European project to reduce early school leaving

Comprehensive Manual for VET teachers to improve students’ career management skills

A new international project kicks off this month with the aim of reducing the share of early school leavers. Participants are project leader Raabe Klett Educational Consulting and Publisher (Budapest, HU) and its four partners: Budapest University of Technology, Manfred Weiss VET School (Budapest, HU), Raahe VET Institute (FI) and Selfinvest, a Bulgarian training company and guidance centre for students.

The 5-member group undertook to compose a comprehensive Career Management Manual for VET teachers.

On the basis of the  Manual, 10 teachers from two partner schools take part in a 5-day training in Sofia, BG. After this, trained teachers conduct career guidance pilot sessions in their respective institutes for altogether 100 students. The experiences of the pilot sessions – e. g. the practical use of Manual – will be presented and discussed on two multiplier events, on a workshop in Sofia, BG and on an international conference in Budapest, HU.

Besides, participants provide recommendations for policy makers in the member states and on European level on the basis of experiences collected during the 18 month of the project.

Early school leaving can be explained by a number of reasons. Uncovering and understanding these is a must to take the right measures in order to alleviate the problem. One of the main targets of the European Union is to reduce the average share of early school leavers under 10 percent by 2020.

Currently, VET focuses predominantly on developing competences for a specific profession and is not offering enough guidance for learners to yield the so called horizontal skills that increase adaptability to different occupational settings. Guidance services at VET schools are seen as the bridge between current education offer and business demand, stimulating students to reflect on the transversal competences for successful career development, setting long-term goals and undertaking structured and well thought actions in reaching these goals.

In Hungary, over a quarter of vocational secondary students and over a third of vocational training students indicate that they would choose a different occupation, if they could start again. It is therefore important for career guidance and placement services to be available towards the end of courses, to help students to review their career plans and to find jobs that meet their interests and goals. Such services need also to be available earlier in courses for any students that are thinking of, or at risk of, dropping out.

CARMA project has been funded with the support of the European Union, under its programme for education, training, youth and sport Erasmus+ action Strategic Partnerships in Vocational Education and Training. For more information please visit carma.hu website.

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