DROPS
Idea

Context
Based upon its population, the Berlin district of Neukölln has the dimensions of a medium sized city. Areas of social focus have arisen through the concentration of social weaknesses, especially in the northern part of Neukölln. The proportion of people with an immigrant background is particularly high in this area at almost a third of the population. The most serious problem is the current situation regarding education and employment, and the current level of unemployment is around 25% in some areas.
Many people in North Neukölln are trapped in a cataclysmic chain of educational, general, and (pre-) vocational failures, and by an “inherited helplessness”. Unfortunately, there are many young people in this group who develop a pessimistic basic outlook. Situations of a ‘dead end street’ nature are thus easily formed, impeding any lasting educational, vocational and social integration. Currently 9% of German pupils and 20% of the pupils of non-German origin in Berlin leave school without any qualifications.

During the school year 2007/2008 there were 1600 early school-leavers in the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. These are youngsters who left school without any qualifications. The number of early school-leavers is decreasing, but is still much too high; about 20% of all youngsters in the city between the ages of 18 and 23 years are early school-leavers. The transition from school to work in ‘s-Hertogenbosch seems to not be too great a problem. Reports from the labour office show that in the last years the number of young employment seekers has decreased. In 2008 there were 280 young employment seekers registered. However, not all employment seekers register themselves. There is no clear insight into the durability of the jobs which young people have. Research shows that it often is the case that a school-leaver has a job but by the time of the next survey has lost the job and has no structure in their day.
To summarise the above: there is still a lack of testing instruments and methods, and no extended network of relevant actors, all of which would be needed in order to come significantly closer to the stated goal of reducing the dropout quota and improving the transition from school to work.

Objectives
The objectives are drawn from the above mentioned lack of testing instruments and methods, and that there is no extended network of relevant actors, all of which would be needed in order to come significantly closer to the stated goal of reducing the dropout quote and improving the transition from school to work.

The main goal of the co-operation between Berlin Neukölln and s’Hertogenbosch is to develop a “toolbox” for the early recognition and reduction of the dropout threat. Through the exchange of experiences, systematic comparison of different approaches and compilation of examples of good practice, it will be possible to fill this “toolbox” with a collection of partners, measures, bodies/organisations, checklists, etc. The aim will be that this “toolbox” is transferable in its application, and thereby is not limited to the participating project partners. This "toolbox" will be an important key to improve the networking of regional actors dealing with dropout problems.
In short: exchange of experience, comparison of diagnosis tools and working approaches, and development of a “toolbox” for the early recognition/reduction of dropouts

Expected output