
Games can also create spaces for people to have fun and enjoy themselves. Games which include the use of numbers and exchange can also have a positive effect on cognitive ability and development. Other games which promote entrepreneurial attitudes are also useful for helping young people learn about monetary value and enhancing the potential for economic activation.
Article November 2017
According to Eurostat 18.116 million males and females across the 28 countries which make up the EU (European Union) were unemployed in November 2017. In contrast to the previous year during the same month there was a reduction of 2.133 million unemployed people across the 28 member states that make up the EU. In November 2017 3.698 million young people aged under 25 were unemployed. This was a reduction of 429,000 compared to the figures in 2016.
Young people who maintain a position or role within education or employment are much more likely to have higher levels of wellbeing. Also staying in education may well allow young people to earn higher salaries through higher educational attainment, although there may be some exceptions to this.
NEET (not in education or employment) youth are much more likely to suffer from poverty, social and economic deprivation. This can lead to higher mental health issues and difficulties in life.
The Gamelab project aims to explore different methods through the use of games which can help tackle and challenge some of the issues that NEET youth may be facing. The end goal is to produce a game which can be used by educators who are working with NEET youth.
Article December 2017
The first mobility of the Gamelab project was undertaken in Leszno, Poland. The two day project was held in December, 2017. Praxis Europe participated in this partner project with counterparts and experts from different countries across Europe. The project partners included teams from Poland, Spain and Cyprus.
The two day event saw presentations from partners about their expertise in the field of NEET (not in education and employment), youth work, entrepreneurship, economic activation amongst other areas. Spanish colleagues presented the overall aims of the Gamelab project and relayed the requirements needed to undertake a successful project and analysis.
Dr Marek a member of the hosting Polish delegation was able to discuss and inform colleagues about the relevant intellectual outputs related to the Gamelab project. The initial intellectual output i01 was related to the production of a guide which was the core responsibility of Praxis Europe.
During the two day visit participants were also able to discuss budgets, timeframes and project delivery dates as well as specific milestones. Communication channels were established and dates were set for the forthcoming mobility’s to Poland, Spain and Cyprus.
Press Release One
Praxis Europe has joined and developed an international project called Gamelab. The project consists of multiple partners from different parts of Europe. The partners are from Spain, Cyprus and Poland. The project itself started in September 2017 and focuses on the topic of NEET (not in education, employment, training) youth and methods around their socio-economic activation.
The project also includes several intellectual outputs such as the development of an in depth guide and the creation of a game which can be used by educators working with NEET youth. In 2008 a global recession affected the life opportunities of many young people across Europe and other parts of the world. Youth unemployment began to rise in many European countries particularly in locations such as Cyprus, Greece and Spain. Some European countries also witnessed an increase in the number of NEET youth. Many of these youth are often on the fringes of society and come from economic and socially deprived backgrounds.
Therefore there was a definite need for this type of project to be undertaken. The Gamelab project will help bring together experts to share their experiences, ideas and use their skills to produce work related to the relevant intellectual outputs. There will be three international mobility’s which will allow opportunities for knowledge exchange.
Press Release Two
Praxis Europe staff members participated in an international mobility to Leszno in Poland. The British contingent was joined by experts from the host country Poland as well as other professionals from Spain and Cyprus.
The two day international session allowed participants to discuss the various intellectual outputs related to the Gamelab project which was initiated in September, 2017. The project revolves around the economic activation of NEET (not in education, training or employment) youth. Praxis Europe was delegated with the core task of producing a guide as part of the first intellectual output. The guide would provide detailed information about NEET youth, different methodologies such as linguistic immersion teaching, statistics around youth unemployment, templates for workshops amongst other areas of interest.
The two day stay in Poland was fruitful and Dr Marek from Poland led on a range of issues during the workshops undertaken. The teams will continue their work on developing the various outputs and meeting the necessary objectives.
Press Release Three
During the spring month of April, 2018 the Gamelab project initiated its second international mobility for project partners. Partners travelled from the UK, Cyprus and Poland to the South of Spain in Lorca where they were hosted by their Spanish counterparts.
This project mobility allowed partners including Praxis Europe to share best practice and advise on how their work has developed since the last meeting in Poland. As part of the intellectual outputs related to this project Praxis Europe staff presented an update to the guide that they had been working on. Other partners also discussed and shared their feedback on the intellectual outputs that they had been working on.
Each partner country had chosen a number of games which were to be included in a recommended and non recommended games catalogue. One of the intellectual outputs of the Gamelab project is to create a game which can be used by educators to work with NEET youth. Each country chose a range of games such as apps, board games and completed templates relaying further information about the choices they had made.
Press Release Four
The third and final Gamelab project mobility took place in Laranaca, Cyprus. This international mobility was the final stage in regards to partners meeting internationally. The meeting itself took place in May, 2018. The third mobility allowed Praxis Europe staff to showcase and present the guide they had been working on which included contributions from partners. Other intellectual outputs were also discussed. One of the intellectual outputs was to produce a game as part of the project. The experts discussed the format and content of the game with a wide range of suggestions and then finally choosing the most suitable one.
The Gamelab project will continue through the coming months of 2018. Project partners are expected to undertake workshops with NEET youth and adult educators as well as run a conference event showcasing how the project developed over a period of time and what the final outcomes were. The Gamelab project thus far has been an important conceptualisation of ideas and strategies to produce high quality work related to the social and economic activation of NEET youth.