Recently created COST Action focuses on vulnerable rural youth development prospects

Rural NEETs’ Youth Network (RNYN) is a running four-year COST Action that kicked-off on the 14th of October of 2019. The network aims gathers more than 20 countries at developing a model of comprehension for rural youths not in education, nor in employment or training (NEET). This model is supposed to unfold social exclusion risk and protective factors associated to this group. According to the EUROSTAT, NEETs are more prevalent in rural regions, compared urban and suburban areas, especially in Southern and Eastern European countries. Thus, this situation represents a threat for rural development, but it can also result in an opportunity.

RNYN focuses on three specific goals:

(1) upholding future research capability in the area, with an emphasis on supporting Early Career Investigators and Inclusiveness Target Countries that want to contribute to greater knowledge on the topic;

(2) creating a rural NEETs’ online observatory;

(3) fostering knowledge use by policy makers and practitioners in areas such as rural education, employment policies in the countryside or the development of the agriculture sector.

The RNYN work plan will contribute to define a coherent model for future research, based on an intensive survey of national and cross-national trends regarding rural NEETs’ profile and support systems, as well as methodological and intervention best-practices in the field.

RNYN added value stems from an eclectic theoretical, disciplinary, institutional and international approach and in upskilling Early Career Investigators, especially in those countries that are more affected by high rural NEET rates.

In the long run, RNYN’s scientific impact will lead to the creation of a rural NEETs’ observatory, integrating both senior and young researchers in a broad multidisciplinary community. Long-term socio-economic impact is expected to be translated into (in)ternational legislation to tackle rural NEETs’ needs and promote sectoral innovations.

RNYNs activity will involve thematic meetings, workshops and conferences, support to researchers mobility across Europe and worldwide, through the participation in high profile conferences and scientific missions, collaboration with stakeholders at a national and international level or the submission of peer-reviewed publications co-authored by the network members. The collaboration with other initiatives under Horizon 2020 and other relevant funding frameworks are also regarded as key tools for disseminating this Action work.

Rural NEET Youth Network members at the Action first meeting, in Brussels, in October
Rural NEET Youth Network members at the Action first meeting, in Brussels, in October