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The large number of young people in Europe who lack formal qualifications constitutes a considerable concern in terms of individual, social and economic consequences. The influx of young migrants into Europe is making this issue even more significant. To avoid social exclusion and youth unemployment, and to ensure economic progress, the European Union (EU) and national governments are providing a variety of educational opportunities for these young people. As traditional approaches have not proved particularly successful, an alternative approach has been developed that seems to overcome previous limitations. This approach is characterized by a focus on learners’ agency and identity, and offers young at-risk learners a different, more intrinsically motivating learning experience. The approach was implemented in 12 pilots in six different European countries, including several with migrant youth from different regions of the world. The main result presented here is a comprehensive design framework developed on the basis of a cross-case analysis. The framework includes design principles concerning the organization, as well as the pedagogy, of engaging at-risk youth.
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