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Facts and Figures in European Agriculture
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Project background is the practice-oriented education at agricultural schools in Austria. Both in higher agricultural and forestry colleges as well as in agricultural technical schools compulsory internships have to be completed on farms (See curriculum for HLFS in Austria). In the curricula for HLFS it is recommended in view of the development of language skills to complete the internship abroad. The supervision of internships abroad and the application for fundings is arranged by the rural youth Austria since 2001 for the agricultural sector. The interest is steadily rising, so for 2014 about 320 students have applied for a funded traineeship abroad which are about 34% of young people of the relevant classes in the agricultural colleges. The internships abroad are approved by schools as the compulsory traineeship and part of the education. The students get the qualification aimed, the achieved degree. 2014 the rural youth Austria introduces the ECVET system for the agricultural education. The approval of the training activity abroad will be thus unified according to the European standard. The project objectives are to improve language skills, personal development, intercultural and social competences, the appropriation of agricultural expertise and building work-related contacts abroad, as well as an insight into agricultural labor and perspectives in another European country. The students are better qualified by these competencies and strengthen the agricultural sector in Austria and its rural areas. The participants in the mobility project of rural youth are students of higher agricultural and forestry colleges and agricultural technical schools from all over Austria. 11 colleges and 24 other agricultural schools are involved in the project, and therefore students from each Austrian province, with the majority from Styria, Lower Austria and Upper Austria. Most participants grew up on a farm and aim to get a job in the agricultural sector. Activities: Trainees seek for internships on farms throughout Europe, with an average stay of 3-4 months. Through partner organizations abroad and together with the agricultural schools, the rural youth Austria organizes for the project 2014 internships in 16 European countries: Germany, Denmark, England, Finland, Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland, Romania, Latvia and France. The main language during the internships will be English, but also Italian and French. The rural youth Austria is working for the project with partner organizations across Europe in order to provide a high quality of internships. The support from the partner organizations contains the selection and control of traineeship placements, the farm descriptions in advance, internship contracts, arrival support, orientation seminars in Austria and in the host country, site visits, personal advices, insurance, evaluation, etc. The services of the partner organizations are agrees in the Memorandum of Understanding. The objectives of the measure are actually following: • Increase of foreign language skills and agricultural terminology • Personal development and self-independence • Appropriation of agricultural know-how • Social competence, intercultural competence, tolerance of other cultures and perspectives. • Getting to know the diversity of European agriculture, various labor and perspectives. The students from the agricultural sector acquire through this measure, higher qualifications and strengthen the overall agriculture and rural areas. More European cooperation and understanding in agriculture should be gained. By many public relations measures of the rural youth Austria this mobility initiative is getting public nationwide.
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