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Health Is Your Wealth.
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of this project proposal is for 48 Health and Social Care, Child Care, Chef and Beauty Therapy apprentices in two flows to undertake a mobility placement with the College’s direct employer based partners in Iceland and in Sweden. This project provides College Level 3 apprentices with a 3 week European work-placement that will enhance and improve their practical skills and knowledge in the vocational areas of Health and Social Care, Child Care, Chefs and Beauty Therapy. It will also build their self-esteem and confidence as the target group are apprentices who are hard to reach and disadvantaged. The Health and Social Care and Childcare apprentices will undertake a mobility in two flows to employer-based partners in Sweden. On top of their placement within the UK as a requirement of their core programme, these European placements will further give learners the opportunity to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life. Their personal development will be further enhanced by this European perspective to allow contrasts, comparisons and incremental learning to take place. The apprentices that will be participating in this project come from very rural country areas where job opportunities are very limited and the competition for jobs that are advertised is very intense. The aim of this project proposal in the chosen vocation areas through apprentice mobilities is to enable participants to gain new skills and knowledge that make them more competitive in seeking and gaining employment in the labour market. The placement is tailored to the apprentices NVQ course and the project will find out what the young person wants to get out of the placement, which skills they want to develop, what barriers they face and what their career aspirations are. The majority of apprentices participating in this project come from areas of high social deprivation where opportunities are very limited. From the College's experience these apprentices are hard to reach out to and in many cases have low self-motivation, low self-esteem and lack a lot of confidence in their own abilities in being able to access new opportunities. The aim of this project is to provide not only an opportunity for apprentices to gain new skills but also to raise their aspirations and have a European work-placement and experience that will be life changing. This project aims to emphasise the tremendous opportunity and scope the European union offers in terms of labour market and job opportunities and being able to have the confidence to work in different countries as a result of a new language. The project aims to provide a mobility experience for groups of apprentices who, due to financial factors, do not get the chance for learning through exchange. In addition to the vocational training and skills development that apprentices will acquire, they will also gain new and more updated vocational and customer service skills, better communication skills, more improved teamwork and problem solving abilities and genuine practical life experience resulting from mobility. With regard to skills gaps apprentices need to be more flexible in their attitude, require enhanced motivation and the wider work based learning experiences that a European placement provides. For apprentices from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds, prone to risk of leaving College early and whose basic skills require nurturing, project involvement will significantly contribute to improving attainment, enhancing employability, broadening horizons and creating an energy and enthusiasm for learning. This project will develop partnerships between education and employment that significantly contribute to the development of key competences and transversal skills relevant to labour market requirements. Similarly it will enhance and reiterate the award winning international dimension of the College (winner of the 2012 British Council Further Education International Collaboration Award), which mirrors the specific objectives of the Erasmus+ programme. For example, it fully reflects the aims of mobility by supporting apprentices in the acquisition of competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes), with a view to improving personal development and employability throughout Europe. It will also raise the apprentice’s awareness and understanding of other cultures, facilitating the acquisition of international contacts which is so important in a global world. Our organisation will grow by integrating practices across our campuses and throughout Europe. It will give rise to new thoughts, practices and activities that compliment organisational objectives such as professional development, standing in the community, not to mention the enhanced learning opportunities provided by an increasingly dynamic staff with access to more and more resources, thoughts and ideas.

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