As you might be aware from looking at our website, the Break Down or Break Out project is, among similar European initiatives, missioned to find new and action based directions for the millions of mid and later aged unemployed.
An increasing number of long-term unemployed, of which many have had limited educational opportunities, are finding themselves in more and more critical social and economic situations from which there seems no way out.

Traditional adult education is not enough.

Even traditional personal empowerment is not enough.

Such provisions are positive, but do not change the unacceptable situations for long-term unemployed.
Therefore we are, along with other European initiatives, developing more action-oriented approaches to what was once called “adult education”.

Our ways aim to build capacity among long-term unemployed to enable them to take direct, concrete and collective action in the community to bring about change. Change can mean a constructive and creative change is one’s life at large, or it can mean a change in one’s social and economic situation.
Institutions, trainers, coaches and social workers should, then, be trained to support, guide and capacity build those long-term unemployed.

This is what we are doing, and this is also why you should work with us, if you face similar challenges in your professional work.
We are producing material, examples, experience and knowledge in this field and we would like to share that with you – and with interested institutions, communities and professionals from across Europe.

We are building expertise in this field and we would like to put the expertise to work. Therefore we reach out to interested institutions, communities and professionals in Europe to create various forms of interaction, dialogues and shared practice.

We reach out to those who agree that:
Traditional adult education is not enough.
Even traditional personal empowerment is not enough.
Our long-term idea is to create a network of institutions, trainers and long-term unemployed that seek collaboration with interested resources across Europe, to make sure that what we are learning and practicing will be shared and put to work.
Of course, this takes some time, and our idea is to establish concrete and practical collaboration with interested players and use such collaboration as a platform for creating the European network, in time and when appropriate.
This means that working with us is not only about exploiting and sharing our knowledge and practice, but also about step by step joining a European community directed towards finding dramatically different ways out for the increasing number of long-term and less educated adults in Europe.
It is important to be aware that we are not simply interested in “instructing” you and your institution as to our methodologies, but interested in solid dialogues and in your experience in the field of innovation of traditional adult education and empowerment.

The energy and resources to build this network is not only resulting from the Break Down or Break Out project, but from a line of similar projects in which our partners have been, are or will be engaged in, such as the Directing Life Change project www.directlifechange.eu , the Gamification for long-term unemployed project www.playingforreal.eu and the NEET U project (recently funded by the Commission) – contact mathieu@pistes-solidaires.fr
We are convinced that new initiatives funded by the Commission will constantly feed into this network, make it still more capable and keep it vibrant and dynamic.

Obviously, your first question will be: yes, we would like to work with you, but who will pay for this collaboration?
An unavoidable and important question…
Do we have an answer?
No, not an answer to each concrete collaboration, but we have a general answer that might encourage you to start a dialogue with us.
The general answer goes like this:
We are inviting long-term unemployed to be creative, entrepreneurial and solve the problems they meet on their way; therefore we are obliged to do the same

Therefore: in case of mutual interest in collaboration (which might be at very different levels, of course), we are prepared to find creative solutions based on shared costs and on support from the community (towards which we would be happy to guide you)

Based on the form of collaboration we wish to establish, we will take a look at the resources needed and find the proper solutions: finding the solutions is therefore an important part of the dialogue!

When working with long-term unemployed, we need to change our traditional mindsets ourselves!
If not we will be of little support to the unemployed…
When saying:

  • Traditional adult education is not enough
  • Even traditional personal empowerment is not enough

We need to be the first ones to develop flexible mindsets, inviting new ways of thinking and systematically questioning “business as usual”, including outdated public mentality.
We need to use those flexible mindsets not only when working with the unemployed, but also when funding solutions to how to collaborate with you and with adult education players across Europe.
The standard answer: we do not have the budget for such things, will not work.

It’s not good enough; it does not move anything.

Working with us can happen in very many ways, depending on your interests, our resources, interesting opportunities and, of course, the volume of the collaboration.
Such collaboration can vary from some online dialogues or virtual guidance to long-term collaboration and training on your location – and all the different forms between those extremes.

It will also vary who should be involved from the project.

When you contact us, we will find the most useful people from the project and engage them in the first dialogues.
The project and its partners have no standard terms and conditions as one size does not at all fit all in this kind of work.
We will flexibly negotiate the forms of collaboration and terms and conditions along the first dialogues.

You might wish to take a look at the resources we offer for such collaboration, and you might wish to take a moment to see if this is for you, and if we are working in a direction useful to your ideas and to your work.
The resources are fully available and open, and are briefly introduced in What we offer and what we can do

The easiest way to get in touch is to send a simple mail to the project coordinator, Keith Chandler based in Chester in the UK on k.chandler@chester.ac.uk and give us a few words about your interests, need and ideas.