Support Mentoring – Being a young person after secondary school


Support Mentoring – Being a young person after secondary school

Project funded by

Ajuntament de Terrassa – Consell de la Formació Professional

Promoter name and country

Ajuntament de Terrassa (Spain)

Type of provider


Area of implementation

  • urban
  • local

Context and motivation of the project - legislative background/obligations, institutional policy, institutional structures

The transition from compulsory to post-compulsory education has become a rite of passage in forging a young person's educational and occupational path in life. Society's quick, often abrupt changes in the past few decades has made this process much more complex, leading to greater uncertainty and higher risk. The relationships that exist between school and the job market, primary and secondary education, or academic and professional training are no longer bound by the same rules that for decades made for a certain social stability. Demographic changes must also be taken into consideration, as well as changes in the family structure, new consumer trends and so on, which have all caused a profound upheaval in a span of a single generation. In addition, social policy in general, and education, employment and youth policies in particular have also changed, and ever more importance has been given to the local level as the best sphere of intervention. The support mentoring project was born in 2003-04 against this background, and it aims to support young people in their transition to adulthood, particularly those who have left school without attaining any qualifications and who need guidance and support in accessing resources and non-formal education programmes available in their local areas, but also those young people who initially go on to study in areas of formal education. The project address concerns identified in Terrassa within the City Education Project (Projecte Educatiu de Ciutat) and the specific strategic guidelines set out by the ""Beyond 16"" (“Després dels 16”) Commission. The project was designed with the help of education expert Jaume Funes and the support of Barcelona Provincial Council.

Aims of the project

Easing young people's processes of transition upon finishing their period of mandatory schooling, both those who have not graduated and those who, despite having obtained their qualifications, can still experience a process of alienation, an impasse or even a sense of abandonment in their first year of post-compulsory studies (baccalaureate and vocational training) and consequently require an adult mentor to help redress the situation Providing all young people with access to the education, job placement and recreational resources available in the city of Terrassa Building bridges between secondary schools and the educational opportunities that exist in the area by means of collaborative work between these schools and local government services Providing a positive adult mentor for young people who leave the education system without qualifications in order to offer them educational and job opportunities

Target group

  • students

Description of the target group

It is aimed at the entire population of 15 to 17 year olds at six state secondary schools in Terrassa. Each year about 1000 young people take part (450 in the information and counselling activities during the 4th year of secondary and 450 in the individual monitoring in the year after finishing secondary school). These participants receive a clear message from their local area: facilities, services and mentors that can help guide them as young people. This knowledge helps them access municipal resources more easily, because of the sense of personal proximity that has been established.

Staff (selection, evaluation, training, promotion)

The project is developed through the multidisciplinary approach of a team that coordinates all those involved in the Support Mentoring project: the departments of Economic Development and Employment, Education, Social Services and Youth Services, as well as the secondary schools (one mentor, plus a counsellor, education coordinator, a 4th-year Head of Year or another designated professional). The four municipal areas involved in the project work on other programmes and measures aimed at young people and adolescents, and thus a network is created that views these students from an educational, professional, juvenile and social standpoint.

Methodological approach, activities implemented

The project takes the form of regular developmental activities spanning a period of two years. The first year, which for most students coincides with the fourth year of their compulsory secondary education , consists of information and guidance activities. The following year, students from the age group who have already finished their schooling are monitored. The monitoring is age-specific, and does not simply involve the students who have graduated into the fourth year. This means that there could be cases in which students from lower school years (who have had to repeat years) should be monitored, in order to support their schooling (particularly if there is a precedence of absenteeism, motivational issues or low performance that could lead to absenteeism or leaving school). It is also worth remembering that, under Spain's current education law (LOE), these students may end up legally terminating their schooling upon turning 16, or be advised at 15 to enter vocational training and therefore require information and guidance to ease their transition into other educational resources or the job market.

Results and impact - data of program internal/ external evaluation, beneficiary satisfaction, the impact of the didactical practices at individual and institutional level

The evaluation that we have made of this project thus far has been positive. The work done within the scope of this project has entailed a high degree of complexity, given that it involves a large network of operations with a wide range of professionals and services working to help adolescents from various perspectives (education, recreation, work, social issues, etc.). This network is comes into play from the very moment one decides to work with young people, as there are many professionals who know the young men and women who fall within the ages of 15 and 18. This has involved a considerable effort in terms of raising awareness of the project, getting the various services involved and coordinating the efforts of a wide range of professionals. The objective is to work with all the city's secondary schools, each with its own team of professionals and each adapting the proposals to the school's own system and philosophy, without neglecting this generation of young people who, after the summer, need the right guidance to join the workforce, especially those who have no qualifications.

Conclusions, lessons learned

The act of framing the activities of ""Being a young person after secondary school"" within the yearly working plan of Terrassa's Vocational Training Council (Consell de la Formació Professional) is a solid assurance of the project's continuity, as this means it has the support of all the institutions playing both a direct role in the project and those forming part of the Council. The Council's member institutions approve the work plan and the annual report, endorsing the achievement of objectives and providing ongoing support to the normal running of the Council and the projects it develops. “Being a young person after secondary school"" has consolidated itself as a municipal and Council project, forming a key part of each school where it has been implemented. It is a very well-received project that forms part of the fabric of the city and its secondary schools.

Directions of further development/ Transferability, replicability

The aim is to continue working for the future, with the activities that are already in place and functioning and to be able to add specific actions when needed for smaller groups who require special attention. There is strong commitment from the various municipal departments and the group of secondary schools involved in this project. The professionals that form part of each mentoring team are also involved in the monitoring of individual school leavers. The project itself aims to play a part in the mentoring of these adolescents for a period of one year after they have left secondary school. Therefore, the support mentoring is given not only during the period when students are attending secondary school, but also covers an entire year after leaving their compulsory education (with the help of mentoring professionals from outside the school).

Type of ESL (early school leaving) practice

  • Intervention

Web references (url, social media presence)

Parameters on which the practice is applicable (check those appropriate)

  • Methodologies of provision
  • Measures and profiles
  • Objectives and needs