02 SES 14 A, Symposium: Promoting Personal Development, Cultural Education And Freedom Of Choice In Vocational And Social Re-Integration Processes For Young People
Discussant: Manuel Ribeiro
In all EU countries and within EU policies much emphasis is put on the reduction of youth unemployment and the improvement of school to work transition for many years now. However, national concepts, approaches, contents as well as practices differ from each other to a high degree which is due to the specific national situations, their historical and theoretical development and the question which societal subsystem – education or VET, welfare, work, employment (HEIDEGGER 2004; POHL&WALTHER 2006, NIEMEYER 2007;) – is shaping politics and practices of social and vocational re-integration of young workers. This multitude of approaches is seen as a resource for rather than as a restraint on improving the respective initiatives through intensifying the learning from each other. Therefore research results, including the specific methodologies, concerning the various best practice examples of partners from different countries including the theoretical foundations are to be juxtaposed. It will be analysed to which degree the idea of comprehensiveness can deliver a criterion for comparing and mutually bringing forward the varying methods. On this basis the aim of the symposium is to further explore the possibilities of realising a comprehensive approach the value of which is suggested by the research results. This will be done through building especially on the results of the former Leonardo projects “Re-Integration” and “Relais 2”, and on secondary analyses of best practice examples from the participating countries which are carried through in the Leonardo TOI project “CoProIntegration”. A comprehensive approach, in the sense of inclusiveness, comprises besides the rather well integrated young people the socially disadvantaged, including particularly the abandoned, but in addition also the disabled ones. The approach implies to analyse, based on the results of various projects specific for these target groups, represented in the symposium, the situation of all groups directly involved in social and vocational re-integration processes from a holistic perspective. For the trainees it means to balance personal development, social integration and advancement of vocational skills, particularly (“European”) key skills where the encouragement of entrepreneurship is particularly important because many of the trainees will rather have the opportunity to open up their own small business than working in a bigger company. For trainers the balance between further professionalization of their work and own personal development should be enhanced since they often struggle with the very diverse challenges posed by the different young people in an inclusive setting. As has been shown in former Leonardo projects a successful way for them to alleviate their sometimes very difficult situation is a process of self-evaluation and self reflection which comprises professional demands and individual fears and wishes, including their often rather insecure working situation. This should assist them in promoting themselves and the trainees in keeping the balance between employability and self-emancipation. As a summary of many varying research results a new idea for furthering school to work transition is presented, a model of providing cultural education and freedom of choice as a means of enhancing the comprehensive social and vocational re-integration for young people (Heidegger, Petersen 2011).
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