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Art & Design in Vocational Education and Work
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project will involve a collaboration between Birmingham Metropolitan College, two colleges in Prague, Czech Republic, these being the 'Higher & Secondary school in Applied Art', and 'The College of Fashion Design in Prague', a school in Mikkeli, Finland; 'Etala Savon', a school in Spain , "Casa de las Torres" and a school in Porto, Portugal 'Escola Artística de Soares dos Reis'. We are planning on sending 9 students to the two college's in Prague, Czech republic (6 to the School of Applied Arts, and 3 to the School of fashion and Textiles), 5 students to Etala Savon in Mikkeli, Finland, 6 students to Spain and 5 students to Porto. The participants involved will be those who are attending the level 3, Extended Diploma Art & Design courses within the college. The age range of the students is 17 +. The work produced would also become a key part of their curriculum. The majority of the students are coming from areas which are described as socially deprived, and so this will be the first opportunity that many will have had to participate in such a project.The objectives of the project are to give the students the opportunity to experience through practical application the skills that are being taught in specialist artistic areas, to compare the content and quality of the learning, and to see how these skills are being used in the labour market. The project will also give all of the students, and the college, the chance to look at the different traditions and heritage that is prevalent within the European Union, and compare the differences with what they now from their home.Along with the increased training in art & craft, the students would also be given the possibility of developing their personal skills through having to work with people from another country, where language barriers will have to be overcome and cultural ways adapted to, and having to learn to work both independently and with others, students and teachers, within a team framework.During this time the students would work on a project within the creative departments in specialist subjects that correspond to their learning at Birmingham Metropolitan College, thus ensuring that they produce work that is relevant. The participants will have access to the facilities available, including the teachers and other relevant practitioners. They will also have the opportunity to work in places of employment, either individual artists/crafts people, or in business and industrial settings. Here they will see how the skills that they are learning are being applied within a real work-based situation.Upon completion of the project the participants will discuss the placements with other students through workshops, in which they can show the work produced and talk about the experience and what they have learnt from it. There work will also be on show in an exhibition that will be advertised to the college and externally. It is expected that the students will gain a greater awareness of both the similarities and differences within the European union, yet how these can work together in the act of creation. The art department in the college is also hoping to benefit from the programme, in that we can see and hear about different ways of teaching and learning, and how these could be applied in the delivery of our curriculum.
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