DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT - EXTENDED
Start date: Sep 1, 2014,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
Due to the economic crisis it is often very difficult for young students to find a good internship, and this is even more difficult for vulnerable students. However, internships are essential for all VET-students and the effects of the impossibility to find a good internship are disastrous. If the student fails to find an internship, or doesn't successfully complete it, it not only hinders his VET-development and leads to higher rates of early school leaving so-called “drop-outs”, but also stops their transition to the labor market. A successful internship is therefore of great importance. In addition, unemployed (vulnerable) youngster even have more difficulty in finding their way to the labor market. Correct guidance and counseling of both youngsters and corporates is necessary to create a positive stance for reintegration.
The current instruments and existing approaches in guiding and supporting (vulnerable) VET-students and unemployed young people in the various countries are inadequate. Due to budget cuts in various countries, there are almost no resources left to develop instruments to support internships or reintegration programs. Neither on the side of the school, nor with employers. Therefore the knowledge level to support vulnerable people in an adequate, qualitive way is very poor. More instruments need to be developed and made available.
The actual available instruments focus mainly on one of the target groups (students or the school). So, there is a need to develop a coherent framework to support all parties involved.
The current approach for an internship is mainly supply-driven and focuses on placing the individual person and therefore does not lead to a structural demand on the employers side. Often school and work are seen as two different worlds, but this should start functioning more as one unit, because schools and employers need each other to prepare future employees for the labor market. Innovative programs as proposed in this project will promote the transition from school to work and support student, school and employer. Furthermore, the corporate world should be made aware that corporate social responsability requires inclusion of weaker social groups. A better knowledge of the principles of diversity management will certainly help in creating this awareness.
Transnational cooperation in the EU is necessary to exchange experiences, successes, failures and barriers and to find structural solutions for this shared problem. This is a more cost effective/efficient way of working in which new methods can be developed, tested and implemented transnationally. The goal is to create a European innovative infrastructure for (vulnerable) VET-students/young unemployed people and support them in getting the same chances/opportunities in the regular labor market.
The key objectives of the DME project are:
- Establish partnerships/network models between schools and employers;
- Improving job opportunities for (vulnerable) VET-students and unemployed young people, including more high quality internships for (vulnerable) young people;
- Improve the preparation of employers and support them to generate more internships with a good result;
- Develop a transnational framework/methodology (incl. tools, procedures, good practices, information and a manual) to support (vulnerable) students, schools and employers to create successful internships;
- Make the framework/methodology easy applicable and available for all target groups;
- Develop leadership and diversity management at the school staff to lead and guide (vulnerable) students during training;
- Develop diversity management (skills) of employers;
- The transfer of knowledge and adaptation of diversity management tools and methodologies;
- Deepening the importance of diversity management for HR on a larger scale;
- Reducing internship failure and early-school leaving/drop-out rate;
- Make internships more attractive to employers;
- Increase a more suitable and realistic image of (vulnerable) students.
The ultimate goal is to research whether diversity cells in each partner country based on the DME methodology can add value. These cells should be able to give permanent support and counsel to local employers/policy makers. This will ultimately result in abolishing the distance to the labor market for the target groups of this project.
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