CREUS – Developing and nurturing the vocational transversal skills of disadvantaged young people through creative, non-formal learning in unconventional spaces Erasmus Project

General information for the CREUS – Developing and nurturing the vocational transversal skills of disadvantaged young people through creative, non-formal learning in unconventional spaces Erasmus Project

CREUS – Developing and nurturing the vocational transversal skills of disadvantaged young people through creative, non-formal learning in unconventional spaces Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

CREUS – Developing and nurturing the vocational transversal skills of disadvantaged young people through creative, non-formal learning in unconventional spaces

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Access for disadvantaged; Early School Leaving / combating failure in education; Creativity and culture

Project Summary

The CREUS project developed and applied new, innovative ways for young people who are disadvantaged and NEET to develop transferable and transversal key competences for the labour market by engagement through non-formal, cultural and artistic learning. Led by Collage Arts (UK), CREUS was delivered by seven Vocational Education and Training partners in five European countries, UK, The Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus and Italy.

The project aimed to improve the prospects for young people (aged 16-24) who have been alienated by traditional educational experiences and/or as a result are at risk of severe social and economic exclusion. One of the project’s main innovations was to focus on learning located in “unconventional places”. These included creative industries workspaces in London, refugee centres in Cyprus, a market forum in Greece, a housing project, shopping centre and theatre in Rome, and an Academy for Community and Talent in the Netherlands which works with young people who have dropped out of conventional education.

CREUS was implemented in a way that reflected a range of research studies that call for innovation in the design of post-statutory, employment-related VET through transversal skills.

The CREUS methodology had at its heart the deployment of peer mentors in motivating disaffected young people and bringing them back into learning. In the context of CREUS, peer mentoring is defined as learning from individuals with similar backgrounds, enhanced experiences, through cooperation and shared practices. CREUS explored how space is important as a factor potentiating the interaction and exchange of knowledge between mentor and mentee, between peers.

The CREUS partnership engaged 138 disadvantaged young and unemployed people aged 16-24 directly in the project activities. Key to the process were 25 young peer mentors who worked with the Creus methodology to develop the young people’s motivation, confidence and transversal skills.

The key activities of CREUS were:
1) testing pilot activities;
2) writing case studies and recommendations;
3) developing a modular learning curriculum;
4) building recognition tools for peer mentors;
5) producing an e-Learning guide for young peer mentors.

The professional development of the 25 participating peer mentors was highly impactful, both on informing the content of the project’s IOs but also in terms of the transformative experiences in mobilities and transnational exchange of practice. The peer mentors participated in a peer to peer mentoring process which enabled them to reflect upon their practice and equipped them to support learners with new and improved processes for recognition of transferable competences, providing a rich vein of experience and content for the intellectual outputs.

Evaluation, both internal and external, demonstrated the positive impact for the young learners from participating in creative learning outside a formal educational setting. By delivering the pilots in refugee centres in Cyprus, a peripheral housing project suffering from failed infrastructure on the outskirts of Rome and in urban settings where unemployed young people gather in Larissa, London and Arnhem, CREUS was able to reach marginalised and isolated groups who would not have attended vocational training in a conventional setting, and to test and demonstrate new creative approaches to engaging young people in vocational learning. Spaces used in the project ranged from disused warehouses to museums and galleries to a community music festival within a housing estate or at an immersive theatre event in a shopping mall, or an arts session within a young people’s hostel or refugee centre. Mentors attested to the impact of CREUS upon inclusion of vulnerable young people, which arose from the powerful combination of non-formal education in unconventional spaces, cultural awareness, exchange and creative learning.

Finally, the European perspective in CREUS has also enabled participating VET organisations to innovate in their training. Through the process of developing the CREUS modular curriculum they have deepened their understanding of the potential of non-formal learning. As a result they have been able to strengthen learning resources and the skills and experience of staff in this area. The transnational mobilities, exchange and transfer of experience have had a particular impact.

At the end of the project there was a shared conclusion that there is further potential for empowerment of the young people in co-design and co-creation activities through which they take more of a lead in shaping the provision to effectively fit their needs, and that this is an area that the partners will seek to build upon.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 251902,23 Eur

Project Coordinator

COLLAGE ARTS & Country: UK

Project Partners

  • HFC HOPE FOR CHILDREN CRC POLICY CENTER
  • ASSOCIAZIONE CULTURALE MULAB
  • DIMITRA EKPAIDITIKI SIMVILITIKI AE
  • Stichting Kunstbedrijf Arnhem
  • E.RI.FO.-ENTE DI RICERCA E FORMAZIONE
  • RINOVA LIMITED