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Eco Management Solutions Tenerife
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project will send 120 young people studying qualifications in either a BTEC Level 3 in Animal Management and Behaviour or BTEC Level 3 in Travel and Tourism out to Tenerife to complete a 2 week work placement. The young people will typically be aged between 18 - 19 years old and are keen to pursue a career in animal management or the tourism sector. The students critically need experience to deepen their academic learning. They need this for several reasons: to give value and meaning to their academic work; to strengthen their CVs; to improve their employability skills, to help them network with potential employers; to help them decide on optimal career paths for themselves. The work placements will provide these students with practical experience and increased work-based skills and knowledge that are fundamental to their programmes of study. The work placements will also provide opportunities for complementary sector-specific training that is unavailable to students in the UK but readily accessible in Tenerife. The work placement roles include working as research guides on whale watching boats, giving guide talks to tourists, working at the visitor centre in Puerto, working with the animal rescue centres and shelters, liaising with tour operators and hotel groups. The timing of each cohort's mobilisation will be agreed by the AWF, the UK partner colleges, Kingston Maurwood, University College Birmingham, Gloucestershire College and City and Islington College and the host partner organisations, taking account of the availability of students due to exams and UK holidays, the needs of partner organisations, their capacity to host and other issues that may affect the preferred timing. Students will receive comprehensive pre-departure training in the UK and in-country orientation on arrival in Tenerife and will receive pastoral support throughout the mobility to ensure success. Significantly, the students will gain relevant subject-specific knowledge and practical experience that is directly relevant to their formal programmes of study and have exposure to alternative work environments and processes that would be unavailable to them in the UK. Many of the students come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and, generally, opportunities for them to gain work experience that provides a broader perspective of the wider world and employment possibilities beyond their immediate region are limited. The project will add value to their college programmes and aims to support students to broaden their horizons: personally and professionally. The longer-term benefits of participating in this mobility are that, in addition to obtaining work-based skills and knowledge, the students will also benefit from an intercultural experience and personal development that will strengthen their position in the labour market and their workplace readiness. Participants will develop personal and professional confidence, an understanding of the labour market in another European country, and a set of transferable skills and an international outlook that will better prepare them for employment, giving them a competitive edge when seeking employment. Through participation in the mobility project, the colleges will have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with the host organisations in Spain, with whom it can work closely to develop closer ties and possibly expand the fields in which mobility opportunities are offered. From a college perspective also, the programme will enhances their course offerings making them more marketable to potential students. At a local and regional level, this will provide young people with an enhanced training programme, providing them with experience they could never gain in local work placements, and thereby a better chance of attaining employment in the sector. It supports drives to reduce youth unemployment, and build the confidence and capacity of young people. The anticipated impact for participating host partners is that their European networks and international outlook will be developed and strengthened, so that they are able to offer similar opportunities to future students and are more engaged and connected to the European labour market.
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