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Improving the quality of traineeship
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Tartu Vocational Education Centre (TVEC) where 3500 students or approximately 14% of Estonian students learning a trade either after basic or secondary school attend studies on a daily basis, is the largest institution providing vocational education in Estonia. Due to the impressive number of students we have an influential role in Estonian economy which means a great deal of responsibility. The new law for vocational education schools in Estonia binds over output-oriented curricula, shortening the duration of studies, increasing the importance of practical work and the flexibility of studies. Companies expect us to teach modern skills and trades which more closely correspond with the needs of labor market today. In addition, vocational school leavers have to meet high requirements in the fields of foreign languages and other key competences. The school plan for 2014-2018 in TVEC has been compiled taking into account the forementioned priorities including increasing the amount of practical studies, improving their quality, developing output-oriented curricula and professional skills of our teachers. In the current project the following ambitious objectives have been set: to considerably improve the quality of practical studies through learning mobility of 34 teachers (teachers of professional skills for trades and internship co-ordinators) which will bring modern competences and help them to be implemented at our school. We will be able to establish closer contacts with companies and the labor market which is of vital importance for a vocational school. An additional value to learning mobility will be internship curricula and their implementation plans for 10 specialties which will be the basis for recognizing the students` studies at the receiving partner in the framework of ECVET. Another important objective of the project is to reduce dropping out of school and further improve the reputation of vocational education (candidates are more aware of what they want to learn) and to raise learning motivation (practical and flexible studies, internship also in foreign countries). Satisfaction polls for the students of TVEC during the last five years have reported foreign internship as one the aspects that raises motivation and enhances satisfaction. By 2018 the number of students who have had their internship in a foreign country is supposed to increase from the current 2,9% to 5%. To achieve the aim altogether 180 mobilities will be organized during the project, including 146 students (from 28 specialties) and 34 teachers. In collaboration with international partners will be developed 10 output criteria of studies practical modules or full parts of the modules (achieved the learning outcomes + assessment). During teachers mobilities will be acquired knowledge and experiences how to find and choose suitable internship company, to make individual traineeship tasks, to instruct supervisors and to evaluate. During students mobility will be test in practice achieved knowledge and created practical modules. Students mobility will be recognised by ECVET principles. The Project will be coordinated by the three members of TVEC project unit who will initiate project activities, appoint people who are responsible, supervise and check if the desired results are achieved. Special attention will be paid to all-around support when preparing and organising mobility (creating project teams, selecting applicants, supporting participants, arranging assessment, giving information, guaranteeing communication with departments and partners etc). As a result of the project students learning motivation will be raised, pre-conditions for reducing dropping out will be created; organisation, supervision and assessment of practical studies will improve. The implementation plans for curricula that follow the principles of ECVET will be developed and recognised as part of TVEC studies in the framework of the current project and in future. The long-term influence of the project will be the rise of popularity of vocational education, raised competence of TVEC personnel which willenable them to prepare highly skilled professionals for labour market in cooperation with entrepreneurs.

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