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Natives and immigrants enrolled in Spanish intermediate vocational education and training: a comparative study

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This article looks at the differences and similarities between Spanish-born and immigrant students enrolled in the first year of Intermediate Vocational Education (IVET) programmes in Spain. We analyse and compare their sociodemographic and academic backgrounds, their reasons for choosing IVET courses, their dropout intention and, finally, their commitment and engagement with the IVET programs in which they are enrolled. Data were obtained from a sample of 1,119 students, aged between 16 and 18, enrolled in first year IVET courses in the regions of Balearic Islands and Catalonia (Spain). The sampling strategy adopted was convenience sampling. Among other conclusions, the results point to students with an immigrant background having greater financial difficulties and a higher likelihood of having unemployed parents when compared with native ones. Also, immigrant students, mostly chose the IVET programmes in which they are enrolled to improve their employability. Finally, students from an immigrant background reported poorer relationships with teachers and classmates, as well as lower family availability/assistance and higher levels of school/academic indiscipline. These results point out the need for ongoing implementation of interventions aimed at providing greater assistance to immigrant students both in school guidance and more support by their teachers. This intervention is vital in order to increase the family support in the educational pathways of the immigrant students.

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Natives and immigrants enrolled in Spanish intermediate vocational education and training: a comparative study