Prävention von Ausbildungsabbrüchen durch frühzeitige individuelle Beratung

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"Qualification of vocational training professionals for the identification and counselling of trainees with a high dropout risk" (PraeLAB)

Running time: 10/2010 - 10/2012 (25 months)

PraeLAB is an innovative European project which aims to improve the prevention of dropout. The partners involved in the project have developed and tested various data collection tools and holistic counselling concepts.


For many years now, the dropout rate in vocational training in Europe has remained consistently high. This affects not only those countries with a dual training system where trainees alternate working in the work-place and learning at school but also those with a predominantly school-based vocational education system. A dropout from education or training usually leaves all those involved with a deep sense of failure and carries huge risks at both personal and social levels as well as leading to a more difficult eventual later integration into the labour market. Among businesses participating in the training of young people, especially SMEs, a dropout often creates not only economic damage but also dramatically decreases their willingness to train apprentices in the future. Various innovative measures in some European countries demonstrate the relevance of the topic

The project has focused on four main areas:

  1. Systematic improvement of the cooperation between the instructors, teachers, guidance counsellors and case managers involved in vocational training;
  2. Use and modification of a proven and valid tool, for identifying adolescents with a dropout risk: modification of a tool, developed in Switzerland, for the identification and diagnosis od adolescents with a dropout risk;
  3. Implementation of innovative methods for holistic counselling of these young people with special attention to migration and gender aspects;
  4. Development and accreditation of a training strategy for the qualification of vocational training and counselling professionals.

Objectives and operational stages of the project

  • An educational framework for a didactic and methodological approach to the early detection and counselling of "at risk" groups in vocational training
  • New initiatives for the prevention of dropout through vocational counselling have been developed and implemented into specific diagnostic and counselling approaches
  • A training concept has been designed in order to qualify vocational training professionals and has already been implemented in pilot trainings in five countries
  • The tool to identify trainees with a dropout risk has been tested in these pilot trainings
  • About 2,500 trainees have taken part across five countries in the implementation of the diagnostic and counselling units
  • All the results have been evaluated and translated into five European languages ​​(German, English, French, Italian, Polish) and are published on the internet
  • The accreditation of the training concept has in part already taken place in Switzerland and in Germany and the other partner countries are also aiming to do so. This will allow its integration into the curricula of vocational education and training institutions.

Long-term goals

  1. Optimisation of networking and cooperation between all the training institutions and vocational training professionals
  2. Improving the qualification of vocational training professionals
  3. Identification of adolescents with a dropout risk through innovative and efficient data collection procedures
  4. Individually tailored counselling to young people at risk of dropping out

Target groups

The project, its tools and concepts are of interest to:

  • vocational trainers
  • teachers
  • vocational counsellors
  • case managers
  • those involved in the training of young people
  • those with responsibilities for vocational training professionals who wish to offer them the possibility of further trainin