National news on VETAbstract

On 1 January 2016, the Centre for Education and Training (ZAWM) in Eupen set up the two-year ESF project Vocational integration through training guidance in dual education (BIDA) for Belgium’s German-speaking community. BIDA’s goal is to support apprentices who are at risk of breaking their training contract or who have already dropped out of training, with the aim of getting them back into the dual vocational education and training (VET) system. This project is meant as a response to the increasing drop-out rate among apprentices in the first year of training (around 15% currently leave prematurely).

The BIDA project offers custom-made services to young people who, after starting their training, are thinking about dropping out early. Depending on the individual’s needs, the personalised help covers a wide variety of support: screening of the individual and personal career; analysis of strengths, interests and motivation; coaching in a new career or education path; preparation of an individual support and guidance plan; training modules to reduce personal anxieties and weaknesses; and referral to other support services. Participation in the project is voluntary in the sense that a young person must be willing to take up the offer. However, the problem is that many young people tend to be unaware of or fail to recognise their own weaknesses and difficulties; this stands in the way of their early rectification. The result is that many of these young people shy away from accepting an individual offer of help.

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