Erasmus+ mobilities for Hordaland 2014
Start date: Jul 1, 2014,
End date: May 31, 2016
International cooperation is an integrated part of Hordaland County Council’s (HCC) strategy for regional development (International Strategy, 2013-2016). The strategy aims at creating a sustainable, attractive and competitive region, and give young people international competence, experience and shared responsibility. The region faces challenges concerning climate and energy, sustainable development, access to skilled and competent labour force, innovation and development in the economic sector. As a school owner, HCC is continuously working to adapt education and training to fit the needs of the region, and to encourage young people to finish and complete their education and training. These objectives are to a large extent in correspondence with EU’s 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. HCC, in close cooperation with priority partners such as vocational education and training, private sector, local authorities and civil society, has used participation in Erasmus+ VET Mobility as a strategic tool to meet some of these challenges.
The objectives for the project was to strengthen the region with professional knowledge, skills and competences adapted to the needs in different sectors, develop prosperous local communities, improve learning outcomes for pupils, increase VET recruitment, contribute to increase the number of VET learners finishing with trade certificates, and raise awareness in VET schools for internationalisation “at home”.
In this project we have had 185 participants (excluding accompanying persons) from various institutions and organisations taking part in different activities. We have had 127 VET learners on various shorter (from 2 to 4 weeks) and longer (up to 3 months) work placements in 12 different European countries, and 53 staff on 14 placements to 6 different European countries.
Through the project, VET learners have had the opportunity to experience daily work practices in European companies and schools within a wide variety of disciplines and trades, such as Building and construction, Healthcare, Childhood and youth development, Technical and industrial production, Restaurant and food production, Design, arts and crafts, Media production, Electricity and electronics, Office and administrative skills, Tourism, Equestrian and farrier activities, and Landscaper operator.
The staff projects have especially focused on cooperation between VET schools and NGO’s, public sector, businesses and sectoral interests organisations e.g. establish professional networks in the fish monger industry, enhance VET school’s role in food festivals, support innovation in the healthcare sector, reduce skills gap, learning new skills in VET, learning new models for preventing early school leaving.
These mobility projects have given the participants expanded professional skills and competences, new networks, as well as increased foreign language and intercultural competences. The work placements contribute to personal growth for VET learners, as well as giving them motivation and a sense of achievement. The mobility projects have also created a basis for the partner organisations to take part in and develop other international projects as they are showing interest in Erasmus+ KA2 projects, both as participating partners and lead partners. In addition, there has also been an increase in teachers wanting to participate in staff mobility, a growing interest in cross sectoral cooperation, and cooperation among our schools locally.
Even though we have had new partners in this project, the majority of the partners have participated in mobility projects for several years and have established and maintained relevant contacts and large networks in Europe. The long term contacts and networks are important factors contributing to the quality of the mobility projects, as well as ensuring the success of the results of the mobilities. Experience creates the foundation for the quality and development of the projects, and contributes to better organisation and communication in the preparations, learning outcomes and cultural understanding for the mobilities, both in existing projects and future projects. Through the well-established partnerships many of our partners are also given the opportunity to receive and host VET learners and staff from cooperating partners in Europe.
This mobility project has both short and long term effects. The experience we gain, as project coordinator, make us constantly re-evaluate and develop the way we think about internationalisation and cooperation for future projects. It will make it possible to implement and disseminate new and innovative tools and methods to a wide variety of relevant stakeholders. It will also strengthen the quality of education and training, and the region will be able to offer activities and programmes that better respond to the needs of both the individual and the region. This will further increase the status and the attractiveness of VET.
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