We are more than happy to share atmosphere and highlights from the national Train-the-Trainer events that were conducted in Bulgaria. Two training days – one in Sofia and one in Plovdiv. Sixteen hours of role-play games, group discussions and knowledge sharing. 36 participants from three different organisations from different regions in Bulgaria. But how all these happened?

In order to have a direct impact on NEETs on national level and upon the information gathered during the Desk research and the Infoday, the local project coordinator have decided to contact the Ministry of Labour and Social policy in order to establish a partnership. This is the institution that coordinates the programme “Activation of inactive people” under which are employed about 100 youth mediators which main aim is the activation of NEETs. Those youth mediators work at the Bulgarian municipalities and report directly to the mayors but the Ministry of Labour and Social policy funds their employment and provides trainings in order to increase the mediators’ capacity. However, the trainings are mainly focused on regulatory frameworks and laws training while there is a huge need of soft skills training for mentors of NEETs. That is why a partnership between MLSP and STEER was beneficial, aiming at capacity building of youth mediators with focus on their soft skills as mentors. MLSP communicated the upcoming training seminars with all youth mediators and on voluntary principle all interested youth workers have registered. In addition, due to the long-lasting partnership of CATRO with the Student organisations – AIESEC and National Youth forum – trainers and representatives from these organisations were also invited. As a result, 36 youth workers were trained in the last days of June in Plovdiv (27.06.2017) and Sofia (30.06.2017).

During the training day, the participants had the opportunity to experience different practical tools from the STEER platform as the Motivational interview techniques, the process of feedback giving, the SMART goal setting model and many more. All of them were active in the group discussions and role plays and the most beneficial thing of this training seminar was the fact that youth workers who work for one and same goal but from different regions in Bulgaria had the opportunity to meet Face-to-Face and share their experiences and discuss the main obstacles that they meet. In this relations, the only thing that the participants have shared regarding the need of training improvement was to extend the training in 2-3 training days in order to have more time for exchange of knowledge or at least to be frequently organised (e.g. 4 times per year).

Now we are more than eager to find out how the gained knowledge during the STEER TTT will be implemented by the participants in their daily work with NEETs. Follow the project Facebook page and the STEER website for more news and stories.