Sport and Employability

This study, commissioned by the European Union, investigated sport’s contribution to the employability of young people in Europe. It focussed on so-called NEETs (young people Not in Education, Employment nor Training) and how sport can be used as a tool to increase the chances for this group to find employment in the general labour market. Ten specific ‘sport-for-employability’ organisations were selected in 8 different EU Member States. Through document analysis and on-site visits with interviews and observations data were collected.

The study was aimed to address the following research question:

What are the key components needed to effectively produce outcomes regarding the employability in sport-based interventions for young people?”

Additionally, the following questions were formulated as well:

  • What policy measures/recommendations, legislations and initiatives can currently be found in the EU Member States and what are good practices in use?
  • What evidence is there to demonstrate that practices are effective?
  • What recommendations and plans for strategic actions can be addressed to different stakeholders?

A generic ‘programme theory’ for optimal ‘sport-for-employability’ programmes was developed which identified the key components, mechanisms, relationships and a presumed sequence of causes and effects. Insights from this study also provided the basis for a number of policy recommendations.

  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Prof. Dr. Marc Theeboom, Prof. Dr. Fred Coalter and Dr. Jasper Truyens)
  • Streetfootballworld (Niklas Soendgen and Elvira Gonzalez-Valles),
  • ENGSO Youth (Nevena Vukasinovic)
  • VDAB (Stijn Vanden Berghe)