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European Science, Technology, Engineering and Electronics Mobility
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context The ESTEEM project will provide students from Gower College Swansea, many of whom have not travelled abroad before, with their first taste of living, learning and working in another country. This will help them gain the self-confidence and self-reliance to motivate them to broaden their horizons and to encourage them to look outside their immediate locality when it comes to employment. Students from STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) curriculum areas have been chosen as they are priority areas for the Welsh Government and the European Union and are curriculum areas which offer employment opportunities across Europe. Objectives? - to complete a work placement which will directly relate to their course and form part of their final qualifications - to provide students, who are also studying for the Welsh Baccalaureate alongside their vocational course, to have an invaluable opportunity to additionally complete the Wales, Europe and the World, Work Related Education and Languages elements of this qualification - to enhance student understanding of their vocational sector in a European context - to provide students with an opportunity of learning and working overseas - to consider employment opportunities in the wider context of Europe - to enhance students professional and entrepreneurial skills, evidenced through daily logs and evidence portfolios - to promote the mobilities to future students in the marketing of these courses to encourage greater participation - to increase self-reliance and motivation to look beyond their local environment for future training and employment - to gain skills and knowledge that cannot be gained within their local area. Participant Profile 72 full-time students aged 16 - 18 will undertake vocational training, including a short period of work experience in either Netherlands, Germany or Denmark in 6 groups of 12 students each. The participants are all studying Level 3 courses leading to qualification in either IT, Automotive, Engineering or Electronics. Each mobility will take place at different times during the project at times to best suit both the sending and receiving organisations. Activities and methodology Each mobility flow will follow a similar pattern where participants will spend the first week full-time in the host organisation joining in classes and practical workshops with students in the host organisation. The second and third weeks will be spent four days on work experience in organisations and companies in the locality of the host college and one day on vocational training in the receiving college. Classes and placements will have been selected to meet the individual skills and learning needs of each participant based on their CVs and detailed action plans. The action plans will have been developed based on the skills and learning needs of specific units of each vocational course as well as the individual learning needs of each participant. Results The accompanying staff and receiving subject staff, along with workplace supervisors, will assess and record the skills and learning competencies demonstrated by each participant. These will include competencies in essential employability skills such as appropriate behaviour, attitude, team working, communication and initiative as well as subject-specific skills. We expect students to successfully complete new tasks that will count towards the achievement of their course units as well as gaining in confidence, independent decision making, self-reliance and motivation. Impact On their return to the UK the expected short term impact will be on the students' attitude, coursework and behaviour, all of which are expected to be an improvement on, or of higher standard than, prior to the mobility. Participants will have the added value of having gained real experience and an understanding of teachin practices in another European country and a knowledge of different practical tasks and techniques that can enhance their coursework as well as being of value to future employers. They will also have gained a wider understanding of the European economy and an enriched cultural awareness of the wider Europe. Longer-term benefits n the longer term they will have higher career expectations. More students will look to higher education to further their skills and will have the confidence to look for work across the wider Europe. The impact on the college: It has seen an improvement in the pass rates and grades on courses where students participated in mobilities and a recognition across the curriculum spectrum of the benefits both to individual students and the department as a whole of a European experience, leading to increased demand from curriculum teams for their students to participate in future projects. Through publicising the project on both the college website and the Colleges Wales newsletter we aim to build a greater interest in the wider Erasmus+ programme.
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