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Horizons Plus
Start date: Jul 1, 2016, End date: Jun 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context backgroundThis project is targeted at learners with additional needs and fewer opportunities who are carrying out initial vocational training in catering, horticulture and construction. These groups of learners face barriers to learning and accessing work which their peers do not. They require an additional intervention in order to succeed and improve their future career and learning prospects. ObjectivesWe aim to work with learners with additional needs and fewer opportunities to support them with an additional intervention to build their confidence, skills and broaden their horizons. The objectives of the project will address their issues and needs through:-Providing additional assessment and support opportunities to validate skills for learners to succeed in their qualifications-Boosting employability and mobility in the wider EU labour market through practical work experience-Raising participant's awareness and understanding of other cultures, countries and language to broaden their life perspective-Increasing self-esteem, confidence and motivation and social skillsAccompanying adults will have opportunities for continued professional development, increasing their motivation in working with groups with fewer opportunities and will develop their teaching to include transnational perspectives.The partners also aim to work together to modernise education and training in working with these groups by sharing best practice and utilizing innovative techniques in supporting learners with fewer opportunities to improve their learning performance and enhance the employability and mobility prospects. The project will also reinforce and further develop the transnational scope of the partner organisations in working at an international level.Number and profile of participantsParticipants will be aged 16 - 65 with fewer opportunities studying introductory vocational qualifications in the vocational areas of horticulture, catering and construction. Most learners will also have additional needs such as learning disabilities, mental health issues, housing issues, disengagement from society, low educational attainment, offending and drug and alcohol issues. The total number of learners who will participate in the project is 240 with 96 accompanying adults. This will be carried out over 24 mobility flows with an average of 10 learners and 4 accompanying adults per group. Description of project activitiesTwo week work placements will take place at Eco Chateau Training Hotel in the vocational areas of catering, horticulture and construction. The placement itinerary will be jointly designed by course tutors from sending partner organisations and the host partner to build in opportunities for assessment where learner evidence is lacking for specific qualification units and a range of individual learning objectives specific to the participants. ECVET arrangements will be developed to increase recognition of achievement. Outside of the working day, visits will be organised to places relevant to their vocational areas such as to local food producers and visits to building projects. Participants will also take part in cultural visits to places of interest, socialise with French people and share a meal in the local French community. Methodology used in carrying out the projectThe project will be managed within the Care Co-ops Quality and Project Management Framework. For mobility projects, this includes the 10 principles of the European Quality Charter for Mobility. Results and impact envisagedThe expected impact of the project on the learners is that they will have increased opportunities for their learning outcomes to be assessed, therefore increasing their opportunities to succeed in achieving their qualifications. We also expect that participants will demonstrate increased confidence, motivation, linguistic and employability skills through having carried out a work placement abroad. Consortium and partner organisations will share good practice through established networks and this will contribute to a larger dialogue about creative ways to engage learners with additional needs through mobility projects. Accompanying staff will develop their professional skills in sharing practice with consortium and partner organisations on supporting learners with additional needs and experience increased motivation as a result. Potential long term benefitsIn the long term we expect the project to have a significant impact on the learners' attitude towards work, learning and European work to increase their future prospects. Through further developing this model, we hope to share our learning more widely so that it can be adopted by other organisations for inclusion in future European mobility experiences.

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