‘Varna tranSpirit’ project of European Future Foundation in partnership with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) will provide for boosting the links between young professionals in transport, and outline the parameters of their future in the sector. Within 'Varna - European Youth Capital2017', young members and sympathizers of ITF in Varna will host peers from Europe and the world between 11-16 August 2017, to deliver a conference and workshops on waterborne, air and inland transport; and discuss the trends and opportunities for young people's careers. Each one will produce guidelines for the necessary future steps at national, European and global level. They will be promoted through the social networks and the websites of the professional transport organizations. A video will also be produced. At the same time, they will take part with own initiatives in the celebrations of 12 August - the International Youth Day, and 15 August - the Day of Varna. The hosts from Varna will organize a sightseeing tour of the city, to help popularize it among their colleagues and involve them in next visits. The foreseen number of participants is 107, aged up to 35; at least 10% of them – guests from other countries.
What is the main thing that gives a city its spirit? It is young people. They open it to the world and make its name heard even in strange tongues and in remote corners of the globe. Young professionals are at the forefront of this process. This is especially true for transport workers. Often they are the first to create the impression of their city and their country. Varna knows the power of this kind of communication. Sailors and port workers, for example, have been spreading the name and image of Varna far away since ancient times. Today's united transport workers welcomed their colleagues from 112 countries in 2014, in Sofia at the 43rd Congress of the International Transport Workers' Federation (www.itfglobal.org) . The Youth Committee of the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (www. fttub.org) organized a number of significant initiatives, which continue to this day. These young people won their place and recognition on the European and world stage. Now, thanks to "Varna - European Youth Capital 2017", young people from Varna can also present their city. Within the framework of the Varna TranSpirit project; young people will discuss the future of their jobs and their perspectives; as well as the ways to improve the quality of transport services through knowledge, skills and motivation, to ensure employment and development. They will analyze the challenges and look for innovative social policies in the workplace, to support them and keep them within their sector, their city and their country. Transport is one of the most dynamically developing sectors, and the introduction of new technologies, automation and digitization pose new challenges for transport workers. Initial education and training are no longer sufficient to guarantee their professional future. But new skills in the professional field must go hand in hand with social innovations to give youth access to them. For example, the need for upgrading skills also requires skills to formulate and negotiate strategies for adequate consecutive training. Opportunities for work organization and reconciliation of work and personal life are also an important issue for young people. It is even more difficult for the transport sector due to non-standard working hours. At the same time, there are more possibilities for flexible schedules, and this is one of the decisive factors for female employment. The increased share of women in this traditionally "male" transport sector is an objective of the EC initiative and personally of Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc "Women in Transport" in which the FTTUB and young transport workers participate actively though the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) - the regional representative of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF).
Such answers to important questions for their future young transport workers will be looking for during a youth conference and a series of workshops for the different transport sectors - air, waterborne and inland, in the week of 11-16 August 2017. Representatives of these main types of transport in Varna will host the event. Young men and women from Varna will also present to their peers the beauty of their city, to make their guests wish to come back. They will also have the opportunity to join with their own initiatives in the celebration of 12 August - the International Youth Day, and 15 August - the Day of Varna, thus creating an emotional connection and making Varna a true European capital known and loved by young people in transport from the entire world.
The main objective of the project ‘Varna tranSpirit’ is to create an environment, and an opportunity, for young professionals in the transport sector to increase their capacity to generate ideas for social innovation and policies that will help make the sector more attractive; a platform for co-operation and exchange of methodological experience with their peers and colleagues within the European and International Transport Workers' Federations.
• One specific objective of the project is to link global social policies with innovative local application, in order to achieve better prospects for young people's promotion on the local labor market.
• Another specific objective is to discuss best practices from around the world, and create ideas for adaptive implementation, including on emerging professions and skills.
• To share Bulgarian good practices in social dialogue with an international audience - part of a sustainable community - as a means of improving the work environment and career opportunities in all major transport modes: waterborne, air or inland. A part of these practices are the innovative policies for gender equality in the workplace that Bulgaria boasts.
• To formulate guidelines for action at national, European and global level.
• To promote Varna as space for global youth events.