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Different Places - Different Faces bzw. ab 2014 (Akkreditierung) VETquality+
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Eleven years of experience of the Goldenberg Europakolleg (GEK) – both a college of further education and a vocational school- offer an established project background and a perfect basis for the new European programme generation ERASMUS+. Both of the school’s locations in Hürth and Wesseling are situated in major economically important areas near Cologne. Our cooperation with many successful and internationally active companies in the fields of agricultural machinery, chemistry and the metalworking industry demands a vocational training which prepares trainees for the challenges of a growing European job market. The GEK is a European School which highly values on their European oriented education. One example is the variety of language courses on offer such as English, Dutch, French and Spanish. We consider it to be important that our students have the opportunity to use these languages in real-life professional situations. These have taken place during a three week internship work placement abroad. Here, our project background and our project objectives are closely linked. The VET mobilities of trainees as well as trainers lead to an increased cross-cultural understanding of a common Europe. The experiences of our students abroad lead to a higher self-confidence and encourage them to seek for job possibilities beyond their country borders. Lessons in various subjects deal with topics that are relevant for a common European way of thinking. This way of thinking was and is supported by the school’s annual European week which offers the students a variety of projects focusing on Europe. The GEK had offered a lot of mobility participants the chance to travel and work abroad in 2014: we have raised the number of vocational mobilities to 10% and have succesfully reached the plans of our district council in Cologne. These participants were for example technicians for illumination advertisements, electricians for automation engineering, chemical lab assistants, metal workers and technical assistants in the field of design. So far we have organized VETPRO-projects for trainers and teachers which took them to our partners abroad for one week. They worked under the title “Teaching the European Way”. Our IVT-projects under the title “Different Places-Different Faces” enabled our students to work for three weeks in Finland, Romania, Malta, Great Britain and on the Spanish island of La Palma. All those activities are now coming together with ERASMUS+ and the GEK is now offering future participants to work under the title “VETquality+”. In addition to our successful student mobility, we are now planing to apply for strategic partnerships for those students who won’t be able to stay abroad for that long. But the GEK did not only send students abroad, we have also welcomed our partner school’s students from Finland here in the Rhineland area. The teachers and trainers of the GEK have organized accommodation and internships with our cooperating companies in the field of electrical engineering, chemistry and design. These internships usually last from four to six weeks. Our project implementation has been consistently improved and has been divided into three main stages: The first stage was the application phase. In this stage students have qualified by participating in cross-cultural preparation lessons. Here they have also created a europass CV in English and pass a mobility interview, to show their motivation to work abroad. This stage has ended in an intercultural evening which prepares all the participants for their departure day. The second stage was their actual stay abroad. During this time, the students have been monitored, both by the local partners as well as the responsible teachers and trainers of the GEK. The participants have documented their linguistic, intercultural and professional impressions and experiences in a travel diary called “Travelog”. The Travelog is also an important instrument of the third stage of the mobility project. This is where the evaluation of the experience abroad was taking place. With the help of the Travelog their gained competence are documented and can be comprehended. After that, the competences have been used to fill out the europass Mobility certificate. The project results, their benefits as well as their impact are closely related. The Europass Mobility is one example. It is used for future applications by our trainees after the end of their vocational training. This document increases their career prospects on both the national and European job market. Our collaboration with regional companies that employ apprentices of our foreign project partners, results in the decrease of language barriers and more cultural acceptance. By implementing our European mobilities we did not only spread the idea of Europe within the GEK but also increasingly on a regional level.
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