05 SES 13, Urban Education & Children and Youth at Risk
Parallel Paper Session
The study presented is part of a co-evaluation project between a social enterprise centre located in the city of Palma (Balearic Islands, Spain) that specialises in training and job placement for young people with low educational levels (Jovent Occupational Training Centre) and the University of the Balearic Islands’ "Education and Citizenship" research group.
Spain is one of the EU countries with the worst indicators in the fields of education, training and jobs for young people. And within Spain, the Balearic Islands is one of the lowest-ranking regions in terms of education and training, at a historic time in which post-compulsory secondary education is considered the minimum level for successful entry into the job market and the basis for further participation in continuing education (OCDE 2005, 2010). The European Union considers reducing early school leaving rates a priority among its economic and social development policies (Commission of the European Communities, 2002, European Commission, 2011). Spain has an early dropout rate of 31.9% and the rate in the Balearics is 43.2%, compared with 14.9% for the EU as a whole (Basque Institute for Educational Research and Evaluation, 2010).
Within the group of early school dropouts, those who have not earned the diploma corresponding to the first stage of secondary education (ISCED 2) are the most disadvantaged. The difficulties these young people encounter in going back to school (Fernández Enguita, Mena, Riviere, 2010, Garcia, Casal, Merino, Sanchez, en prensa) and the relationship between educational and social exclusion have been clearly documented (Sen, 1992, 1999, 2000, Silver, Miller, 2003; Albert, Davia, 2011).
The integral itinerary of guidance, training and job placement carried out by CFO Jovent addresses this population, particularly young people from 16 to 25 years of age who have not obtained a first-stage secondary school diploma and present various vulnerabilities.
The study presented here represents a moment of maturity in joint work (begun in 1999) and attempts to answer the following questions: Why do young people who have dropped out of the education system voluntarily participate in the itinerary? Why do some of them complete the full itinerary and why do others leave? What are their personal and professional pathways like after leaving the itinerary? What strategies and actions could be undertaken to improve the participation of women and the immigrant population? The answers to these questions would improve the itinerary’s adjustment to young people’s needs and create and formalise useful and transferable skills to improve socio-educational work and public policies.
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