Facilitating student integration into employment

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
© Riga Technicaluniversity, 2017
Student creative space at Riga Technical University Design Factory
Problem addressed
Young graduates oen struggle to f‌ind their f‌irst employment
opportunities. This is caused, in part, by limited work experience,
lack of a professional network and skill mismatches. In Latvia,
young people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed
compared to the rest of the population. Work-based learning
can be an efficient way of addressing labour market
imbalances, allowing young people to acquire valuable skills
to help them to land their f‌irst job. Nevertheless, access to
quality work-based learning opportunities remains unequal
across the EU.
Innovative solution
The Demola platform, established in 2014 in Finland,
connects companies with university students to give students
a chance to develop their skills, whilst providing a solution to
a company need. The main innovation of Demola is that it
presents students to companies as potential problem-solvers
instead of as young people in need of work experience.
Companies can submit a specif‌ic problem situation for
students to address. Students participate in teams in
problem-solving workshops, facilitated by university staf‌f.
Each team presents potential solutions to the company
in a f‌inal pitch session and, if it is interested, the company
can purchase one of the innovative solutions. The f‌inancial
compensation is then shared among the students.
Since 2016, the Demola platform in Latvia has been run by
the Riga Technical University (RTU) Design Factory and the
University of Latvia, with the support of the Investment and
Development Agency of Latvia. The universities primarily
liaise with companies and support the students’ work.
Key results and benef‌its
Since 2016, 625 students in total have applied to the project
in Latvia. Of these, 195 students from 15 dif‌ferent secondary
education institutes were eventually selected to participate in
50 dif‌ferent cases submitted by the participating companies.
One of the key benef‌its of this project is that students are
given the opportunity to gain practical experience in designing,
Facilitating student integration
into employment

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