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Improved Quality in Matching Vocational Education and the Need of Competence in the Labour Market.
Start date: 07 Aug 2016, End date: 06 Aug 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Our project has three activities for staff and students at Naturbruksgymnasiet Östergötland an agricultural school in Sweden with two locations:Activity 1. Staff: In Swedish vocational programs internships (APL) are an integrated part of the students’ education. We need to develop our internships further to integrate the work based training better with the curriculum. We also see a need to strengthen cooperation with our company based trainers for quality assurance of the internships. We plan to send16 vocational teachers and trainers to visit some of our partner organizations to acquire professional as well as educational competence. We expect a better knowledge in the European development in the professional fields of the staff. We also expect an increased ability in integrating the internships into the courses. Our heads of departments also need to integrate work based training into the vocational programs on an organizational level both nationally and internationally. We plan to send 20 heads of departments with a pedagogical responsibility to The Netherlands to observe and learn from their organization of vocational training at Learning Companies. The expected learning outcome is knowledge of a better way to organize the cooperation with our national APL-trainers which will ensure a better integration of the students' work based training into the curriculum. These staff activities are expected to improve the match between education and the needs of the labor market within our professional fields which will increase employment of youths within the region. Activity 2: We plan to send 110 students to different partner organizations with in agriculture. Many of our students need to acquire international experiences to encourage geographical mobility and to discourage racist tendencies since they often come from segregated, rural areas of Sweden. Many of our students that apply to our educations in animal care, have a history of negative experiences at school and are in danger of not fulfilling their education. We can see that a change of environment can be a way of increasing their motivation and giving them new perspectives. In some professional fields, such as equestrian work and jobs at zoos, the work market is mostly international. It is crucial that the students acquire international contacts to ensure future employment.We expect fewer drop outs, more tolerant and culturally aware students. More students will dare to explore a European work market after the mobility. Altogether, this will improve employment rates and counteract racism in the region.Activity 3. We plan to send 20 students from our special school for intellectually challenged. To full fill their special needs we plan to send 16 accompanying staff. The students at special schools needs are often to develop their confidence and capability. We expect the students to come home with many new experiences that have challenged them and increased their personal growth. Their professional knowledge and independence are expected to grow. The long time effect are as role models they can give inspiration to other students as well as their parents which will change what is generally considered possible for students at special schools.Naturbruksgymnasiet Östergötland has an international coordinator for both schools who has an overall responsibility for international cooperation and projects. Each school has international administrators with professional experience from the different agricultural fields. They tare the contact persons for students and the partner organizations. The international coordinator helps with planning and administration of staff activities and special school activities.
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