Good practice - GTB - Start To Can – A better transition from school to work for young people with disabilities through the use of a user designed webtool

GTB vzw, Belgium, “Start To Can – A better transition from school to work for young people with disabilities through the use of a user designed webtool”

Summary information on the organisation

GTB has existed for more than 10 years, being founded in 2008. It currently employs about 500 staff and operates throughout Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. The service clients are of working age (17-65 years), with all types of disabilities, health problems and/or specific needs. GTB intervenes where a need for alternative coaching has been defined which cannot be offered by the regular public employment services or job coaching organisations.

Summary information about the programme

The “Start To Can” web tool is not limited by only focusing on the job target, but allows the young person, with disabilities and/or health problems, to reflect on the life domains: living, relationships, health, finances, learning, leisure, work. 

Together with young people, an extensive search was made for exercises in every domain that can guide the young person to more self-knowledge, perspective and people who can help them so that their future image is valuable and realistic. The tool makes it possible to develop a strong cooperative relationship with the young person, based on trust and the problem-solving power of the young person. The Coach and the young person(s) think about the future together. The coach believes in the young person, in cooperation, in growth opportunities, in the added value of workable work. Methodically, the coach focuses on strength-oriented communication from the pedagogical framework of the 'New Authority'. This is elaborated in depth in the training, inter-vision and the manual. The basic principles of Individual Placement and Support are as a framework for elaborating the new services of “Start To Can” coaching associated with the new learning support centers. These support centers must guarantee a more inclusive education and VET-training in Flanders. 

The “Start To Can” webtool is useable on a smartphone and this can be done by the individual student themselves or in little groups. The tool was tested by 37 youngsters in Flanders and 45 in Finland during the Covid 19 period. The evaluation from this business cases makes clear that the tool has high scores on user friendly and effectiveness by the youngsters as well as by professionals ( teachers, coaches, mediators ...).

The products are developed in Flanders/Belgium and Finland through a Transnational ESF-Project (2019-03/2022). A (password protected) webpage has been set up: