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Equine Management Vocational Mobility
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

There are an estimated 1 million horses in the UK with the gross output of the equestrian sector is valued at £3.8 billion (source: BETA National Equestrian Survey 2011). The equine industry in the UK is varied offering significant employment from leisure to professional sectors. The programme aims to highlight the varied roles in the industry in Europe, focusing on opportunities and developing employability skills for students. Ryders Farm Equestrian Centre is based in an urban area of Salford, in comparison to the less densely populated, rural area of Terrou in France. Both colleges offer exceptional facilities and outstanding learning environments. The mobility opportunities for both countries will offer a unique experience for learners to benefit from a different perspective of the equine industry in contrasting settings. The partnership began through the college in Terrou contacting us at Salford City College to explore potential European cooperation projects. It soon became apparent that both colleges would benefit from working together and an effective relationship was established. Curriculum staff developed project proposals and it was agreed to explore Erasmus + funding opportunities. Objectives To ensure both colleges are delivering the core competences required in both economic contexts, through discussions, joint work and evaluation. Increasing awareness of the wider equine industry in Europe, giving a deeper understanding of the varied roles, skills required, technical knowledge including ICT and raising career aspirations. To develop educational aspirations in further and higher education as well as aid student retention by providing a exclusive opportunity to work and study abroad in their area of interest. To improve students long term employability chances through skills development both vocationally specific and personal 'soft' skills including social, self-management skills and problem-solving in order to support innovation. Promoting flexibility and adaptability of learners in terms of working or learning environments. To educate students to value the cultural differences in the work setting and in society through joint working, socialising and participating in the local community. To create shared learning opportunities and build international partnerships to promote mobility for teachers and students. To produce a project portfolio of evidence, closely linked to the curriculum, demonstrating key learning outcomes of the work placement, cultural experience, equine practical tasks and personal development skills. We are planning to take L3 (Extended Diploma in Horse Management) students aged 17-19 from various socio-economic backgrounds, the majority of which are from disadvantaged areas of the city or vulnerable due to independent living. Accompanying teaching staff are active in the industry. Their role will be to support by giving assistance and guidance to students who require extra help, due to their specific identified needs. Teachers will benefit from sharing knowledge, skills and experience with international colleagues. Activities Class discussion around career opportunities and their required qualifications in both countries highlighted after relevant trips or visiting speakers. For example a visit to a local Stud Yard to look at the different roles available in this specific career and entry qualifications or advancements in reproductive technologies. An assessment will be for students to work in pairs to map equine careers with qualification levels in both France and England. Work experience placement will be arranged and will form part of the portfolio of evidence. Introduction to stable management practices of the yard and work experience. Ridden competitions in a foreign language - learners will learn equine phrases in a foreign language to understand/deliver instructions. Maths classes, incorporating ICT skills, English and French-development of language skills will improve confidence in students to engage in the planned activities in the local community. Cultural elements will consist of visits to local towns, Château, farmers market, local areas of natural beauty, education on the history of the area. A qualitative methodology will be used to assess the activities and overall project success, using feedback and unstructured interviews with a general theme to allow the conversation to develop organically in an informal way. We expect students to have learned about careers and education opportunities in both France and England. Learners will have developed both their vocational and personal skills. We envisage the project will encourage others to participate in European cooperation projects. Students will be able to use the skills they acquired on the project in future study or careers. As this project offers an invaluable opportunity, students- particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds- will experience a once in a lifetime challenge.
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