VET teachers and trainers, youth workers

Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

STAY IN was funded by Leonardo da Vinci –Transfer of Innovation under the Lifelong Learning Programme, with activities planned in 8 different European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Turkey. The coordinator of the project was the Jugend am Werk Steiermark GmbH, one of the largest social services organisations in the Province of Styria in Austria.

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates

November 2013-15, no updates planned.

Purpose of the toolkit

Guidance on what works (to help improve the design of policies and practices)

The main aim of the STAY IN project was the provision of better support for teachers and trainers in the initial vocational education training (VET) sector in the participating countries and beyond, which is coherent with national and European policies against early school leaving.

Description of each of the tools

The training programme consists of 4 modules. The topics of the modules were chosen on the basis of a survey among practitioners in VET. The modules are briefly summarised here:

Module 1: Better STAY IN than drop out

Learning goals:

  • to reflect on causes and risk factors for young dropouts
  • to act preventively against dropout risks
  • to know cooperation partners and to involve them if needed
  • to generate information on frequent psycho-social questions/problems related to youth
  • to react adequately in case of psychological questions/problems

Module 2: Talk is silver, speech is golden

Learning goals:

  • to reflect on and apply communication as a core competency in work with disadvantaged youth
  • to know communication tools and to apply them in a variety of situations
  • to have a deescalating effect on young people in emotionally dense situations
  • to reflect on the professional “I” as a VET trainer
  • to know the principles of professional conversation and to apply them to single or group conversations with the target group

Module 3: Learning how to teach or teaching how to learn

Learning goals:

  • to reflect on teaching and learning methods and to apply these in the work with youths and young adults
  • to apply cooperative learning where required
  • to understand the concept of Peer Education professionally
  • to know learning types and their characteristics and to identify them in practice

Module 4: Rebelliously conservative or passionately traditional

Learning goals:

  • to reflect on their own social work in relation to its creativity
  • to create a creative atmosphere and to diminish impeding factors
  • to know about creativity techniques and to apply them adequately in practice

Type of indicators used in the identification of learners at risk of early leaving

Module 1 discusses the prevention of dropout events and reports the following indicators to identify learners at risk of early leaving:

  • low expectations on self-efficacy (learners at risk of early leaving often expect to fail and cannot enjoy/celebrate success)
  • absenteeism
  • indications of problems at home
  • indications of mobbing at work

Type of guidance given to users

Module 1 discusses measures which can help prevent dropout. These are:

  • Be someone the young person relates to (a personal relationship to the young person is crucial for the young person staying in the apprenticeship. A basis for this relationship should be a genuine interest in the young person at least for the duration of the work day, but ideally in his or her whole personality).
  • Increasing self-efficacy (VET teacher should support, promote and stimulate self-determination of young people).
  • High expectations (keep expectations high also for disadvantaged learners, while at the same time ensuring that they are realistic).
  • Clearly communicate consequences of dropout.
  • Clarity on rules and consistent procedures (these help young learners to regularly check and adjust their behaviour).
  • Determine persons responsible for dropout topic (as contact person for people at risk of early leaving but also staff, etc. concerned).
  • Document absence and unpunctuality.
  • Document learning results.
  • Teach learning methods (reduces stress when confronted with a large amount of material to be learned).
  • Establish tutoring programmes (helps to identify and promote ESLers strengths);
  • Include parents as cooperation partners.
  • Include previous school as cooperation partner (exchange of information and experiences).
  • Apply for support from social youth services.
  • Transfer to social housing groups (if parental household does not provide adequate environment)
  • Build a social environment.
  • Ensure a workplace free of mobbing.

The other three modules focus on providing VET teachers tools related to communication, teaching, and creativity in order to be able to implement these measures in practice.

Source of information of the different tools

Tools strongly based on academic literature.

Link/s to the toolkit and further information


STAY IN project