In Québec, approximately one young person in five does not obtain their first high school diploma or certificate before the age of 20 (Institut de la statistique du Québec, 2020).
These young people who are late in acquiring their first diploma or certificate are likely to experience difficulties with socio-professional integration and end up in situations that do not correspond to their life goals. It is thus imperative, and more so than ever given the current labour shortage, to develop the potential of these young people who do not obtain their first high school diploma at the expected age.
The aim of this research was to identify possible courses of action in this regard. These courses of action can be taken before or during the post-secondary transition. Prior to transition (i.e., while still in the youth education system), in addition to basic services that address mental health and learning difficulties, out-of-school experiences such as extracurricular activities and paid work (within reasonable limits) can promote identity development and subsequent entry into a program of study or a satisfying job related to career goals.
During the transition, efforts are needed to improve access to basic mental health services, learning support, and career counselling to facilitate the achievement of educational and professional goals, in particular for youth (1) who are not attending educational institutions, i.e., who are employed, or neither employed nor in school; and (2) whose immediate family is unable to provide support or may even require assistance (e.g., financial) from the young person.
To this end, the results indicate that resource persons in the youth’s entourage can play a critical liaison role. These resource persons can come from all environments frequented by young people, and include, among others, supportive employers, social network members (e.g., parents or friends, extended family) and actors from the community sector or education or health settings.
In short, efforts must be made before the post-secondary transition to help young people develop identity skills and strengths and during the transition to provide access to the services and support measures that will enable them to realize their educational and professional projects.
Véronique Dupéré, Université de Montréal
Original title: Services et mesures de soutien facilitant les transitions post-secondaires réussies chez des jeunes hautement vulnérables : un regard interdisciplinaire et longitudinal