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Boosting Employment Through European Vocational Placements
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project stems from the university's on-going commitment to internationalise the experience of its students in line with key aspects of the university'siInternationalisation sub-strategy. The ever increasing importance of instilling a European and more widely 'globalised' identity among it's students and staff is a necessity in the evolution of our role, regionally, nationally and internationally. The project aims to address the underlying requirements of this sub-strategy by continuing to build on the successful foundation we already have through broadening the aims, ambitions and horizons of our students by offering them the opportunity to realise a period of European work experience. We aim to increase our portfolio of partnership relationships whilst strengthening existing partnerships and in doing so offer such opportunities to a greater number of participants from a wider background of vocational academic fields. The outcome of these aims and objectives will be to inject international dynamism to the local and regional knowledge base that helps to underpin the local and national economy, sharing best practice in industry and driving creativity and talent forward in an ever more global economy. We hope to offer a broad range of work placements across a variety of vocational areas to 125 students and recent graduates, particularly in the sciences, education, and engineering fields. These opportunities will mainly be long term placements for both, students looking to undertake a sandwich option abroad and final year students hoping to gain the international work experience they will require when establishing themselves in their chosen career pathway. These opportunities will be offered in collaboration with partners selected for their experience in the field of providing 'host' organisational services in the Lifelong Learning arena across five locations in Europe. Our partners will provide end-to-end services from logistical support and project monitoring and administration to certification and final reporting, but most importantly, we trust that all partners have the networks and expertise to deliver dynamic, engaging and challenging traineeship opportunities for our participants. We follow already tried and tested methodologies implementing improvements where they can be identified. From the initial project proposal we have developed a communication framework that will identify the correct calibre of candidates, support individual progress and achieve individual learning outcomes whilst supporting the development of language skills and disseminating results and measuring impact. Our experience in the delivery of European mobility projects shows that at an individual level we increase the confidence and ambition of students as well as their experience and skills base, ultimately impacting on our increasingly successful employability record reflected in the rise in DELHE statistics in recent years. In continuing to work with established partners whilst adding to our portfolio, we continue to build the university's capacity for networking and corporate cooperation which again feeds back in to our internationalisation sub-strategy in the context of our European activities. Longer term benefits for the region will be a workforce and local talent base better equipped for the demands of the modern European market place, contributing to the development of a world class vocational industry skills base which will support the local, regional and national economy in the years to come. Furthermore, we will continue to evolve as a modern university with international ambitions and aspirations among students and staff alike looking towards a future of European cooperation and understanding beyond our local horizons, pushing boundaries and inviting challenges as the 'University of Opportunity' for the next generation.

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