A young woman participating in Takeover Days, holding up a brochure in a classroom.

Takeover Days

Takeover Days – a new tool to engage young people in employment and training in Europe

Takeover Days, where senior managers and decision makers step aside and allow young people to ‘take over’ their roles for a day, have been offering inspiration and challenge to young people in Wandsworth for several years. In 2018, the Council’s Lifelong Learning service succeeded in gaining funding from the EU’s Erasmus Plus programme to develop a toolkit to replicate takeover days with its partners in Italy, Romania and Spain.

At the start of the project it was clear that the UK were clearly ahead of other European partners, but this didn’t remain the case for long, with participating organisations finding that there was a real appetite for ‘takeover’ in their own countries. The project website www.youthtodays.eu showcases some of the work that has taken place.

After a highly successful visit to Northern Romania last July which involved 40 young people from the four countries, followed up by some highly targeted training and takeovers, the project nears its conclusion on 2nd June when there will be a webinar in the UK. Webinars have also been taking place in the last few days in the other participating countries.

The concluding months of the project were severely affected by Covid-19 and the lockdown, which disappointingly meant that some of the scheduled takeovers and final events couldn’t take place as planned. Partners embraced the challenge and created webinars to replace final conferences and used remote technology to interview young people, youth workers and employers so that they could contribute to them.

So much has been learnt throughout the development of this project that it will be interesting to see how the world of work-experience and takeover days emerges from the current crisis. New ways of working – virtually, remotely, however you want to describe it – are going to significantly shape the future of working life when technology/artificial intelligence (AI) really start to change the way we are living and working.

Feedback from those taking part in Takeover Days:

“I think I understand and value myself more.” Young Person UK

“At the training camp, I learnt that language does not have to be a barrier, even though we couldn’t speak each other’s languages.” Young Person UK

“For me as an architect, the fresh perspective that young people bring to my work is essential and often gives me new ideas.” Takeover Day – host employer

“The experience enabled us to see our service (Apprenticeships) from the eyes of the young people that take part in it and based on that we have changed how we do things – for example, class times.” Takeover Day host Local Authority employer.

Worth sharing.