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Advancement and Development for Apprenticeships via Placements and Traineeships
Start date: 01 Sep 2016, End date: 31 Aug 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This two-year project is entitled 'Advancement and Development for Apprenticeships via Placements and Traineeships' (ADAPT) which offers both staff training and student mobility experiences is an expansion on a previously funded KA1 VET projects called "European eXperiences for Confidence in Skills and Employability" (EXCISE) and "Creative Resources Embedding Awareness & Traversing European Strategies" (CREATES) which was very much staff focused. This project clearly progresses the NWRC's European Development plan from Phase 2 to Phase 3 on its Phase 5 Plan. The project is aligned with the objectives of the Erasmus+ Programme in terms of "equiping young people with knowledge, knowhow, skills and/or competencies." The key objectives of E2020 are also relevant in terms of "addressing skills deficits, technological competition and .... using forums to share best practices, mutual learning and disseminating results". All partners are keen to pursue internationalisation within their organisations. For NWRC, this is now a cornerstone of the new FE Means Business Strategy for Northern Ireland (January 2016). Four curriculum areas at three of North West Regional College's campuses will be involved in terms of meeting particular needs of their staff and students. Students at level 2 and 3 in these areas have to date been reluctant to take up placement opportunities overseas. For many, the decision has been based on personal backgrounds where an opportunity like that would be seen to be beyond their means and upbringing or a lack of confidence to travel and work in another country. The majority of our student demographic would fall under the eligibility criteria for widening participation and those with fewer opportunities.This project provides 3 Staff Training, 16 Staff Teaching/Training assignments, 32 VET Traineeships in companies, 16 Traineeships in vocational organisations within the curriculum areas of Fabrication/Welding, Motor Vehicles, Hairdressing and Health & Social Care, over a two year period. Our partners are comprised of 2 vocational organisations in Germany and Finland and 1 Enterprise and the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure, both of which are in Malta. They are experienced host partners and we have collaborated on projects beforehand which were very successful with excellent feedback from the participants. The anticipated outcomes are exchange of learning on skills and employability opportunities that will better inform curriculum development, teaching methodologies and assessment practices. For the students, there are many opportunities to gain new skills and competences as well as to develop their soft skills such as team-working, confidence and problem-solving. All partners have been working with NWRC in shaping and planning the project through preparatory visits and staff exchanges and we are keen to share positive results with all stakeholders in time showing 'growth' for all.
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