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Local Action for Youth (ALJ, Action locale pour jeunes)

Good practice

Description

The Luxembourgish Local Action for Youth can make direct contact to help early leavers from education and training thanks to the national register of pupils updated monthly by the Education Ministry.

Beneficiaries

Young people aged 15-25, with a focus on early school leavers and those at risk of ESL.

Countries

Type of policy/initiative

Prevention
Intervention
Compensation

Prevention/Proactive intervention/Compensation

Level of implementation / Scope

National level measure, regional level implementation (10 regional offices)

Stage of implementation

Pilot in 1984-1987. Mainstreamed since 1988.

Aims of policy/initiative

The measure seeks to combat early school leaving by encouraging students at risk of dropping out of school to enter the professional strands of Technical Vocational Education and Training. It also helps early school leavers to go back to school and monitors the phenomenon nationally.

Features and types of activities implemented

ALJ supports young people who transition from school to active life or go back to school. It focuses on 3 main areas:

  • Prevention and proactive intervention measures – one-day course to inform students on how to obtain apprenticeships and short ‘orientation’ traineeships in an enterprise.
  • Remedial measures: supporting ESLs - education and career guidance activities.
  • FOCUS: Discovery traineeships for early school leavers (introduced in 2010 and the focus of this fiche) - It aims at supporting early school leavers’ reintegration into the school system. It lasts 2-4 weeks and the ALJ collaborator has a coordinating and supporting role.

Resources

At present, there are 10 regional ALJ offices and 74 staff members (not full-time equivalent).

These 74 staff members comprise 14 full-time ALJ posts (social pedagogues – éducateurs gradués) working in the 10 regional ALJ offices and 60 ‘discharged teachers’ (professeur déchargés) working in 15 local secondary schools to support ALJ activities.

Evaluation of the measure

The possibility of a traineeship for early school leavers has been evaluated since its inception in 2010. The data gathered indicates the total number of traineeships, the sectors in which and when they were carried out and their length. The data shows what young people are doing in October, following the academic year during which they completed their traineeship(s).

Moreover, a 3-year monitoring activity has been carried out covering young people who completed their traineeships in 2010-11, to see what they were doing in 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14.

During school year 2014-15, the Script/MENJE[1] conducted a qualitative evaluation of the measures undertaken with students to facilitate the professional guidance, the integration into Vocational Education and Training and prevent early school leaving in the 9th class in the “régime préparatoire”. This evaluation included the school headmasters, the teachers through approx. 50 individual interviews, and the students via a questionnaire disseminated among them all.

[1] Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l´Innovation pédagogiques et technologiques/Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse (Service for the coordination of pedagogical and technological research and innovation/Ministry for national Education, childhoodand youth).

 

Evidence of effectiveness of the measure

Discovery traineeships can act as a stepping stone into an apprenticeship, and thus help young people reintegrate into the school system and complete their education and training.

Success factors

The following success factors are based on the testimonies of participants in the measure interviewed for the Cedefop study:

  1. Personalised guidance and support which fosters students’ autonomy and personal empowerment: students are supported and encouraged to take responsibility for their future career/education path (e.g. it is the students’ responsibility to find their traineeship and spontaneously contact employers).
  2. Quality traineeship: the ALJ collaborator can help students identify different professions in which they may want to carry out their traineeship, identify good employers and help secure a quality traineeship.
  3. Providing an opportunity for learning and increased employability through an evaluation form: the evaluation form, completed by employers at the end of the traineeships, allows the ALJ collaborator to identify the areas in which students need to improve. These data are valuable when adjusting students’ ‘personal progression plans’.
  4. ALJ acting as independent mediator with key stakeholders (school, family/young person, enterprises): placed outside the schooling system, the ALJ office offers a neutral space providing support and guidance. Its institutional independence allows it to establish links between actors and be viewed as an independent mediator, which is an important success factor in building the necessary trust and open communication between the ALJ collaborator and the trainee. Students need to feel supported and comfortable enough to spontaneously contact their ALJ collaborator, and learn from their feedback on the traineeship experience. 

Contact details for further information

Claudine Colbach, chargée de direction, Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse
(+352) 247-85906

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