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Erasmus+ for Vestfoldlærlinger 2014-2016
Start date: Jun 30, 2014, End date: Jun 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Vestfold county council, department of upper secondary education, has a long history of applying for EU-funding for mobility for initial vocational training. Since 1995 the department has offered mobility experiences for apprentices and pupils in vocational institutes, and there is a wish to continue to offer this possibility with the new EU program Erasmus+. In Vestfold county there was and is a regional political aim to use and also increase the use of external funding to reach strategic goals, for instance to improve the quality of vocational education and in general find solutions to common problems in society. There are also national political aims to encourage mobility in education and training. Our aim is to send 20-30 apprentices /pupils on placements for 13 weeks in Spain, Italy and Malta, or 3-4 weeks in Spain, Ireland or Germany during the 2 years of the project period. There are several reasons why we want to offer placements in Europe to apprentices in vocational training. The beneficiaries will learn more about their profession and develop and refine a professional identity during a placement. In a foreign environment they will practice various aims from their curricula. They will also mature and experience a personal development, maybe even change their attitude towards foreign cultures, and certainly improve their foreign language skills. It is also relevant to think that a placement will motivate for finishing the training all together and thereby reducing the number of drop-outs in our schools and vocational training. The result is that the apprentices will profit from their European experience when applying for job after their on-the-job-training when presenting their Europass mobility in their CV. The beneficiaries meet interesting international contacts for our local businesses and they also gain competence about international relations. 26 apprentices and 4 pupils from a vocational school took part in this Erasmus+ project. The group of participants should represent many professions, and in 2016 8 professions were represented. There were 14 boys and 1 girls who took part among the group of apprentices, from both public and private sector. The pupils from Grevskogen upper secondary school were all girls. Our main target group is apprentices who have almost finished their 2 years long apprenticeship period, which means they are near the end of a 4 year training periode all together. All the beneficiaries are offered placements in the professions they are training in, in actual businesses and companies. The aim is to improve the professional identity of the participants during the meeting they have with their own profession as it is performed in another country. They will learn to reflect better on their own practice and learn new methods, new recipies, try new raw materials, meet new routines and adapt to a different framework for their professions. The beneficiaries will also experience personal development, become more independent, more mature, more confident in themselves, showing the ability to adapt to a new working environment. The department of upper secondary education has developed written and electronic tools and material for preparing and carrying out placements, and there is a well established system for handling the practical and financial details in the project process. During the year the cyclus for the project is established with different phases for marketing, applying, interviewing, preparing and sending the participants abroad. In the long term perspective our aim is to increase the status of vocational training and to give the inhabitants of our region competence in international cooperation. The tradition of mobility experience may reduce the number of drop-outs, may motivate for finishing vocational training, may increase motivation for learning in general and the learning of foreign languages in particular.
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