Encouraging Education through Cooperation

Michaela presents the project she has founded

Wednesday’s morning session was taken by Michaela Westphal, one of the founding members of jobentdecker.

This organisation, started two and a half years ago, works to match young people, who are at high risk of becoming unemployed once they leave education in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, with employers in the same district who are looking for suitable employees. The numbers of both these groups has been steadily rising.
The approach is to work with young people from Grade 7 onwards, easing them in to the process at first, with short visits to places of work. The following years become a more intense and personal experience, allowing children to try practical examples of work e.g. making models from serviettes, as done by hotel workers, and tailoring their journey to apply more to what they are interested in e.g. visiting workplaces in smaller groups of interested children, for more hands on training.
Interestingly, the organisation also works with the businesses, helping them to communicate with the young people and meet their needs. This double headed approach makes for a much more successful project, with Michaela noting how pupils involved with them reported more positive and involved statements about themselves and the labour market than those not involved, as well as making noticeably more effort in their studies to ensure they have a good chance at employment.

A presentation was followed by the participants sharing stories from their home countries, something Michaela was particularly interested to hear about. It was found that in all three countries, education rates are increasing, but jobs are still going unfilled as people have either unnecessary qualifications, meaningless qualifications, or don’t have any experience in the workplace to support their education.

South Africa looks at its Educational Landscape

The next exercise was to revisit work done last week, the focus on educational landscapes.
Today, participants looked at the external partners that work alongside the educational landscapes e.g. funders, NGOs or government bodies. After brainstorming these, four were selected, and a matrix showed how each interacted with four providers of education. The people or intermediaries enabling this work were also noted.

Each group chose their favourite, then acted it out for the other participants to guess…

The rest of the afternoon was given up to innovation projects, the ones to be implemented once the participants return home. More specifically, the group were to look at Chapter 4 of their guide – Formulating the Goal of the project. This must be;

S – Specific    M – Measurable    A – Attainable    R – Relevant    T – Time Bound

Small groups were formed to provide feedback on ideas, a setup that has proved very useful for participants in previous weeks. Feedback also came from the whole group as goals were presented, with close attention paid to the wording of these exact descriptions.
The day closed with Michael covering Stakeholders. Groups discussed stakeholder location in the landscape e.g. Internal or External, & whether they are connected. This data is to serve as a database for reference during the innovation project.

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