PREDIS – Prevention of dropout from VET through inclusive strategies of migrants and Roma is a project funded by the European Commission and coordinated by professor Dirk Lange at the Leibniz University of Hannover. The project aims to strengthen the key competencies of VET trainers, teachers and other educationists in order to enable them better support disadvantaged youth of a migration and Roma background in the endeavour to make a more successful transition to Vocational Education and Employment.
Vocational education, language and employment are key to societal participation and integration. Nevertheless, more than 6 million young people between 18 and 24 in the EU do not have a finished vocational education or another secondary school. This is not only taking place in the context of an increasingly diverse and aging society but also in a context challenged by impending labour shortages. It is essential for teachers and VET trainers to possess the necessary competencies for meeting the evolving societal needs as they relate to future oriented teaching and training demands. Not only do these youth face major problems on the labour market, but their exclusion also profoundly hampers the social and economic development of a land. The ET 2020 strategy now aims at reducing the dropout rate to below 10% by 2020. Migrants and minority Roma are particularly vulnerable and are disproportionately affected by dropout rates. In addition, they face discrimination at the transition from general school to VET.
PREDIS works from the double recognition of the untapped potential of migrant youth and the social costs of discrimination. We understand that exclusion is un-sustainable from a humanistic and economic perspective. Beyond empathy, it is necessary for inclusive societies to recognize, value and strengthen migrants’ potential for self-development as well as their societal and economic contributions to the advancement of the European countries. In order for Europe to have a sustainable future, the self-undermining direction must be changed and replaced through a new approach that creates a win-win situation for migrants and European countries.
Contributing to these goals, PREDIS partners with a consortium of five European partner countries from the fields of vocational and general education to share expertise and experience and find innovative approaches which will reduce the high dropout rates of disadvantaged migrants and Roma. Building on an empirical needs analysis and a review of international practices that have worked, PREDIS has started designing a Toolkit and a Blended-Learning Course (BLC) for vocational education trainers, teachers and other multipliers. The toolkit and the BLC which will be continuously tested and modified consists of three steps: Background information about structural parameters of Roma and migrants; pedagogical knowledge and innovative methods; empowerment of migrants/Roma. The end products will be published in a handbook which will be translated into English, German, Italian, Romanian and Slovenian.
The needs analysis which forms the basis for developing contents of the modules was completed by all partner countries in August, 2016. All findings were compiled into the Needs Analysis Report in September 2016. The report consists of a theoretical and empirical part. The theoretical part discusses the national context of dropout in the partner countries including policy frameworks, systemic issues, overview of statistics, current challenges and good practices. Amongst other things, the empirical part elaborates on the problematic and promising counter strategies as perceived and articulated in survey questionnaires conducted with the various national VET trainers, experts and the affected migrant and Roma VET trainees. Crosscutting issues were identified by the consortium, conceptual aspects were illuminated and a systematized theoretical review of the problematic was also undertaken to supplement empirical results and facilitate the development of comprehensive strategies.
Second Partner Meeting in Slovenia
PREDIS’s second partner meeting took place at the Scientific Research Centre, (ZRC SAZU, novi trg 2) in Ljubljana, Slovenia during November 15-16, 2016. The main focus was on the contents of the Blended Learning Course and the Toolkit. The meeting provided an opportunity for dialogue amongst partners. Partners discussed the main results of their needs analysis and drew out the implications for the Blended Learning Course.
Accordingly, draft modules were presented, comprehensively discussed, evaluated and modified for the following content areas:
- Strengthening the intercultural competencies of teachers and vocational educationists.
- Empowerment strategies for migrant trainees to strengthen their key competencies.
- New approaches for successful labour market integration.
- New methods for a better transition into VET.
This project has been funded with the support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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Contact the PREDIS Team:
c/o Dr. Barongo-Muweke
Leibniz University of Hannover
Institute of Didactic of Democracy
Institute of Political Science
Leibniz Universität Hannover