In May 2016 we held a transnational partner meeting hosted by Eurocircle in Marseille.  Full report of the meeting is below.


Euro-iVET : Enhancing the quality of iVET provision for young people in urban multicultural settings

Transnational partner meeting
Marseille, France
26 and 27 May 2016

The aim of the Euro-iVET project is to equip professional staff with the skills and competencies necessary to bridge the ‘culture clash’ between employers, vocational education, and disadvantaged young people living in major urban and inner-city environments.Marseille photograph 1

Each of our Euro-IVET partners work in inner-city, urban environments, in which young people are often ‘socialised’ on the street, learn from peers and are susceptible to developing a pattern of anti-social behaviour from a young age.

A range of studies have identified the link between ‘hard to reach’ young people and those young people going on to display obstructive and disruptive behaviour including; criminality, dropping out of education, difficulty in accessing initial training (iVET) and finding employment.

The project approach has been developed from the ‘Street Culture Thesis’ (El Hadioui, Erasmus University, 2008 revised 2014) and the El Hadioui ‘Theoretical Framework’, which have emerged as important explanations as to how “street culture” clashes directly with both the work-based culture expected by employers, and the culture of education (including initial technical and vocational education e.g. apprenticeships).

Marseille photograph 3At the recent transnational partner meeting in Marseille, Iliass El Hadioui from the Netherlands presented his “Culture Clash” theory to the Euro-iVET partners. Partners included representatives from Eurocircle Marseille, Rinova London, 15billion-ebp London, Ballymum Job Centre Dublin, Folksuniversitetet Stockholm and MetropolisNet Berlin.

Iliass argued young people “switch” between what he defines as peer group codes, parental codes and school codes. One of the discussion points was: How can the iVET professional help a young person change their street code behaviour (which is dysfunctional for career and iVET-inclusion) into school code behaviour?

Specific issues raised included the following challenges:

• How can the short-term thinking (an identified street code) be replaced by the acceptance of long-term investment necessary for success in School and Vocational and Educational Training?
• How can we build ‘transformative’ schools, which are neither permissive nor restrictive, and which are healthy and not ‘toxic’ to learning?
• What ‘new’ qualifications and skills do teachers need to bridge the culture clash? e.g. self-efficacy, an ability to handle group dynamics, to understand where street and parental codes are derived from, or the skill to transform street codes into school codes.

The social capital of migrants speaking two or more languages and living in different cultural contexts was explored. In particular how companies could be persuaded to appreciate different social capital such that it was seen as an asset to their company and the wider society. Partners agreed that it was very helpful to have a background theory for this project and that the presentations and explanations given by Iliass led to a greater understanding of the theory.

Marseille photograph 2Rinova led the presentation of the comparative study and needs analysis of the partners (including France, England, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Italy and Austria). It was very interesting to see how different the situation is in the single Member States regarding youth unemployment, VET and youth guarantee schemes. At the same time similarities emerged, such as the methods used to identify young people and engage with them. What also became apparent was the necessity to work with employers around the needs of young migrant people to give them access to training or employment opportunities.

Day 1 concluded with Partners discussing and approving the dissemination strategy written by MetropolisNET.

On day 2, Ballymum Job Centre introduced partners to the 2nd stage of the project by facilitating workshops which identified key competencies for the specific occupational profile of the Euro-iVET practitioner; empathy, self-reflection, ability to work in a comparative way, communication skills, positive advocacy empowerment, motivation, flexibility and resilience. These key competencies were broken down into knowledge, skills, attitudes according to European Qualification Framework.

All Partners found the second day of the conference highly informative and agreed the objectives of the meeting had been met effectively. Eurocircle Marseille were thanked for their hospitality and for hosting the meeting. Partners were reminded that the next partnership meeting will be held on the 8/9 December in Berlin.