Archive of European Projects

Berufliche Perspektiven in Europa
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea for our project “Job Prospects and Perspectives in Europe” arose from the thought that large parts of Europe are massively affected by the problem of youth unemployment. It was in October 2013 that we became particularly aware of the fact that Slovakia is among the hardest-hit countries of the current crisis. That was when we (Berufliche Schulen Landsberg) first conducted an exchange programme with our newly acquired Slovakian partner (Gymnasium Konstantinova Prešov) and spent nine days in the region Poprad – Prešov – Košice. If young people become unemployed or do not even find their way into the world of work, it may leave them scarred for the rest of their lives. Not having a job may not only have a negative impact on the affected person’s confidence but also on future income development and retirement benefits, thus raising the probability of sliding below the poverty line in the long run. As a school specialised on vocational education we consider one of our most eminent tasks to try and prevent such scenarios by identifying and pointing out perspectives and offering ways to build up and strengthen our students’ personal profile. Ideally, this could lead to a win-win-situation regarding the European idea and job markets: students from Slovakia undergo job trainings in German companies while German students spend parts of their career in German enterprises based in Slovakia. At the same time we are aware that initiating our project “Job Prospects and Perspectives in Europe” is also beneficial for the teaching staff participating. This is why our project consists of the following four pillars: 1. Raising the students’ awareness for the current situation on the job and training market in different regions of Europe. 2. Strengthening the students’ individual skills (methodical, communicative and interpersonal) in order to be(come) competitive in an internationalised labour market. 3. Creating a positive attitude towards the European idea by making the participants aware of the advantages of close multilateral ties. 4. Increasing the teachers’ professional and methodical competences by sitting in on classes (peer observation of teaching contents and methods in foreign language lessons and bilingual classes). In order for these pillars to become solid and self-supporting we are planning an exchange programme. It will begin in September, when a group of 25 students and three teachers will travel from Slovakia to Germany to stay there for about ten days. One month afterwards, a group of the same size will travel in the opposite direction. Similar visits are planned for the school year 2015/16. Upon their arrival, the students will join their host families and spend the weekend with them. Apart from that, there will be a series of group activities in both regions. These activities are designed to facilitate an encounter with the cultural heritage of each region (language, history, customs, traditions, landscapes) and enable the participants to gain profound insights into cultural differences and similarities. Such experiences support the European idea (→ intercultural competence) and provide mutual respect and appreciation, hence preparing the ground for a productive cooperation among the students and teachers participating in the project work (conducted in multinational teams). In the first year of the project work on job prospects and perspectives in Europe the focus will be on laying theoretical foundations (researches and analysis), while the students will design a list of practice-oriented measures in the second year. In the course of these team activities, the students will acquire in-depth knowledge on current developments on the job and training market, improve their methodical competences (research techniques; designing and presenting a product), strengthen their communicative competence (“negotiating” in a foreign language in multinational groups; presenting) and help broaden their horizon regarding career choices on an internationalised labour market (becoming aware of career options; possible professions; vital skills). What will doubtlessly be a beneficial factor during our project work is the fact that we, the Berufliche Schulen Landsberg, have access to a closely-knit network of business relations thanks to our work in the fields of practical training and vocational education. Last but not least, the teachers participating in the exchange programme and the transnational project meetings will enter into a dialogue about teaching contents, methods and aims as well as the conditions of teaching in general. The main tool to be systematically used in this process is peer observation in foreign language lessons and bilingual classes, thus increasing the teachers’ professional and methodical competences.
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