från utbildning till yrke för nyanlända elever
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2016
Österänggymnasiet in Kristianstad, Sweden offers both vocational as pre-university high school education. In addition all pupils who attend an introduction program (IM) in the municipality go to school at Österänggymnasiet. At John Landenberger Schule (JLS) in Germany a one-year course called VAB (preparatory year for work / profession) is offered to students. The staff educates young people with study difficulties to prepare them for a vocational training. In various ways both schools are working with students with migration background who may have job-specific skills but lack of language skills.
According to statistics from the National Agency of School in Sweden immigrant students do not finish high school with general admission to the same extent as students with a Swedish background (43% compared with 68%). The proportion of students who drop out of high school during their first year is 19% among those with foreign background, compared with 4.4% among students with a Swedish background. At Österänggymnasiet we can see that students from IM with foreign background do not apply for some of the vocational high school educations. The past three years none of these students have applied or studied at the voca-tional education called restaurant and viands.
Based on these figures, we have considered what the school can do to promote that students increasingly apply and study at a vocational education that they actually have the skills to finish with a general admission and the possibility to be employed. At both schools some adjustments have been made to meet the evolving needs of immigrant students. The question is if it is possible to make general adjustments in the organization and arrangement of the vocational education to meet this group's abilities and needs. Such adjustments could lead to immigrant students seeking a bigger variety of vocational training and at the same time reduce dropout rates.
Both schools do have the aim to guide immigrant students though a vocational training. The immigrant students at both schools have in common that they are aged 15 to 19 years, with lack of schooling in their home country, experiences of war and of being refugees, with brief stay in the new country and therefore lack of language skills and lack of knowledge of educational opportunities. The purpose of an exchange between staff from both schools is to compare the conditions and needs seen in this group of students and to have space for reflection on the organization and methodology in its own operations to meet these needs. The exchange will hopefully culminate in new knowledge and alternative methods. The overall aim is that linguistic and cultural differences should not be an obstacle but an asset for students attending a vocational training.
- Outline of immigrant students conditions and needs to cope with a vocational training
- Good practices for validating immigrant student's skills and inform and motivate them for vocational education.
- Compilation and reflection on each school's methods to meet these students' abilities and needs.
- In-house experience and reflection on transnational communication. The staff's own experiences during the exchange whereas they will be unable to communicate in mother tongue will hopefully lead to deeper understanding of immigrant students' situation (where all knowledge acquisition takes place in a for them foreign language).
- Finding out job site requirements to give these students on-the-job training or employment after finished vocational education.
In autumn 2015 staff from Österänggymnasiet will visit JLS in Germany. This exchange will have as its aim to outline immigrant students’ conditions and needs to cope with a vocational training. The outline will be drawn by comparing a similar group of students in two different organizations and countries. We assume this comparison will make it easier to answer the question what conditions and needs are created by external circumstances and what are specific and related to the target group. Another theme of this exchange will be compilation of methods to meet the target group's needs and conditions. A survey of the job-specific requirements in each country will also be an aim of the exchange why visits and interviews at workplaces will take place.
We hope that the exchange will lead to an outline of successful methods in vocational training of immigrant students. Integration and evaluation of this new knowledge might be the aim of a second application. Hopefully future exchanges will take place of students with migration background between the two countries, not only between the schools but as well between workplaces.
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