Continuing Education and Training after 16: Transition Support Programmes between Compulsory Secondary Education and Vocational Education and Training - Palma, 13 & 14th December 2018
The transition between compulsory secondary education (ESO in Spain) and post-compulsory education implies processes of increasing complexity. In the context of a liquid (in the words of Bauman) and volatile society (in Innerarity terminology), the rise of this complexity comes hand in hand with its strategic relevance in the personal, social and economic facets. In this context, the level of upper secondary education (Intermediate Vocational Education and Training -IVET- or Advanced Secondary Education Qualification – Bachillerato in Spanish), is considered the minimum requirement to be able to access citizenship rights and, among them, to lifelong learning.
The characteristics of the offer of education and training pathways and their articulation with personal needs and aspirations, and with the socio-economic network, as well as the support and accompaniment in individual decision making and perseverance, determine the transitions between ESO and post-compulsory education, and the educational outcomes at this stage. Within these transitions, those that affect youngsters who do not obtain their graduation certificate in ESO (GESO), or that gain it with difficulties, as well as those affecting newcomers, without the knowledge of language or culture, are those that present a higher risk of leaving the studies before the start of compulsory secondary or during its course.
According to the results of the research on the pathways of the students of Basic VET (FPB in Spain) and Intermediate VET (FPGM in Spain) carried out in the framework of the project "Pathways leading to success in, or dropout from, vocational education and from training in the education system at levels 1 and 2" (Ref. EDU2013-42854-R), dropout from FPB and FPGM is often associated with an inadequate choice of studies. As before explained, transition processes have become very complex and a growing part of the young population needs additional support in terms of personal and professional guidance to make the transition successful. The analysis of the difficulties faced by young people when starting a VET course, also allows us to have a privileged approximation to the inadequacies of the current training offer and to the contradictory relationships between training and labour insertion.
Programmes to support the transition between compulsory secondary education and VET are, therefore, a function of preventing early leaving from education and training, or a support for returning to the studies. It is a type of programme that the study of Cedefop (2016) calls "VET bridging and preparatory programmes, including career exploration opportunities and study guarantees" whose objective is "to facilitate more supported, prepared and informed transitions by helping unqualified young people to upskill and become better prepared for VET... " (p.34). They are launched recognizing that "there are students who are not sufficiently qualified/skilled/prepared/motivated to VET (or the next stage of learning in general) and need additional time and support to explore study options, improve grades, gain work experience or gain new vocational, academic and life skills "(p.34).
In this context, this international workshop "Continuing Education and Training after 16: Transition Support Programmes between Compulsory Secondary Education and Vocational Education and Training" aims to promote reflection on the problems of the transitions between Compulsory Secondary Education and VET and on measures and strategies to improve the situation.
The objectives pursued are:
- To communicate the results of the project "Pathways leading to success in, or dropout from, vocational education and from training in the education system at levels 1 and 2" in relation to the problematic of the transitions between Compulsory Secondary Education and VET.
- To learn international experiences that support the transition between Compulsory Secondary Education and VET.
- To reflect on the situation in relation to the transition between Compulsory Secondary Education and VET in Spain, especially in the Balearic Islands.
- To propose measures that facilitate the transition between Compulsory Secondary Education and VET in Spain, especially in the Balearic Islands.
The workshop is divided into two days. The first, entitled "The Transition between Compulsory Secondary Education and Vocational Education and Training: International experiences" will discuss the research results of the project " Pathways leading to success in, or dropout from, vocational education and from training in the education system at levels 1 and 2" and has as its central core the presentation and debate around transition support programmes set in various European Countries. These reflect a wide range of options in terms of content, methodologies and organization. It will be presented in a presentations and debate format, with a wide margin of time for the colloquium.
The second day, entitled "The Transition between Compulsory Secondary Education and VET in the Balearic Islands: Challenges and Proposals for Action", has as its main objectives, the reflection about the situation around the transition between ESO and VET in Spain and, especially, in the Balearic Islands, and the proposition of measures to facilitate this transition. It will mainly be developed around discussion groups on the subject.
Dr. Francesca Salvà
Scientific and Organising Committee Chair
Cedefop (2016). Leaving education early: putting vocational education and training centre stage. Volume II: evaluation policy impact. Luxembourg: Publications Office. Cedefop research paper; Nº 58. http://dx.doi.org/10.2801/967263.
 Funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitivity, the National Research Agency and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the national I+D+I framework.