Project Overview

Understanding My Journey: Supporting Soft Skills Development for Young People (UMJ) is a new Erasmus + Project being led by Ballymun Job Centre along with European Partners OAZA (Croatia), STRIM (Poland), Dianova (Spain), Anespo (Portugal), Action Synergy (Greece), IFOA (Italy) and REY Europe (UK).

UMJ aims to support young people, and their practitioners, to ensure that the interventions they take part in, including mobility, training, volunteering and entrepreneurship programmes, have maximum impact in terms of soft skills development (SSD) that can be quantified and built upon. It is hoped that producing tools using an IT base will make them easily accessible to Young People.

The Project consortium work with young people on initiatives that aim to increase employability and develop soft skills (SS). We have observed, and participants have reported, significant change in terms of personal development but they are less able to break down and articulate how they have changed, using practical & tangible examples of SSD.

The project partners offer opportunities to young people to develop their skills and equip themselves for employment in the future, through a range of interventions. We are seeking to support the transition period and equip young people with skills for employability such as work ethic, attitude, communication skills, emotional intelligence & other personal attributes crucial for career success.

We will develop tools to support young people to reflect on the SS they have developed through participation in a specific activity. We are a diverse partnership, in our organisational profiles & target groups, which will facilitate powerful collaboration for tools to be developed and applied in different contexts.


• Improve young people’s engagement with & ownership of SSD

• Increase young people’s employability

• Raise awareness of the importance of SSD To achieve this we will:

• Identify the most important & relevant SS for young people, in terms of personal & professional development

• Gain an insight into existing good practice in supporting young people to recognise achievement in relation to SS

• Develop a toolkit to guide young people to assess their achievements in terms of SSD and support them to recognise & articulate progress

• Provide guidance for practitioners working with young people to support them to integrate the toolkit and ensure that young people are empowered to take ownership of their SSD

UMJ will produce 4 intellectual outputs:

IO 1: Interpreting soft skills: research to identify the most important and relevant soft skills for young people, in terms of their personal and professional development.

IO 2: Understanding My Journey Toolkit

IO 3: Understanding My Journey’ App

IO 4: Understanding My Journey’ Practitioner’s Guide

We recently attended the kick off meeting for the project in London, hosted by our project partner, REY Europe, on February 12th & 13th. It was a great opportunity to meet our partners and discuss our plans for the project.

The two day meeting focused on reviewing the tasks for the project lifetime and getting to grips with a common understanding of Soft Skills Development.

All partners are now working on the first stage of the project which is to compile national reports on understandings of soft skills by young people and their practitioners.

The results of this research will be presented at a roundtable event in Dublin in September 2018.

For more details on the project please contact Ruth Baker, EU Project Coordinator on