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SymfoS - Symbols for success
Date du début: 1 sept. 2016, Date de fin: 28 févr. 2019 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

SymfoS – Symbols for success aims to trigger substantial improvements in the education and career guidance system for disadvantaged youth in Europe by implementing an innovative counselling method using sets of symbols. Based on the experiences of the ESF-Project “Perspektiven BildungÖsterreich”, in which Hafelekar developed this method, we see high potential of Symbol work as an additional language for young people to express themselves.The fundamental innovation lies in the clear sequence of different guiding steps after basic clearing: Starting with installment and presentation of symbol scenarios, followed by factual questions from supporting group, interpretation of whol group and action plan agreed by client and Career Guide and supported by peer guide.This project is a combination of transfer and development of innovation and we also classify and localize this method in the broad field of different guidance methods and tools.Based on this groundwork we develop four essential career guidance tools: (1) Basic clearing tools for symbol work, the “entrance door” to screen participants and gain a short case history. (2) Heart and key element of SymfoS are the symbol counselling scenarios. We will further develop symbol counselling scenarios like “Life Road Map”, “Planning Map”, “Exploration of inner images” and “Islands of Emotions”, all of them helping clients to identify hidden resources and potentials, to get clearness about their goals and to plan concrete next steps in education or access to labour market. (3) To transfer results from counselling (e.g. career choice) into real live, we will create individual pathways, where we fix a concrete roadmap when next steps will be carried out and resources of support needed. (4) Finally, our “Peer buddy System” makes full use of resources from peer group. Often the support from peers and from their social net is at least as important as professional guidance. Starting from the support group, which is already constituted in a counselling session, peers are nominated and trained as “buddies” to support their colleagues in their challenging adventures of finding their right place in education system or job market.For personnel development of trainers we will define prerequisites and skills needed and we develop a compulsory train the trainer curricula that has to be followed. To ensure sustainable implementation of SymfoS methodology, we will share all experiences of our own organisations and develop a “Transfer Handbook for SymfoS Method”.For trainers and buddies we will establish an online trainer platform and a virtual trainer network. To facilitate interaction between SymfoS and different EU transparency and recognition tools we will clarify interfaces and synergies by the help of concrete case studies. SymfoS implements a systemic approach that focuses on target groups at four different levels: 1.) 500 Young people (15-25 years) facing problems in school or labour market (low qualified, job seeker, drop-outs, NEETS) will be counselled. Objectives pursued are effective support in motivation and goal-setting, discovering “hidden” resources, increasing self-responsibility and strengthening their social net by implementing a peer “buddy system”. 2.) 120 Career guidance officers will be trained in SymfoS train the trainer courses. 3.) 20 Decision makers in VET providers, NGO, youth centres and schools will be supported for sustainable implementation of SymfoS method. 4.) 10 Education policy makers will be contacted for certification of train-the-trainer curricula and recognition of learning outcomes for young people.Impact on (disadvantaged) young peopleSymfoS is an inclusive, learner centred approach, which helps especially disadvantaged youth to find words for situations that are hard to describe. It helps to get a clear picture of own future and to define reachable goals. SymfoS helps to define reachable goals, supports motivation and discovers “hidden” resources, increases self-responsibility and problem solving abilities. Peer buddy system strengthens the social net for young people with low social capital and provides long term support. Impact on Career Guidance officers: Due to missing compulsory curricula, often there is a lack of methodological knowledge and tools for dealing with disadvantaged. SymfoS supports them with a holistic approach, centred on the individual needs and goals of young people. Impact on participating organisations and VET-Provider: Schools in general will profit from this project outcomes. This project is a unique opportunity to make organisations ready for disadvantaged target groups. The transfer handbook will be of high value for decision makers to improve quality of services delivered. Impact on Education Policy makers: The project SymfoS acts as a frontrunner for inclusive, learner centred methods for disadvantaged youth. We aim to influence education policy to have a stronger focus on “hidden” resources and potential of stereotyped “reluctant learners.



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