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Increasing international knowledge and experience of West Nottinghamshire College Students
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Through transnational cooperation between the six institutions, this project aims to produce high quality outcomes for participants, reinforce the internationalisation, capacity building and modernisation strategies of the Vision WNC. The main aim of this project is to develop level 2 & 3 learners as international professionals and entrepreneurs through specialised work and training placement programmes in Denmark , Estonia, Finland and France. This project will involve learners and staff from Engineering, Construction and Lifestyles subject areas and acts as a positive promotion of the opportunities of vocational learning by encouraging participants to develop and acquire new skills and explore international work, training and enterprise opportunities. 126 learners and staff from the Vision WNC will visit Finland, Estonia, Denmark and France, countries which they may not have visited if not for this project. Typically, level 2 & 3 learners do not consider the opportunities to work or train abroad, especially in Northern Europe, or opportunities for self employment. This project will encourage participants to consider different progression opportunities by offering challenging and exciting, but safe work and training placement opportunities to a learner cohort which is normally reticent. Further barriers to work force mobility will be removed by an up-front linguistic and cultural preparation and the acquisition of specific industry terminology during the work and training placement periods abroad. The project uses a pedagogically sound vehicle for learning, supported by the specialist work and training placement opportunities that will provide a rich source of information, skills development and real work experiences. These experiences will enable learners to explore the different approaches to enterprise, commerce and entrepreneurship in each country. This fits with overall strategy of active learning and development of employability and enterprise skills that is strongly embedded in the Vision WNC curriculum. The opportunities to work and train aboard will further broaden learners horizons and instill new attitudes based on the real work experiences. In order to develop expertise in the specialist area and complement their knowledge with more technical and practical training, catering learners will attend training 2 weeks placement at the Danish Meat Trade College. It is believed that the acquirement of these ECVET accredited and certificated skills, not yet taught in UK, will greatly increase the participating learners’ chance of finding a job and being successful at work as these can be used immediately after the end of international placement, either in an employed or self-employed role. From the construction, engineering and manufacturing perspective, globalization is not a choice, but a reality. To successfully compete in the employment markets of the so-called knowledge age, learners must be driven by passion, curiosity, engagement, and dreams. Participation in this project will help to prepare the next generation of specialists for these challenges by giving them opportunities for working and training alongside the French and Estonian industry specialists while learning from the shared brainpower, organisation and innovation. The participating staff will have an opportunity to tour the partner institution, to include walk throughs of lessons taking place, to shadow an advance practitioners of partner institution, observe a range of teaching and learning activities, coaching and feedback sessions and team teach, if desired. The outcomes of the project are disseminated and used to facilitate the adoption of any best practices that are identified as a result of the project activities. Participation in this project may result in college adopting a new technique or assessment practice, or questioning strategy, as observed as part of the European visit, and putting it into practice. A specific Visison WNC Moodle page will be set-up as part of this project. This will enable communication between the participants and staff as well as encourage future collaboration and sustain any future partnerships. The project will be promoted through the Vision WNC Web site, Facebook, Twitter, via local and regional media and word of mouth by the learners and staff and to local large and SME employers, employer forums, industry associations and awarding bodies.
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