Opening doors to learning
The ESF is helping more young people to stay on at school and get the qualifications they need for a job and career. It is also ensuring wider access to high-quality education with projects to help children from disadvantaged groups and minorities to get the educational qualifications that matter.
One in five young Europeans leaves school early and does not complete his or her secondary education – totalling some 6 million each year. This is nothing less than a disaster for their job prospects and their chances to make the best of their abilities. Dropping out of secondary education closes too many doors to success and career development. For this reason, the ESF supports initiatives across Europe to help young people stay on at school and get the skills and qualifications which open doors to good jobs and rewarding careers.
Many ESF projects aimed at reducing early school-leaving take the personal approach. Individual students identified as at-risk are coached and advised on career aspirations and the qualifications they need. In schools, teachers and career advisors are getting the training they need to identify and work with these young people.
To build enthusiasm among young people, factory and company visits are organised in co-operation with local companies – to show the students what they can aspire to and what they need to get there.
In other projects, families of at-risk young people – who may be low-skilled themselves – are brought into the efforts to keep students at school. At-risk students might come from particular disadvantaged groups, such as immigrant communities or Roma minorities. In such cases, ESF projects are tailored to each particular situation – offering language skills, promoting role models and providing catch-up teaching opportunities if needed.
Technology-oriented television programmes, internet initiatives, competitions, exhibitions, shows and events are held with ESF support to show school students the many opportunities that technical and information technology sectors can offer them in their future careers.