How Interreg boosts skills: Stories of cooperation told by IVY volunteers

This year, we mark the European Year of Skills with five stories by five IVY volunteers to inform about Interreg’s impact on our daily lives with the magazine of the “Stories of European Cooperation”. With this series of articles written by IVY volunteers and published by Interact in collaboration with the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), Thanos, Adriana, Sara, Silvia and Clara inform about Interreg projects that contribute to boost citizens’ competences that are relevant to their regions.

Helping citizens gain new skills is a key strategy that Interreg contributes to, to ensure more and better jobs in all regions and to improve capacities to respond to local challenges. Thanos, Adriana, Sara, Silvia and Clara showcase this effort reporting about successful Interreg projects in their regions, whether in the creativity, resources-management or hospitality sector.

We interviewed Laura Belenguer, communications manager at Interact Valencia, to hear her view on the magazine. Laura is the person who proposed to create the Stories of European Cooperation and who coordinates this publication: she receives the articles and photos from the volunteers and prepares the final results that we see. Her passion about this project is amazing, and we want to share it with all readers of the Stories.

Laura, what do you like the most about the publication of the Stories of European Cooperation?

Laura: I love the fact that it's written by 'non-usual suspects', youngsters who get familiar with Interreg thanks to the IVY volunteering experience. Also, it's important that youngsters, ambassadors of our future, know first-hand the impact of cooperation among regions and are able to be free to write about it. Lastly, these volunteers use plain language, trying to avoid technical terms or Interreg jargon and this is key to make the success stories understandable for everyone.

This year the Stories of European Cooperation is in line with the European Year of Skills. Why did you decide to address this topic?

Laura: The main objective of the European Year of Skills is to help individuals acquire new skills, especially in the field of digital and green technologies, in order to improve their employability. Interreg has been (and is!) working on that through thousands of projects all over Europe. Only during the last programming period, 1,600 Interreg projects have been carried out where, in one way or another, actions aimed at improving people's skills in the labour market. And so far, in the current period 2021-2027, a total of 27 projects have been or are being developed in this field. With these data, we see that Interreg does have an impact on the ground with this horizontal topic and we need to communicate these examples and put a name and surname to these thousands of beneficiaries.

We are very grateful to everyone who made this publication possible and thank Interact’s team, Mr Tokarski for his kind introduction and Thanos, Adriana, Sara, Silvia and Clara for their fundamental contributions telling these stories.

Read here the Stories of European Cooperation

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