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ABROAD - Train global, employ local!
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In times of the economic crisis and the high rates of youth unemployment facilitating transition of young graduates to the job market becomes extremely valuable. The main purpose of this project is to provide VET learners with skills that match the needs of the labour market – national and transnational - and thereby to increase their chances for a smooth transition into work life.The objectives of this project is to organize activities aimed at increasing the employability, self-employability and horizontal and vertical mobility of participants in the local, national and EU labour market promoting marketability of their curricula with previous work experience in the European context, internationally recognized certifications, good foreign language preparation (especially work-specific); and to stimulate a desire to update and refresh their skills and learning, also after the school training and the traineeship. The project, of a 24 months duration, has the specific objective to develop and certify practical skills on state-of-the-art equipment in companies that work with cutting-edge technologies, and soft skills (such as dealing with customers) in a real-world environment to 80 students (4 groups of 20). Two groups of 20 students enrolled in the 4th year of the Hairstyle and Beauty course will take part in a mobility activity in Doncaster, UK, while two groups of 20 students enrolled in the 4th year of the IT course will go to Dublin, Ireland. This objective will be achieved through traineeships in UK and Ireland in modern beauty and hair salons and IT companies. Mobility will last 7 weeks and will be preceded by a preparatory phase (pre-departure and on-arrival) to introduce the experience from the cultural and practical point of view, contextualizing them within the professional training which they will be attending. The mobility will include 7-week work-based training, that will include a 1-day on-arrival preparation, a 1-day midterm evaluation and a 1-day final evaluation, organized by the HO. It is decided that the mobility lasts 7 weeks in order for the learners to have enough time to adjust and get introduced to their new surroundings, become acquainted with the working environment, absorb the specific language terminology, to have enough time for a quality training process. It has been proven in our previous projects that, although the training periods of 4 weeks and less brought good results, all of the parties involved (SO, HOs and learners) expressed the need for a slightly longer training period, in order to have a well-balanced, all-encompassing training plan.The choice of the host country is linked to the fact that UK represents the reference point in Europe for the professional standards of the hairdressing sector and trends, while the Irish industrial development approach focuses greatly on high technology sectors for computer hardware, software and ICT services.The project is promoted by Ikaros in collaboration with the HOs Oracle Training Consultants OTC and Emerald Cultural Institute ECI. Both of the HOs have a consolidated experience in training VET learners, and taking part in transnational and international mobility programmes for VET learners. Both of the HOs have collaborated in VET learner mobility programmes with Ikaros. The project was a natural continuation and a reinforcement of an ongoing cooperation between the applicant and the HOs.The mobility of VET learners in the partner countries will improve social cohesion and international cooperation. The cooperation between the VET training institutions will, on one side, contribute to the internationalization of their courses, comparison and division of best practices, creation of new cooperation projects in the future and the possibility of involving new international partners in future projects. This will inevitably promote intercultural learning of all parties included. The visibility of the project, ensured by the dissemination activities of the partners involved, will make visible the quality of VET training and employment and professional opportunities, making vocational training a more modern and attractive learning option. Finally, the resulting increase in the number od qualified workforce in the respective sectors will bring upon a reduction of the unemployment rate and consequentially contribute to the economic growth on the European level. The new workforce will not only be qualified for the respective area of work, but also be more adaptable to international and intercultural working environments. Also, it will influence the international labour force mobility, with qualified young people equipped with intercultural and interpersonal skill for finding employment abroad.

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