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Although the reasons for Early School Leaving (ESL) are highly individual - the European Commission states that the phenomenon is strongly linked to social disadvantage and low educational backgrounds. Furthermore ESL is a process rather than a one-off event that often starts in primary school with first experiences of school failure and growing alienation from school.

“Facilitating the recognition and validation of knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal and informal learning and its permeability with formal education pathways”,as set in the Erasmus+ programme, will promote “the improvement of the attainment of young people, particularly those at risk of ESL and with low basic skills” and at the same time “encourage the development of transversal skills which will lead to active citizenship” (Erasmus+). Research has shown that a “rich source of human capital” (OECD) is achieved deliberately or incidentally  in everyday life, which -if validated- can allow students to complete formal education more quickly, efficiently and cheaply while it can also help employers and workers to get a good job match.