SocialForest training youngsters within the Passwork Project

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Since November, SocialForest has been training ten youngsters within the PASSWORK PROJECT that was initiated by Fundación Exit and Fundación Adsis. With the aid of our Forest Coaches, the youngsters are being trained to be forest workers and acquire professional competences, as well as soft skills.  The project will come to an end in February 2017. Until then, the participants can practice and learn with our Forest Coaching concept in our partner IaaC´s woods, which is situated in Can Valldaura within the Parc Natural de Collserola.



How does the programme work?

The PASSWORK Project aims to reach 270 youngsters from 16 to 24 years old who  have left the education system prematurely and therefore find themselves at the risk of social exclusion. The project is supposed to train these young people and tutor them during a time period of up to two years. This is happening in four steps: orientation, exploration, training and internship.

Within the orientation phase the youngsters are expected to find out more about their own interests, competences and capabilities. Afterwards, they can explore the sector that fits their preferences best. At this step, they get to know companies and institutions from the corresponding sector. During the training phase they are supposed to acquire all the necessary knowledge and expertise for the following internship in an enterprise in their area of interest.

After the project is complete the aim is to successfully  introduce the participants into the world of work. Ideally, a full-time position should follow the internship if the youngsters can prove themselves during their time working in the company. Otherwise, tutors will help this youngsters search for another job or an adequate study programme to deepen their acquired knowledge.




Why is the project necessary?

The project is necessary for various reasons. Above all, the very high youth unemployment rate in Catalonia, which is at 59% for 16 to 19 year-olds and 33.6% for 20 to 24 year-olds. The rate of dropouts is also alarmingly high at 18.9%. These youngsters find themselves in a very vulnerable situation and at risk of social exclusion. We have to mitigate this risk in order to create a more stable future forthem, but also for our society as a whole.

Moreover, unemployment often results in the feelings of resignation and hopelessness. If motivated young people, ready to work, cannot conceive their intended projects and future plans, they will end up being frustrated and depressed which creates a vicious circle. For these reasons, the Passwork project and SocialForest’s work in general, is directed at the three-fold objectives of integration, containing


  1. Facilitation and promotion of the return to the educative system
  2. Improvement of the current employment situation and integration into the world of work
  3. Identifying an effective intervention model that can be expanded and replicated





The Forest Coaching concept

We from SocialForest are convinced that our Forest Coaching concept enriches the vocational training of youngsters by giving them the possibility to learn and practice in the woods. The atmosphere and therapeutic effect of the forest create a unique surrounding that favours effective learning, growing and the development of a positive attitude towards themselves and their lives. The youngsters are not only trained in forestry aspects, but also become competent in  all areas of life, for example; team work, appreciation of personal progress in the learning process and self-organisation. We consider the youngster´s professional and personal development  enormously important, as youth unemployment is not only triggered by economic factors, but also social, cultural, educational and structural aspects.

Forest Coaching



During the training phase, the youngsters  learn how to work and use the most important forestry machines – brush cutter and chain saw. For us, it is very important that they are taught the necessary steps to handle the tools safely and the importance of effective maintenance. They follow safety instructions to avoid accidents and to safeguard a safe working place for themselves, colleagues and others. Thanks to our partner Stihl our students are well equipped with safety clothing that is necessary for the daily work in the woods.




More good news


Companies interested in employing students from the PASSWORK Project can benefit from the Sistema Nacional de Garantia Juvenil that financially supports the employment of subscribed youngsters. If SocialForest or another forestry company offers a full-time or part-time job to one of the students after the project, this youngster will be one hundred percent exempt from social contributions. Last year, we gave three participants from the course we conducted the possibility to work for us. Let’s see if at the end of this year’s course we will be able to do the same!





Idescat, 2016

Eurostat, 2015


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