Councillor Peter Edgar, the County Council’s Executive Member for Education, commented:
Leaving education early is a consistent problem in Europe and it has an impact on both the social development of the individual and the economic growth of the country in which they live. I am very pleased that the County Council has had the opportunity to share its knowledge and learning with other countries, and to be able to collaborate so positively to identify what can work best when it comes to steering young people back to a course of action that will eventually help them to get a job and, hopefully, have employment for life.
Over the past two years, Hampshire Futures has worked on the European-funded JET-CD project (Joint Efforts to Combat Dropout) with partners from Sweden, Spain, Norway, Romania and the Assembly of European Regions to analyse the effectiveness of current provision for NEETs (those not in education, employment or training). The aim of the study was to develop a summary of best practice to help professionals identify young people at risk of ‘dropping out’, prevent them from doing so, and to re-engage those who do.
A full report summarising all the learning gained over the past two years and comprising practical advice and guidance, for professionals, on how best to support NEETs has been submitted to the European Union Commission. The final report will be available later this year, and will be shared with local organisations to inform the ongoing support activity for young people in Hampshire.
Hampshire Futures currently offers a wide range of support for young people, including careers advice, apprenticeships, traineeships, employment, further training and volunteering. This support includes another European funded project called ‘STEP’ where young people can receive one-to-one support, valuable work experience placements and support with maths and English – which could provide a stepping stone into a traineeship or apprenticeship.