Archive of European Projects

Extended Choices for Young People in VET
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

N. Ireland has high numbers of Young People (YP) who leave school with no /few qualifications; these YP often drop out of education & training and are described as being NEET. (Not in Employment, Education or Training) They often have fewer opportunities & many have complex barriers that prevent them engaging with mainstream vocational education and training. In 2010 GEMS NI began to research & develop ideas to improve pathways to vocational educational and training for NEET YP. This wasn’t about creating new VET programmes or delivery infrastructure, but creating the right conditions to make VET more attractive & accessible to YP who need additional support and a flexible menu of learning, life, leisure and work opportunities. GEMS NI developed the Co-Ment project - a flexible model which through one-to-one mentoring support assists a YP to develop their personal action plan around 4 ‘Zones’ Learning, Life, Leisure and Work with the young person banking time through activities in each Zone, supported by a personal mentor and an innovation resource to support their goals. Co-Ment is managed via an IPad ‘app’ with the mentor and YP completing action plan, reviews and Zone activities. Key to the model design is collaborative working between the range of organisations and agencies that need to share knowledge and resources to support a YP on their learning pathway with the YP’s personal Mentor helping them to navigate their learning journey. The project, delivered by GEMS NI since 2012, has been highly successful in supporting disadvantaged & marginalized YP to engage in VET; improving their personal capacity for learning & work resulting in positive destinations - return to education, engagement in mainstream VET programmes and employment. GEMS NI wanted to share the Co-Ment model, on a European platform. The project aims to develop, transfer & implement the innovative Co-Ment model (designed by GEMS NI in 2010), in Italy, Netherlands, Austria & Ireland, customised to the needs of the partner country, to improve VET outcomes & lifelong learning pathways for NEET YP. The EC-YP in VET partnership combines the experience & expertise of organisations committed to working together to develop attractive & inclusive VET for disadvantaged &marginalized YP: GEMS NI UK (Co-ordinator);Time Associates UK; Antares, Italy; Edumark, Netherlands Die Querdenker, Austria; Ballymun Job Centre, Ireland; The project has 2 direct target groups 1: 20 VET trainers/mentors who have a specialism and practical experience of delivering dedicated mentoring and careers advice to YP who are NEET 2: 60 YP who are not in education, training or employment and are recognised as amongst the hardest to reach, hardest to help In addition, 60 young NEET and at least 12 VET trainers will participate in the YP Forum and EC-YP Advisory Group respectively contributing to the product design, evaluation and project dissemination. EC-YP will be delivered through 8 work packages (WP), 3 core WP (Management, Quality and Evaluation and Dissemination and Exploitation) and five integrated product development WP (Needs Analysis, Product and App Development, Training of Mentors, and Pilot Testing) Each work package has an allocated partner lead mapped to skills and experience and all partner roles and responsibilities within a defined budget and time-frame. DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES • Project Management Structures (EC-YP Advisory Group, Quarterly Reporting, Basecamp, Dropbox, 8 transnational meetings, bi-monthly SKYPE meetings, & monthly partner contact • Quality Management and Evaluation Strategy and Plan (Quarterly Internal Monitoring reporting, bespoke methodologies mapped to project stages, YP Forum) • Dissemination Strategy & live plan, European, National, Regional and Local / 4 European multiplier events • Baseline Auditing and Needs Analysis • Product Development – collaborative mentoring model, app & web-based platform • Training for Mentors programme • 15 month Pilot Testing phase SUMMARY RESULTS & IMPACT A Quality Assured EC-YP Training for Mentors package, Collaborative Mentoring Model, App & web-based communications platform for use in partner countries UK, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands & Austria. A tried & tested approach which creates meaningful VET pathways for YP which creates meaningful VET pathways for NEET YP who experience multiple & complex barriers. POTENTIAL LONGER-TERM BENEFITS EC-YP in VET offers an innovative approach & model which creates meaningful VET pathways for NEET YP in Europe who experience multiple & complex barriers to engagement in Vocational Education and Training .There is European Open Source Access to the EC-YP model and IPad application available in English, German, Dutch & Italian with translation of the model teaching/learning resources in English, German, Dutch & Italian, Spanish, Danish and Swedish languages .EC-YP in VET contributes to attractive, inclusive & quality-assured VET at European level.
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