Researchers from the University of Tartu and a group of young people from Tallinn met for a storytelling workshop on Tuesday 20th September 2022.

Young people helped researchers to validate our research results from recent interviews by sharing their experiences and expectations.

I was pushed down the stairs at school because I was afraid of heights," we heard one young person say. "Oh, it's normal," replied some other youngsters from the group. "At school, no one paid attention to the fact that I had a special need. The demands were the same for everyone, and the busy schedule of tests meant a high level of stress for me. Further education was unthinkable," says another. Parents want to support their children, but they often do not know how. It also happens that with incompetent advice, a young person is deprived of faith in his own abilities and vocation.

About a dozen young people from Tallinn, whose educational path has been left incomplete, discussed young people’s educational, labour market and housing market prospects. Despite the difficult experiences, young people clearly understand that continuing their education is important in order to find a job that suits them and enables them to live separately from their parents, to “live their own lives”“I would like to leave home, I would like privacy,” say many. In order to support their career choices, young people are ready to listen to external advice in addition to family and friends. However, more counsellors are needed, and they should be closer to the young person in need of help – in places where the young person are accustomed and comfortable to go, for example, youth centres or other places close to home.

Thank you to the workshop participants!