Enabling young people to prepare for further education and fair employment.
Part of our wider Transitions Project, the focus of the Pathways Programme is to enable young people to prepare for life beyond school, whether that be at university, in the workplace or on the family farm.
Date: June 2017 - December 2018
Target population: 60 young people aged between 16-18 years old
Location: Ccorca, Peru
Young people develop core life-skills.
Young people acquire key knowledge and skills for further education, employability and enterprise.
The Pathways Programme has been developed in response to a growing need for transitional support for young school leavers in Ccorca. When Amantani began working in Ccorca in 2008, there were only 35 students in the local secondary school. Just two graduates left the secondary school that year and no one from the district was in higher education. Since then – and in part thanks to Amantani’s support - Ccorca’s education system has undergone significant changes. There are now 221 pupils in the local secondary school, and 40 young people will graduate at the end of this year. During 2016, we worked with the young people and their parents, across several planning workshops and focus groups to develop Amantani’s Transitions Project.
Why it is important:
According to the United Nations, ‘underemployment lies at the core of poverty. For the poor, labour is often the only asset they can use to improve their well-being. Hence the creation of productive employment opportunities is essential for achieving poverty reduction and sustainable economic and social development.’ The definition of decent work proposed by the International Labour Organization includes the following key criteria: productive work with fair remuneration; safety in the workplace; social protection for workers; freedom to express concerns; and equality of opportunity for women and men.
According to Peru’s National Institute of Statistics, 59% of people living the region of Cusco are underemployed, meaning that their work does not meet the ILO’s criteria, primarily due to insufficient income. Amongst the underemployed, the country’s indigenous people are disproportionately represented. A study by the Universidad del Pacífico (2011) found that indigenous Peruvians earn 53% less than non-indigenous people.
According to the ILO, key barriers to formal employment include: deficient access to education; digital illiteracy; teenage pregnancy; low-quality technical training and a lack of social networks. These findings illustrate what our team has seen first-hand whilst working with indigenous young people in Ccorca during the last twenty years. According to the last national census in Peru in 2007, just 1% of people in Ccorca had studied beyond secondary school, in comparison with 32% in the city of Cusco, just an hour away. More recently, since 2016, 25% of secondary school leavers from Ccorca are currently in higher education, thanks to their involvement in Amantani’s Transitions Project.
What we are doing:
As young people enter their final grade at secondary school, we work with them over the course of 15 intensive residential weekends. During over 200 hours of learning time, young people take part in diverse courses, enabling them to prepare for higher education and formal employment:
• Vocational Orientation - Through participatory workshops, young people create a Plan de Vida (Life Plan), encouraging them to articulate their aspirations and outline key milestones.
We also support children to write their first CV and take part in mock interviews.
• Computer Literacy – As Cusco’s employment market becomes increasingly mechanised, we give young people access to the latest technology, with a focus on Microsoft Office, the Internet, e-mail and social media.
• Sexual Health & Personal Development – Through group workshops, we empower young people to make informed and consensual choices regarding their health and relationships.
• Literacy & Numeracy – Many young people struggle to adapt to the high standards expected at higher education institutes. Our Literacy & Numeracy Classes ensure they are in the best possible position to pass their entrance exams and to meet the required standards at their course of choice.
• Psychological Support – At a critical moment in a young person’s mental health, we support them in identifying and managing their emotions. Following an initial diagnostic, individual strategies are developed with each of the participants.
• Parent Workshops – Through Parent Workshops and regular family visits, we involve the young people’s parents at every point in the process, ensuring that they respect and support the young people’s decisions.