ODISSEU is a Spanish programme which aims at facilitating the return of young people to rural areas through employment. This programme of the Catalan region runs awareness raising, training and networking activities with rural companies in order to counterbalance the depopulation and masculinization of the region’s rural territories.
The programme wants to contribute to promote the offer of attractive and quality living conditions for young people in rural areas by addressing the major challenge of skilled employment in these territories.
In 2016 was launched the “Odisseu Practicum” programme, which offers an internship grant to university students from the Catalan region. Grants aim both at encouraging their return to rural areas and at promoting rural competitiveness.
ODISSEU is a LEADER/CLLD initiative addressing Priority 6 “social inclusion and local development” of the regional Rural Development Plan. Rural internship programmes are multiplying in Spain. The good results of ODISSEU in terms of awareness raising on rural life and employment rate can inspire other countries seeking at maintaining the attractivity of mountainous rural areas among the youth.
Such programme can be used as a prevention tool in areas at risk of depopulation in the future, instead of being reactive only. It can also help to create skilled jobs in rural regions and attract young talents who will contribute to build smarter mountains.
Find more information on how this internship programme works, the profile of the companies and students involved and the benefits for rural mountain areas in our good practice.
16 November 2020