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Development of International Business Skills in Belgium, France, Italy, England, Ireland and Turkey
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background of the projects/project goals: For the last years, the overall aim of the projects basically remained the same: The Hansa Berufskolleg Unna aims at involving the European Dimension into vocational qualification. Since 2011 the Hansa Berufskolleg Unna has been allowed to carry the title 'European school' and firmly fixed the European Idea within the school's main programme and has to undergo the recertification process in June 2016. This request is reflected by the cooperation with local training companies having intense international business contacts. Especially industrial companies in the textile and steel trade strongly demand for internationally qualified staff and therefore support work experience abroad. The most popular business partner of our local companies are located in England, Belgium, Poland, Turkey and Italy. Due to some French-based companies in Unna we lately acquired a new partner agency in Bordeaux, France. Unfortunately the cooperation did not prove too successful so that we are currently looking for a replacement. Since 2000 Hansa Berufskolleg Unna has successfully offered three-week-work placements within Europe. Additionally our school established bilingual classes for industrial clerks and Europe-classes (classes with additional lesson in a foreign language and European politics) England, Belgium, Poland, Turkey and Italy belong to the countries that our local businesses mainly deal with. Students receive the chance of passing English test on a voluntary basis (KMK-certificates) – their job performances are evaluated by ECVET-points to enhance transparency with regard to the qualification for the European job market. Number/Profile/Description/Project implementation/Results: The number of the participants for the three-week-work placements is 36. They mainly originate from the business area of wholesale, logistics, IT and industry. Their German companies usually support only the three-week-period; that is why there are two options – trainees can choose between the short-term (three-week) or long-term (3- month) stay abroad. The long-term stay in Ireland is a further development of the short-term projects. The participants’ number is 13 and all of them are doing a traineeship to become an industrial clerk. Many months ahead of the actual stay in Ireland the German companies are informed about the organisational requirements. The Chamber of Commerce (IHK) in Dortmund supports this work placement in all areas. Some of last year's participants are planning to take part in the voluntary exam to become a foreign language assistant in English; it is a formal exam taken by the IHK Dortmund which is recognized as a job qualification. This development proves how motivated our trainees are to show off their newly broadened English skills. Longterm effects: Participants receive the Europass which offers a major plus for their applications. At the same time they acquire the competence of basically taking a look beyond the fence. The unique opportunity of gaining work experience abroad serves as an incentive for transferring and expanding business knowledge to the host company - at the same time the participants might feel inclined to take up business studies abroad or going abroad for work. Therefore receipt of ECVET-points is of utmost importance to reach transparency for the documentation of job skills gained abroad. In April 2016 the Hansa Berufskolleg Unna has been rewarded with the 'ECVET-award'.

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