Normal view

Adult Education Pilot Programme To facilitate labour market integration

Since 2012, the Csepp Afternoon School of Csobánka run by Csodaműhely Association has provided vital support to disadvantaged primary and secondary school children, helping them to successfully pursue their studies and fulfil their abilities. Volunteer mentors have provided individual tutoring, as well as engaging with the families and teachers of the children creating a much needed bridge between the two.

Over the years the Association’s work has become increasingly complex and in 2016 they started an early development pedagogy-based programme for young mothers and their toddlers. In 2017, they launched a Civil Network to establish channels of communication and platforms of cooperation between different stakeholders including residents, teachers, social workers and municipality workers. With the Badur Foundation’s grant, they would like to start a new stream of activities that focus on the education, training and complex skills development of adults in order to foster their labour market integration.

The level of education of the residents living in the disadvantaged segment of Csobánka is significantly lower than the national average, and - as a consequence of this fact - there are less favourable unemployment indicators in the settlement than the national average. Half of the residents only completed primary school education. Only one in three people has a regular job, and the rest either live on seasonal jobs or are long-term unemployed.

National programmes providing free adult education exist but can only be accessed through a maze of bureaucracy. This is a significant challenge for people with low qualifications. Disadvantaged adults can find it difficult to navigate formal administration because some of them are functionally illiterate, so they can have trouble understanding and filling out registration forms. As candidates often lack basic skills, frequently they cannot even solve aptitude tests, so they are not accepted to state-funded vocational trainings.

Obtaining the right qualification is the first, but not last step. The development of personal and social skills is also prerequisite for successful integration. Better communication, improved conflict resolution skills and healthy self-esteem levels are all needed for people to attain and keep the job they wish. Crucially, an inclusive working environment that is open and conducive to integrating disadvantaged individuals is also needed to ensure success in the long run.

The adult education programme in Csobánka thus intends to provide a complex solution to a complex set of problems by cooperating with existing state programmes, providing additional mentoring, organising targeted skills development training and having a proactive approach to finding potential employers.

During the pilot year, the Association intends to provide education and training opportunities for a minimum of twenty people and aims to successfully place about two thirds of them on the labour market. The team is committed to learn from the experience of the pilot programme and in parallel, fundraise for its continuation to ensure that more people can join and obtain valuable qualifications in the coming years.

Thumbnail: Hometown Beauty, Flickr Creative Commons

Banner: GoToVan, Flickr Creative Commons