Early School Leavers: Drop-in Erasmus Project

General information for the Early School Leavers: Drop-in Erasmus Project

Early School Leavers: Drop-in Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Early School Leavers: Drop-in

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 youth

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Inclusion – equity; Labour market issues incl. career guidance / youth unemployment; New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses

Project Summary

Early school leaving (ESL) is often seen as the fault of young people. This is seen as a consequence of disengagement towards the formal education system, mistrust in the ability of education for securing future employment and negative learning experiences (e.g. see Ten Steps to Equity in Education, 2008). As a result, certain groups of young people remain without basic qualifications and with low skills, which significantly increases the likelihood of unemployment or precarious work, exacerbated by the effects of the economic recession. In turn, the absence of young people from the labour market is a significant detriment to socio-economic advancements, evidencing on one hand a deficit in youth-related policies and on the other hand ponderous youth civic participation.

4 out of the 5 countries participating in the proposed project demonstrate high rates in youth unemployment. According to Eurostat’s figures of 2015: GR-47.9%, CY-32.5%, IT-39.8% and RO-21.5% (the EU average is 20% and the UK rate 11.5%). This demonstrates the need to learn from each other. It also signals the need for non-formal and innovative ways of developing skills for youth to match modern labour market needs. For example, we know that non-formal education and training should be perceived “as a valid alternative to general academic education… enabling young people to become active in the labour market and… of equal value as more academic pathways towards employment” (Solidar Foundation, 2014). Especially for vulnerable populations, non-formal learning can offer these alternative opportunities; it can address skills shortages provide a fertile ground for learning and the transition to employment, as well as foster social inclusion (EC, Education & Training Monitor, 2013).

Therefore, there is a need to work transnationally to enhance the basic and transversal skills and competences of young people who have dropped out of the formal education system, (re)introducing them in informal learning, based on an innovative, tailor-made capacity-building model, with the aim to ultimately facilitate their socio-economic (re)integration and employability. Thus we proposed “Drop-in”. The project has been delivered through a strategic partnership including: The IARS International Institute (UK), KMOP (Greece), InEuropa (Italy), CARDET (Cyprus) and The Schottener Foundation Social Services (Romania).

DROP-IN targeted the horizontal priority “Open and innovative practices in a digital era” by developing and making available a modern, integrated, and holistic e-learning and networking platform. A platform tailor-made to the skills, capacities, earning, and development needs of young drop-outs and ESLs across Europe. One of the project’s innovative aspects was the use of game elements and the application of game mechanics in the development and application of the online learning to facilitate the learning process. Combined with the youth-led nature of the project as well as the accreditation that we achieved through YouthPass and CPD, this innovative aspect of the e-course made it more attractive, rewarding and engaging to young people, especially those who have been withdrawn early from the formal educational system and had shown very little or no interest in re-engaging with formal education. This idea came from our preparatory work with the IARS Youth Advisory Board, the involvement of which have been engaged in order to deliver a youth-led management and quality control of DROP-IN.

Furthermore, we know that education and training systems need to enable all learners to achieve their potential by understanding and embracing the diversity of their needs, regardless of socio-economic, cultural, educational or other differences. Therefore, DROP-IN targeted the Horizontal priority “Social Inclusion”, by targeting drop-outs/ESLs who are outside the formal structures of society often because of a combination of personal, educational, economic and social circumstances leading to a higher risk of being socio-economically excluded. This group has fewer opportunities of education and training which the project recuperated for, by developing a tailor-made programme providing for the validation of the acquired skills by the targeted young population, therefore paving the way for more inclusive opportunities in education, training and the labour market. The project also enhanced the quality and relevance of the learning offered through non-formal education and training by directly linking labour market demands to the needs and wishes of our target group.

Finally, as a youth-led project, DROP-IN addressed the Youth Sectoral priority “Promoting Empowerment” by introducing, piloting and implementing new, innovate and effective youth-led methodologies for enhancing the basic and transversal skills of the specific disadvantaged group of young drop-outs and ESLs, offering additionally a Youthpass and CPD certificates.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 142387 Eur

Project Coordinator

INDEPENDENT ACADEMIC RESEARCH STUDIES INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE & Country: UK

Project Partners

  • CENTRE FOR ADVANCEMENT OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY LTD-CARDET
  • INEUROPA SRL
  • KENTRO MERIMNAS OIKOGENEIAS KAI PAIDIOU
  • FUNDATIEI SCHOTTENER SERVICII SOCIALE