How can we make mountain areas more attractive for young people?
Young people consider that mountains have much to offer concerning quality of life: warm social relationships, a rich traditional culture, access to a quality environment, leisure activities and many different job offers. As an evidence of this, 80% of surveyed young mountain inhabitants say they would like to live and work there and that’s good news!
But… bad news is that while traditional job sectors still attract some young people, many also want to be able to work in industry and services. Consequently the impossibility of finding the training courses and jobs they want in the mountains makes them leave for the agglomerations where universities are concentrated, and they do not always come back. But their career prospects are by no means their only concern…. the insufficient supply of educational opportunities, a lack of infrastructures and an insufficient provision of cultural activities are major considerations in their plans for life.
We, Euromontana, work, then, to create a brighter future for young people in the mountains.
Policy – representation
The European Mountain Convention 2012 (2-4 October) fought this shifted image with arguments highlighting the richness and strengths of these areas and addressed the current problems that young people (and mountain inhabitants in general) face on a daily base offering transferable solutions to these problems.
Thus, the key issues for this Youth Convention were “How to keep young people in mountain areas: how to settle back after graduation and how to attract new young people, individual or family from other territories in our mountain regions?”.
Within the framework of the EMC, a political declaration of Euromontana network has been elaborated on “how to make mountain areas more attractive for young people”.
Other actions have been implemented:
– Creation of a blog, Mountain Youth, to publish articles concerning directly the quality of life and the perspectives offered to young people in the mountains. Everyone can comment them and/or share them with friends. Have a look at it!
- Working group for the ENRD thematic initiative: “Youth and young farmers in rural areas” to exchange good practices on youth.
Coordination and networking
Euromontana has designed an action plan on youth for the European Mountain Convention which has started after this event. One of the steps has been the creation of a communication including a questionnaire on mountain youth to be sent to the youth organisations in mountain areas. The results of this questionnaire will be published soon.
Euromontana actions on youth are based on the results of the European projects in which it takes part like:
- PADIMA (Policies against depopulation in mountain areas) is an INTERREG IVC Project with 8 partners from 5 European countries working together to collect good practices and data on the needs of the areas studied in the field of education and training. It also proposes strategies to increase the attractiveness of mountain areas for young people. Within the framework of this project, a brochure has been published: A brighter future for young people in mountain areas!
If you wish to develop a project concerning young people in mountain areas or you are looking for partners for a project, do not hesitate to contact us.
The last important event organised by Euromontana has been the VIIIth European Mountain Convention in Chambéry (2-4 October 2012).
- See the presentations of the conference in the website created for the Convention.
- Summary of the preliminary research carried out on youth.
For more information please contact Marie Clotteau