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Erasmus Update _ Upskilling People _ KA102
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Caldas das Taipas Secondary (ESCT) is a public education institution offering vocational and general secondary education to 15-18 year-old-students. ESCT offers vocational qualifications (level 4 of the EQF) in the areas of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); Multimedia; Electronics, automation and computer science; Tourism; Hydrotherapy; Childcare; Mechanical Drawing; and Sales. Since vocational education came into operation at the ESCT, the number of students in vocational training has increased steadily and is now 438 (36% of the total number of students). Likewise, the collaboration with the local business sector has become closer as a result of the cooperation for the training of students in years 11 and 12 in vocational education. Currently, local companies provide work placements to about 250 ESCT students and 16 from international partners. ESCT’s students in vocational education mainly come from economically disadvantaged families, with low qualifications and are seeking to swiftly enter the labour market. The trend for school failure, truancy and drop-out is also more perceptible in this group. As regards ESCT’s staff, only 10% have experience in international training schemes. There are also issues concerning foreign language skills and specific needs with regard to building a network of contacts that supports ESCT's project of internationalization. Our European development plan, concerning vocational education, aims to achieve two key objectives: Firstly, to increase the mobility of trainees, promoting the quality of learning periods in international context through mechanisms of recognition and transparent validation of competences, which will facilitate their employability in the European labour market; Secondly, to empower staff to participate in international activities developing ESCT´s European dimension. The Erasmus project Update Upskilling People KA102 allows the cooperation with Education Ltd. Hyria, in Finland, IES Inventor Cosme García, in Spain, and the GE ‘Les Deux Rives´, in France, for the training of 18 vocational students in year 12 over a period of two years. The mobility period will last for 4 months, covering 520 hours of on-the-job training. This project also encompasses a shorter training activity for staff (12 months) as Hyria Education will host 3 teachers, chosen according to their relevance in vocational education, for a 4-day job shadowing activity about ECVET. ESCT expects this project will contribute to student achievement, a greater knowledge of European countries, improvement of language skills, development of intercultural awareness and a deeper understanding of European citizenship and values. Regarding professional skills, it is anticipated that employability of participants will be enhanced by international experience and the demonstration of the skills acquired through appropriate certification of the mobility period. As regards staff, cooperation with partner schools will enable the establishment of an international network of contacts and the improvement of foreign language skills. Staff mobility will also allow teachers to learn more about the ECVET system and prepare its use in ESCT. At institutional level, this project will reinforce our organisation´s European dimension with the use of transparent forms of recognition and validation of learning, which will facilitate international collaboration and foster the employability of our students. Finally, it should be noted that the Erasmus Update Upskilling People KA102 project will assist ESCT in becoming a more open organisation as well a reference at local and regional level in secondary education. A positive impact is also expected on the dissemination of European values and on generalization of mobility among vocational students.
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