Act: Inspiration

Better Jobs and Better Future: What Cooperatives Can Do for Young People?

February 5, 2019

CECOP-CICOPA Europe has decided to give a voice directly to young people and those working with them. Here is the result! Three videos illustrating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities that cooperatives in industry and services provide to young people across EU.

Cooperatives are riding the wave of changes. They represent a valuable and secure employment and entrepreneurial option for young people. Moreover, they give young workers and entrepreneurs access to ownership and control over their own future. For excluded youth, cooperatives provide not only work inclusion but also sense of belonging and place where to be heard.

Social cooperative FAJNA SZTUKA, Poland:

The cooperative was established in 2012 in Warsaw to do film and music production, photography and animation. “We try to work on films and campaigns that talk about important topics, that promotes the activities of NGOs or associations for example. Something decent! Because it is more motivating, and one cannot constantly create ads about pads and tampons…”, said to us Kuba, one of the co-founder. “The cooperative gives us the opportunity to express ourselves. Each one of us has its own style and opinions. We can create a company that does not stifle our beliefs and allows us to develop further in the direction we want.”

Cooperative Le Relais, France:

Le Relais is located in a disadvantaged area characterized by high youth unemployment. It is a multistakeholder cooperative gathering workers, users and local authorities in its governance. But beyond being a cooperative, it is a citizen project. Its main objective is the training and work inclusion of young people and adults in difficult economic and social conditions. In 25 years, the cooperative has enabled 2,300 young people to achieve their professional integration by receiving training and a first experience in the catering sector.

Cooperative ERSE, Italy:

The cooperative was founded in Tuscany by a group of young environmental officers. “Our education and training started in university and continued afterwards while working. Each of us had gained a great deal of experience in the field, but because of a difficult economic context, none of those were long-term experiences. Then our trajectories met and we got together” explains Filippo. Why is ERSE a cooperative of independent workers? “Because it’s democratic, mutualist and people-focused. It aims at improving the working conditions of the members. A cooperative also entails a lot of responsibilities. At the end it comes down to running an enterprise and this represents for us an added value.”

Music: LoveFine from Fugue.

This video has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014-2020). For further information please consult:


Teaser photo credit: ERSEAmbiente website

Tags: co-operatives, new economy, young people