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Canada France 1604-2004
Canada France 1604-2004
Canada a space for imagination

Reports From the Youth Mobility and Exchange Round Table Workshops
Paris, February 5, 2004

Integration of Young People Through Transatlantic Partnership

Chair: Max Longeron, Chargé de mission, Services des Affaires Européennes et Internationales, Ministère de la Justice
Recorder: Claude Blaquière, Association des ancien-ne-s et ami-e-s du Collège communautaire de Campbellton inc., New Brunswick

This workshop was chaired by M. and attended by about ten participants, including two Canadians. Four topics were addressed: (1) Knowledge sharing among professionals working with young people at risk, from the workshop’s angle of approach: educational or pedagogical angle; earning of diploma / becoming employable. (2) Providing support through association- and institution-based integration-training networks. (3) Setting up networks of French and Canadian operational players. (4) Identifying employment niches accessible to French and Canadian youth at risk and definition of joint training to acquire the necessary qualifications.

Topic 1: Knowledge sharing among professionals working with young people at risk

The role of professionals who work with young people at risk is to guide them in making the necessary educational and pedagogical choices to earn diplomas and/or become employable, with consideration given to each specific case and to the personality of the individual, in an effort to help these young people achieve their goals. The guidance and coaching provided must be focussed, in terms of both the educational?pedagogical and the skills development ? employability aspects, depending on the young person’s needs.

The French and Canadian guidance and mentoring systems have a number of differences in approach. The French approach is more empirical and geared more towards the young person’s personal choice, while the Canadian approach appears to focus to a greater extent on assessment grids. The French approach involves less consequence-based intervention than the Canadian approach.

The working group therefore recommends the following:
(1) Promote exchanges (three months and over) between Canadian and French young people at risk;
(2) Promote exchanges (three months and over) between French and Canadian teachers working with young people at risk;
(3) Promote exchanges between social workers in both countries.

Topic 2: Providing support through association- and institution-based integration-training networks

The role of institutional networks (government departments and agencies), and association-based networks (non-governmental agencies) must be to coordinate their efforts to promote the integration of young people to as great an extent as possible. It is important that the various departments and ministries work together and coordinate their actions in order to foster pedagogical integration or skills development among young people at risk. Non-governmental organizations must also work together toward the same end.

The working group therefore recommends the following:
(1) Foster exchanges between French and Canadian government agencies;
(2) Foster exchanges between French and Canadian non-government organizations.

Topic 3: Setting up networks of operational players

The positive experience over the last few years of Canadian and French operational players working in the area of integration has proved promising. In fact, since the Francophone Summit in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1999, a number of mobility exchange projects for young people at risk and educators have taken place between the Direction Régionale de la Protection Judiciaire de la Jeunesse, the Campbellton Campus of New Brunswick Community College, and the Association des Anciens, Anciennes et Amis du CCNB-Campbellton. This marriage of institutions and associations has made it possible to undertake internship mobility projects for Canadian educators in France. This experience should be repeated with operational players from the other Canadian provinces and territories and with French players in an effort to increase mobility and exchange opportunities for young people.

The working group recommends the following:
(1) Promote mobility and exchanges between networks of French and Canadian operational players;
(2) Promote multilateral mobility among Canada, France and other European or French-language countries.

Topic 4: Identifying employment niches

The Canadian experience of the agency Travail Sans Frontières of Montreal, with its index of over 400 employers, and that of the Centre d'Orientation Sociale de Nanteau sur Lunain with its standards of competence to foster the employability of youth at risk are two fine examples of success in identifying employment niches on both sides of the Atlantic. These examples should be repeated.

The working group’s ultimate recommendation is to create a bilateral Canada-France commission that would study the various recommendations made by the working group while promoting the parallel creation of one-time mobility exchange projects between French and Canadian operational players over the coming months.