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Start date: Dec 1, 2014, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The town council of Cuenca introduced the CUENCA PLUS project, which aimed to provide the people of Cuenca with the necessary impetus to give strength to and develop the economic fabric and business competitiveness of the region, through quality training amongst the young people of the city which made possible their future entry into the workforce. The city of Cuenca is one of the major historical areas in Spain, with an area of 911.06 square kilometers and a population of 56,703 people. The economic sectors most represented within the province are agriculture, construction and services. The industry is centered mostly in the forest wealth of the province (wood and resin). In addition, Cuenca has 1 Business Park and 3 Industrial Estates. The reason that the City Council decided to promote this initiative is due to the worrying situation which the city finds itself in, due to unemployment which is currently made more urgent due the economic crisis which we are experiencing. Cuenca is facing a stage in which the migration rate has reached 28.8% since the crisis began. This has meant that the town council of Cuenca is ready to do everything in its power to help alleviate the discontented situation which the city is experiencing. One of these initiatives was through the CUENCA PLUS project, which supported the economic and social development of the municipality through quality education and training. According to studies conducted by their own City Council, the causes of unemployment and the subsequent migration of young people from the town are due to many factors including: the failure of the education system with a high dropout rate, inadequate employment policies, the existing widespread discontent in the town and the lack of expertise of young people. That is why the City Council has decided to give a boost to the educational system of the municipality, by reinforcing and supplementing it with periods of practical training in companies in other EU countries, which mean further improvement upon the current intermediate level training and training employment. The town council of Cuenca suggested to 3 local institutions the creation of a Consortium formed by the City Council of Cuenca, IES Pedro Mercedes, IES San José and CEOE CEPYME Cuenca to assist in the development of the CUENCA PLUS project. This project was aimed at 15 young people at intermediate level who were pursuing their final year at their vocational course. The training period was of 90 days of pratical training plus two added days per travelling. The stays took place between middle of July and October 2015. The countries that hosted the participants were the UK, Italy and Czech Republic. Participants received language training before their departure at Language Scgools cohsen by the Council of Cuenca. In addition, prior to departure, participants received socio-professional and cultural training organized by the Consortium team. The results which CUENCA PLUS provided have been: - To consolidate practical training that strengthens the knowledge acquired by young people. - To promote the improvement of the teaching-learning relationship and academic training. - Professional specialisation. - Promoting language proficiency with the aim of achieving bilingualism. - Promoting the autonomy and responsibility of young people. - To understand how an EU company operates promoting the entrepreneurial spirit. - To promote intercultural education as a basis for quality European training. - To improve social skills of young people. - To promote mutual understanding of academic training in the different EU countries. - To develop values such as solidarity, tolerance and respect amongst young people. - To promote recognition of their studies. - To promote the multiplier effect of mobility experiences. - To encourage the economic development of the city through better preparation of their young people. - To encourage the economic development of the city through better preparation of their young people. The expected impact associated with this project: - Increased competitiveness at local, regional, national, European and / or international levels; - The flow of the economy, knowledge and ideas; - Increased collaboration and cooperation between institutions and businesses at international level; - A social and cultural impact which will create more tolerant citizens. The expected long-term benefits are: - Improving the quality of candidates for jobs; - Expanding frontiers in the search for work; - Generation of new skills; - New approaches to work.

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