Success for the first national meetings of Écoles de la Deuxième Chance (Schools of Second Chance) in Spain

On the 25th of May, 180 people participated in the first national meetings organised by the Spanish association “Escuelas de Segunda Oportunidad” (E2O) and the Federico Ozanam Foundation. It was an event which marks the starting point for national mobilisation in favour of recognising the E2O model and the amplification of cooperative actions between the members of the Méditerranée Nouvelle Chance (MedNC) network directed by the Office for Economic Cooperation in the Mediterranean and the East (OCEMO).

The audience was made up of E2O representatives, entities from the educational and social sector, public powers, companies, private foundations, universities, trainers and students. “During these meetings, we defined a roadmap together which prioritises opening up the network to new members, the organisation of a series of seminars about the E2O model, signing a partnership agreement with the French Second Chance Schools (E2C) network and our involvement in cooperation projects on a Euro-Mediterranean level as part of the MedNC programme” – Guillaume Thureau, coordinator of the Spanish E2O Associations. On this day of sharing, young recipients like Luis have also given us their account, expressing the reality of their daily life and the difficulties they are faced with: “The E2O has helped me grow. I couldn’t manage studying at school. Today, I feel capable of succeeding and that’s why I want to learn. I have chosen to undertake a professional training course”.

The E2Os bring solid solutions to fight against unemployment, which currently affects almost one in two young Spanish people. Today, 22% of young people leave school without a qualification. By structuring a national network of schools, the Spanish E2O Associations want to consolidate an educational model which is communal and recognised for its effectiveness. Being aimed at young people from 15 to 29 years old, it is loyal to the principle founders of the Schools of Second Chance, characterised by a personalised itinerary oriented towards a young person’s professional career, a part time training course, strengthening the necessary knowledge for this project and individual social care.

MedNC, a unifying network, gets workers moving and energises people to exchange effective working methods

Escuelas-segunda-oportunidad-E2O-1280x585The network structuring is going to encourage people to exchange effective working methods and the recognition of the model. “During the orientation comity of the MedNC, organised by OCEMO at their office at the start of 2015 with the support of the Secretary of the Union for the Mediterranean in Barcelona, the question of Spain’s participation came up. The will to structure a network in order to rise to the challenge of mass unemployment among young people in Spain cropped up from this valid question. This is also when the Spanish E2O Association was born” Guillaume Thureau remembers. “The network currently counts six founding members and this number is expected to grow rapidly. The meeting on the 25th of May provoked a new wave of memberships. MedNC is a transnational exchange platform of know-how and thought about innovative methods allowing us to give back to young people who represent the future of the Mediterranean from the dignity and to give some kind of an answer to the problem of youth unemployment” explains Pierre Massis, General Delegate of OCEMO. “This programme has a real ability to unify local institutions and give them a Euro-Mediterranean dimension. Capitalising on know-how allows all the members to progress more quickly. Spain becoming a member of the MedNC network is good news, especially as it enables the programme, which had only France as a North-Mediterranean partner, to be more geographically balanced out. Italy has also let us know it is interested in joining”.

The Schools for Second Chance model has almost 20 years’ experience in Europe and is made up of around sixty establishments. In France, where a national network which brings together the 43 schools was institutionalised in 2005, the success rate, consisting of getting a job or starting professional training courses with a qualification, is estimated at 60%. As the second national European network, the Spanich E2O Association is counting on drawing inspiration from the French experience.