Local School-to-Work Transition Service
Ajuntament de Viladecans
Project funded by
Diputació de Barcelona i Ajuntament de Viladecans
Promoter name and country
Ajuntament de Viladecans, Espanya
Type of provider
Area of implementation
Context and motivation of the project - legislative background/obligations, institutional policy, institutional structures
The Local School-to-Work Transition Service has been in operation since 1996. Its purpose is to provide a response to the risks of marginalisation that may affect young people who are unable to obtain basic qualifications and who have significant difficulties becoming integrated into the academic environment. In addition, it seeks to prevent certain young people from having difficulties in demonstrating their competence with regard to the demands of the job market. It can thus be said that it also seeks to provide a response to social changes and changes in production that are being generated alongside these social changes. Although it was created 19 years ago, its raison d'être within the municipality is just as valid as ever. Moreover, the most recent data available regarding compulsory secondary education (ESO) qualifications in the municipality are very telling of the need to have a service with these features (the school failure rate in Viladecans is currently 11%). This figure has improved in recent years. However, it is worth noting that there is still a significant number of students who do not manage to obtain a diploma when they are in their fourth and final year of ESO, as well as a significant drop-out rate in the third year of ESO (7.8%). This is a more moderate percentage of school failure, although it is still high, which results in a group of young people who lack guidance and motivation and who have few personal resources to tackle the real world, beyond school, and who are ill-prepared for joining the job market. In this context, it is essential to have a specific service aimed at supporting young people in their transition from school to work, placing special emphasis on adequate information and guidance, the provision of resources and coordination at various levels. The local authorities are committed to this service in terms of policies, as part of the Local Plant to Improve Educational Success, and they also spearhead it from a technical standpoint, even though they are not the authorities who actually hold responsibility for this. They therefore want to complete and reinforce the educational action based in the schools and maintain a stable network of support for educational work.
Aims of the project
The Local School-to-Work Transition Network has established some specific objectives: To provide support and/or optimise the methodology for helping young people make the transition from secondary school to the professional world. To provide innovative methodologies to intervene in groups of young people. To strengthen planning and coordination strategies for the Local School-to-Work Transition Service. To attain an effective and fair range of opportunities for the transition into employment. To implement or improve assessment systems for the results and impact of the programmes in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. To consolidate the Local School-to-Work Transition Network. To implement or strengthen intra-municipal coordination mechanisms. To implement or strengthen inter-municipal coordination mechanisms with nearby areas. To strengthen the supra-municipal collaboration network through innovation. Various objectives are established for each school year based on these objectives. The objectives for the 2014–2015 school year were: To establish and/or consolidate stable methods of collaboration between the city council, secondary schools and educational services in the area, in the school-to-work transition actions. To design strategies to improve academic success in the city. To guarantee support for young people, during and after completing compulsory secondary education, in relation to the range of options available in the region, paying special attention to more disadvantaged groups.
- Guidance practitioners
Description of the target group
Young people currently in compulsory secondary education who need guidance and/or motivation in their studies. Young people aged 16–24 who have completed compulsory secondary education but who have not obtained a diploma. Young people who have left a training and/or baccalaureate course and who need academic and/or employment guidance and advice. Young people in baccalaureate and training courses in general, who need guidance and advice. In general, special attention is given to young people at risk of school failure, with special educational needs – social needs or needs related with disabilities – or those at risk of social marginalisation. Although the main target group is young people, families and guidance counsellors are also an important target group for the service, as well as mentors and knowledge transmitters.
Staff (selection, evaluation, training, promotion)
The coordinator for the Local School-to-Work Transition Service has a degree in sociology.
Methodological approach, activities implemented
The service's main work METHODOLOGY is structured on a transversal level and as a network. This methodology is used in agreements, lines of work, information transfer and globalisation of actions. This work methodology is reflected in different levels of coordination: Supra-municipal coordination: Meetings convened and advised by Barcelona Provincial Council, with other city councils from the Baix Llobregat district. Interprofessional coordination: Networking is taking place via a working group in order to offer solutions to the different areas of the Local School-to-Work Transition Service. This group is the body that acts as the backbone for the service's operation. It is formed of the following agents: Viladecans City Council's Department of Education, Social Services, Youth and Economic Promotion and representatives from public secondary schools, the Shared Schooling Unit, the psycho-pedagogical advisory and guidance team, the Pedagogical Resources Centre and the Inspectorate of the Catalan Government. Furthermore, the work is organised into work committees (for guidance and monitoring specific needs, for the Òrbita curricular diversification project, for guidance and support in the pre-registration process for post-compulsory studies, for prevention of school absenteeism). Intra-municipal coordination: Coordination of the city's personal services and promotion areas, specifically the Social Services, Education, Youth and Economic Promotion departments.
