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Kaufmännische Auszubildende in Estland und England
Start date: 15 Jun 2016, End date: 14 Jun 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Kaufmännische Schulen 1 Villingen-Schwenningen (KS1), Kaufmännische Schulen Göppingen (KSGÖ) and Kaufmännische Schulen Offenburg (KSOG) would like to enable young apprentices to get work experience abroad as part of their dual training (e.g. as industrial clerks or financial assistants). The aim of this is an increased intercultural and personal competence to help master new challenges in business as well as personal life. Businesses, which are very often internationally orientated, would thus benefit from highly motivated employees who would be more self-assured in their treatment of foreign customers and suppliers. Participation in the project can also lead to enhanced willingness to work abroad inside the EU.The project is aimed at students with university entry qualification and those entitled to study at specialist colleges and universities of applied sciences, whose level of proficiency in English is at least B2 (for Great Britain), and good students who graduated from middle school with a sound knowledge of English, which they can use to bridge communication gaps (for Estonia). The participants will be apprentices of various different professions in their second year of training. The focus will be on bank clerks, industrial clerks as well as clerks in administration, but the project will be open to all other professions, like office clerks and automotive clerks. At the time of departure, students in three-year courses will have passed about one half of their training, those in two-year courses (e.g. financial assistants) will have passed about two-thirds of their training. This will guarantee that they have sufficient qualification, competence and profound basic knowledge of economics to benefit from the internships and other offers that are part of the project.In Great Britain, the focus of the project is on obtaining the “office worker international – AHK” qualification of the German-British Chamber of Commerce.In Estonia, the project focuses on “seeing beyond the end of one’s nose”.In both countries, participants are supposed to strengthen their key qualifications – teamwork, problem solving, testing self-organised procedures. In Estonia, special emphasis will be on doing an internship, forming ties in the twinning schools and finding one’s way on new terrain.In the course of two years, 80 apprentices are to be sent to Great Britain, and 12 to Estonia.All partners in the project have been in contact for a number of years, and procedures and coordination before and during the stays are will-known, tried and tested. Dates for the stays have already been appointed, same as the coordination of course contents. In Great Britain, the ECBM course includes English Business Communication, excursions to the Docklands and an oral exam as well as a written essay exam. In Estonia, the agenda includes participating in classes at the two business colleges, a one-week internship, a visit to the German Embassy as well as guided tours of Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki, which will be prepared by the participants themselves.To sum up, the project is meant to render the participating students highly independent in planning and organising their own learning situations and environment. It is a long-term goal to enhance mobility and to prepare the students for an unknown environment, as it is less and less likely for them to remain in the places where they are being trained. Intercultural competence is becoming increasingly important at school and in the workplace, with colleagues just as with customers. When dealing with them, it is of particular importance to show understanding and empathy, especially for those who come from foreign nations and cultures. Self-organisation of exchange processes is of central pedagogical importance in this project. The participants will have to let themselves in for each other, make decisions together and coordinate their decisions with those of others. Self-organisation is a crucial educational aim which is meant to enable the young people to be resourceful and to take the initiative. This will further creativity and facilitate professional development. Taking the initiative and accepting responsibility for one’s decisions are basic prerequisites for successful professional progress.
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