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International Vocational Experience
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The International Service Office is the property of, and is being run by, Oppland and Hedmark County Councils. The primary target group is apprentices under the two County Councils' educational resposibility. The apprentices receive information about placements abroad, and are invited to apply for such placements. INTSEK facilitates placements for 60-70 apprentices from Oppland and Hedmark each year. We also support and organise visits by the apprentices' tutors to the apprentices whilst abroad, 20-30 tutors each year. Around 10 apprentice tutors or vocational teachers can apply for language courses through our office as well. The motive and background for our work can in the first place be found in the regional plans for qualification of workforce, development of attractive educational programs, and international orientation. Secondly, programs for European mobility and internationalisation are relevant as well, as our work is in compliance with the objectives of these programs. In our work we emphasise quality in mobility placements. This we achieve by maintaining the relations to our utmost important European cooperating partners. These partners provide the best possible relevant workplaces for our apprentices. They do follow-up, and the apprentices can relate to them in case of illness, or in other situations where the need assistance. Our partners also organise tutor visits at the destinations. Furthermore, quality is also dependent on recruitment of the mobility candidates. We look for apprentices that can reflect on their education, and who are able to get the optimal benefit from a placement period abroad. We apply these criteria during the selection process, and assess the fulfillment of them when the placement is terminated. Our work related to organising apprentice mobility placement includes applying for Erasmus+ funding, reporting and accounting, and not least marketing of work placements abroad as a real option for our apprentices, towards apprentices, but also towards schools, teachers, vocational students, school advisors and vocational offices. Then, continuous communication with the cooperating partners abroad to achieve best possible jobs and accomodations is important. So is of course follow-up during the placement period, evaluation and reporting. Last but not least, dissemination of results towards target groups, like schools, companies, regional politicians and media.

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