In Luxembourg, Guidance and professional initiation courses (COIP) include a traineeship of one week or a longer period in a company, and practical classes provided by teachers in a workshop format.
Students (15 to 18 years old) lacking the necessary skills to find a job or the entry prerequisites for technical Vocational Education and Training. The measure also targets early school leavers, offering them the possibly to reintegrate into the technical VET system.
Education level and sector
Upper secondary level, Vocational Education and Training (school-based)
Type of policy/initiative
Level of implementation / Scope
National level implementation, wide range of courses
Stage of implementation
Mainstream since school year 2007-2008
Aims of policy/initiative
Act as a bridging measure into technical Vocational Education and Training (VET) or into the labour market
Features and types of activities implemented
COIP/IPDM are not qualifying courses, rather they aim to equip young people with the necessary skills and competencies they need to integrate into a VET programme or the labour market. The courses have two main components:
- A practical and professional component - traineeship of one week or longer in an enterprise, and practical classes provided by teachers in a workshop format. By law, students must follow 3 workshops per year.
- A component of general and social aspects - general education units/theoretical classes, and social and civic education.
The pedagogy is primarily based on individual training plans and personalised support, and places emphasis on psychological and social assistance.
Evaluation of the measure
An evaluation was conducted between 2007 and 2011 and published in 2012. The evaluation was based on a multimethod approach, including data gathered from previous evaluations, questionnaires circulated among stakeholders, visits to institutions, and interviews with employees and teachers. Statistical data was also provided by the National Ministry of Education.
Evidence of effectiveness of the measure
The monitoring of students’ activities 3 months after the completion of their COIP/IPDM course in June shows that by September, around 28% had taken up an apprenticeship, 22% had integrated into a lower secondary VET programme, around 4% had found a job, and 3% had continued their education abroad.
The following success factors are based on the testimonies of participants in the measure interviewed for the Cedefop study:
- Personalised support provided to students and cooperation among school staff to deliver quality support: teachers and educators provide personal guidance and support to their students, fostering trust. This allows for personal or school problems to be addressed at an early stage.
- Evaluation is an integral part of the students’ education and training: ongoing evaluation through diverse modules allows to assess students’ progress and detect, from an early stage, any difficulties that they may be experiencing. It informs students, teachers and legal representatives of the students on their progress.
- Partnerships with other actors: COIP/IPDM classes are embedded within a network of actors. These actors include, among others, associations and local private enterprises. Teachers are the main node of this network and refer students to the most appropriate services.
- Building students’ self-confidence through sociocultural, sporting and artistic activities: many schools organise sociocultural, sporting and artistic activities (e.g. an excursion to the theatre) for COIP/IPDM students. These types of activities reinforce the self-confidence and aptitudes of these young people.
- Traineeships: traineeships are the first time that students spend a prolonged period of time in a professional environment, allowing them to develop important skills for the world of work.
- Student financial support: financial support to students pertaining to the minimum income of the students’ households. In 2010-11, 44% of all students were recipients of financial support.