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The Euroguidance Network

April 2010

In this edition:

Young people in VET want to be more mobile

According to Go Strange research in Flanders, Belgium, there is a demand for more mobility opportunities among the young people in vocational education and training. 

The key questions in the research were
  • what do young people think about mobility?
  • what are their motives to be mobile or not?
  • do they like what is on offer in the field of mobility?
The research was conducted by the company Trendwolves, which succeeded in approaching young people who are very seldom reached by traditional research: namely young people in vocational education and training (VET), young workers and unemployed young people. An online and paper questionnaire (697 young people) was complemented with group discussions, individual interviews and street interviews (300 young people).

The young people were asked who could possibly convince them to take part in mobility.
  • 47,3% named schools or an organisation (e.g. a youth club)
  • 40,8% named friends and peers
  • 3,7% named Facebook etc
Some 53% of the respondents had already had some kind of international mobility experience in the broad sense, including volunteer work abroad, exchange with an organisation, youth camps, etc.

Who

Has a mobility experience

Wants mobility experience

Not interested

Secondary general

50,50%

41,40%

8,10%

Secondary technical

54,00%

34,50%

11,90%

Secondary artistic

53,10%

38,20%

8,70%

Secondary professional

25,70%

49,80%

24,50%

Higher education

66,00%

31,90%

2,10%


Youngsters from VET (49.80%) are much more interested than other youngsters (31.90% in universities, 41.40% in general secondary education) in a mobility experience. However in practice there are fewer young people in VET than others who participate in mobility programmes. Thus, there is a real challenge to adapt existing programmes to this target group.

Young people indicate that the most important obstacles are a lack of language knowledge and a lack of financial resources. Also 23% indicates a lack of information on the possibilities for mobility.

The top 5 motives to be mobile were as follows:
  • get to know a new country and culture
  • get to know new people
  • improve the knowledge of languages
  • become more independent
  • find a job easier afterwards
Young people who are not a member of a youth organisation, and with no international experience, show a greater interest in mobility than those who are members of a youth organisation. The question remains as to how to reach this potential group. The research report thus offers inspiration and food for thought both for intermediates and policymakers involved in international mobility.

Tanja Biebaut & Jef Vanraepenbusch
Euroguidance Flanders