Results and impact - data of program internal/ external evaluation, beneficiary satisfaction, the impact of the didactical practices at individual and institutional level
A full series of assessment indicators, both quantitative and qualitative, are used to measure the results of the service. From the standpoint of qualitative analysis, we would like to highlight the collection of questionnaires aimed at the professionals who make up the networking group. They rate all the actions related to this resource and this work method very highly. In general, they consider that the service provides them with direct knowledge of the resources the city council has to respond to students, especially those who are more disadvantaged. Therefore, according to the assessment obtained, it can help the guidance work at the schools. The assessments also show that networking makes it possible for schools to participate and provide their view of the programmes and projects launched within them, which helps improve the educational response in the city. The professionals also consider that it is a privileged space for debate and reflection about important educational topics, which provides them with knowledge and allows them to share experiences. Thanks to this resource, they are able to give young people (and their families) a satisfactory solution when they leave compulsory secondary education without a qualification. As regards the professionals, the assessment is done with members of the School-to-Work Transition Network. Therefore, one of the objectives – which is difficult to measure, but very important – is knowledge and recognition of all the other members of the educational community who are connected through the School-to-Work Transition Service. Although no indicators have been collected, it is clear from informal opinions that this connection makes it possible to join efforts within our municipality to deal with education in a much more global way. From the perspective of quantitative analysis, the most important indicator is the evolution of qualifications in the final year of compulsory secondary education. The boost provided by this service – with its work methodology and provision of educational resources that add to those the schools already have through the Ministry of Education – has helped improve the city's educational outcomes (a copy of the evolution of the indicators in the last five school years is attached). It has been taken into account that 10 school years ago (2003–2004), the rate of qualified students was 58% and that there has thus been significant improvement in the city. Other important quantitative indicators are: 1. Referrals of students to the service by schools. 2. The indicators from the Òrbita curricular diversification project. These show that students who have very different kinds of problems and who are very susceptible to failing to obtain a compulsory secondary education diploma can obtain this qualification, or at least continue their academic training, by taking an initial vocational training course. 3. Guidance Plan indicators. The vast majority consider that the guidance received from the municipal services is very useful and has helped answer their questions. The assessment shows that the service guarantees support for young people, from compulsory secondary education to informal programmes (Joves per l’ocupació (Young people for work), training and integration programmes, etc.), as well as from these programmes to formal training, particularly adult training centres and vocational training. It is worth pointing out that this support and tutoring encourages the success of all the informal training programmes; information and backing from secondary schools, through the Local School-to-Work Transition Service, is of vital importance in achieving the objectives, especially in terms of educational reintegration.
Conclusions, lessons learned
It is a service that must seek to offer strategies that help young people share responsibility for their future, and it aims to develop young people's ability to guide themselves and get involved in training projects. It must be a service with a local scope, but with a concept of 'local' that is not necessarily restricted to the municipality, especially in relation to the industrial fabric. It is necessary to have a network of professionals who will work with common objectives. Although networking is sometimes complicated due to different views and the diversity of professionals, the final result is much more enriching. It is essential to have coordination between the two sets of authorities (local and regional). The municipality's role is key, but it is the regional authorities who hold the responsibility for education. The role of the inspectorate is important in this sense. Local political leadership is essential as a provider of resources and guarantor of equal opportunities.
Directions of further development/ Transferability, replicability
The consolidation of the Local School-to-Work Transition Service makes it clear that the current size of the service is suitable. However, one of the extensions that could be implemented is in relation to the networking group, since there are agents involved in educating the city's young people who are not part of this group. The proposed extension would be: semi-public secondary schools, training and adult centres and the regional business fabric. It is worth noting that this experience is transferable to other councils with the same characteristics (population volume, socio-economic level of the population, ownership of the centres and local industrial fabric).
Type of ESL (early school leaving) practice
Web references (url, social media presence)
Més enllà de l’escola. Transformacions socials i noves dinàmiques educatives i professionals. Josep Alsinet, Clara Riba, Montserrat Ribera i Joan Subirats. La reforma local española de 2013 y las competencias educativas. José Antonio Tardío Pato. Servei Local de Transició Escola-Treball. Ajuntament de Viladecans, 2015. Anuari estadístic de Viladecans. Memòries anuals del Servei Local de Transició Escola-Treball.