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London calling
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of this project is to enable 6 pupils from Year 7 Business Support to experience a work placement/internship in the United Kingdom, namely in a London-based company. The curriculum for Year 7 Business Support places significant emphasis on language skills, including English, as well as internship experience and workplace learning. During the internship in the United Kingdom, the pupils will be expected to demonstrate their ability to integrate various tasks, specific to their course, in a concrete workplace environment. Pupils who graduate with a Business Support qualification often face significant challenges when they enter the labour market. An internship in a foreign company offers those pupils the opportunity to improve their language skills and gain international work experience. This will substantially increase their chances on the labour market. In January 2015, two teachers visited London to prepare for this project, make contacts and identify suitable internship opportunities. A further preparatory visit will take place in the autumn of 2015. In September 2015, pupils will be able to apply to take part in this project. The selection process will involve interviews during which the pupils are asked to explain their motivation. The selected pupils then take part in a preparatory program which initially focusses on expanding their language skills. They are also given the opportunity to thoroughly get to know their internship company and the tasks they will be expected to perform. They are made aware of the competencies to be obtained. They will also familiarise themselves with London and the culture differences they are likely to encounter. In the spring of 2016, the selected pupils will be spending two weeks doing their internship in a London-based company. They will be coached by their teachers and mentors throughout. The pupils will be staying with host families, enabling them to become more accustomed to British culture and to converse in English outside their working hours. Meanwhile, teachers receive extra training and update their own skills: they get to know new companies and corporate cultures and they can apply these new experiences (alternative evaluation systems, use of business English, etc.) in their lessons. When the two week internship has finished, the selected pupils share their experiences with pupils from other year groups. Likewise, the teachers share their new expertise with colleagues from other subject areas and with colleagues from other schools offering the same course. Eventually this will lead to pupils studying Office Assistance being offered a similar opportunity to experience a foreign internship.

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