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Building capacity, exchanging experiences
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

County Durham has high levels of youth unemployment. To help address this, Durham County Council helps to promote the ethos of apprenticeship training and development to the private sector. It sets a positive example by having its own apprentice development framework, with 25 apprentices currently undergoing a specific programme of training and development in its regeneration & economic development service. Committed to meeting the training needs of all its staff, the council seeks to provide its apprentices with the best possible opportunities to improve their knowledge, skills and personal qualities in order to increase their employability. It recognises the increasing importance of being able to work in different cultural or linguistic conditions, which will help it meet the needs of the county’s diverse population. The two year project will enable Durham County Council to send 10 of its administration apprentices to Västra Götaland, Sweden for a two week work placement. Five apprentices will be selected each year and a tailored work plan arranged to enable them to gain maximum benefit from this experience. Their programme will be developed around an economic development and regeneration themed research project developed and agreed by the apprentices, the Swedish host and Durham County Council. Our project will seek to: • provide experience of working in different cultural or linguistic conditions; • provide a different training approach which gives apprentices a greater sense of responsibility and ownership of their own learning ; • enable observation or job shadowing of colleagues in another country; • allow the apprentices & our organisation to learn from best practice in another country; • encourage the apprentices to reflect on their own ways of working. Ultimately, our aim is that the apprentices should have improved employability due to increased knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours gained through the project and that our organisation will benefit from having a motivated and culturally aware young staff. Furthermore, the links established through this modest project will encourage greater transnational collaboration and give staff confidence to embark on European wide projects which harness best practice.
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