17 April 2023 – The project called Koroška region Youth Support Network (KOR-NET project) addresses two development-related issues in the Koroška region, namely depopulation and brain drain. The project, worth almost half a million euros and funded by Norway Grants, has resulted in opening three workstations to activate young people in the Koroška region and to help them get even more involved in the local environment.
13 KOR-NET workstations for young people in the Koroška region
On Tuesday, 11 April 2023, the first workstation for young people in the Mislinja dolina valley, which is the third KOR-NET workstation for young people, was opened at the premises of the Slovenj Gradec Youth Cultural Centre. At the opening ceremony, the Mayor of Slovenj Gradec, Dr Matija Tasič, said: “If space is a problem, then we don’t have a problem. We want to see more active young people who will promote the youth scene in the municipality.”
Workstations are spaces for young people, which are equipped with computers and offer basic office supplies and materials, and free access to online services, information, printing, etc., which young people need for schoolwork, finding jobs and for job interviews, and areas where friends can work together in realising their numerous creative ideas.
Viktorija Barbič, representative of the project partner A.L.P PECA, said that “if we want young people to stay in the Koroška region, especially in its rural areas, we have to offer them all the support we can in developing their potential and actively involving them in the local environment.”
The idea to introduce workstations for young people results also from the poorer digital inclusion of young people in the Koroška region, which is more pronounced in rural areas. This is why the KOR-NET project aims to compensate for this shortcoming at least partially by placing the workstations in less dynamic environments where young people need an even stronger impetus.
13 workstations will be set up across the Koroška region. So far, workstations have been opened in Prevalje (at the Community Centre), Ravne na Koroškem (at the Regional Chamber of Craft and Small Business Ravne) and in Slovenj Gradec. By summer, other workstations will open their doors in different, more rural parts of the Koroška region, and thus help to further activate the potential of young people from all three valleys of the Koroška region.
The Koroška region Youth Support Network project (KOR-NET)
The Koroška region Youth Support Network project (KOR-NET) aims to strengthen the support environment for young people in the Koroška region, reduce brain drain and co-create, in cooperation with young people, a quality environment for life and work.
The project aims to give all young people in the Koroška region equal opportunities and a chance to get actively involved and participate in local decision-making, especially on issues that affect them. This will also help young people enter the labour market with more confidence and become more active citizens.
In addition to setting up a total of 13 workstations for young people across the region, the project will also result in setting up the Koroška region virtual youth incubator, in the design of a model for active participation of young people – a set of good practices in the field of youth work, and in organising workshops, camps and networking events for young people to connect with experts, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, etc.
The project is co-developed by Dravit, which acts at the project promoter and which includes the Dravograd Youth Centre, and the project partners the Koroška Youth Cultural Centre Kompleks, the Slovenj Gradec-based Spotur Institute and the local Youth Cultural Centre Slovenj Gradec. The project also includes representatives of the business sector, namely the Regional Chamber of Craft and Small Business Ravne Ravne na Koroškem, the company A. L. P. PECA and the Norwegian partner Bjerkaker LearningLab.