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Mobiliteit in de Leertijd
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The consortium of SYNTRA Flanders and the 5 SYNTRA training centers –SYNTRA West, SYNTRA Central Flanders, SYNTRA provinces of Antwerp and Flemish Brabant, SYNTRA Limburg and SYNTRA Brussels – is responsible for the organization of the apprenticeship system in Flanders. Although the apprenticeship is acknowledged as a highly effective training system, it has been experiencing a decreasing influx of new students since years. This decreasing influx is caused by various factors, one of them being the unattractive and obsolete image of the system. The SYNTRA network has already taken several steps to improve the apprenticeship system, and is increasingly aware of the importance of internationalization and transnational cooperation to match the system’s needs. Thus, the MOBILE project is also embedded in SYNTRA Flanders’ ambition to further internationalize the organization. The aim is to make the apprenticeship system more appealing to young people by offering internships, analogous to the foreign study experiences that other educational systems already offer, in the framework of Erasmus + and other programs. At the level of the students the project aims at the acquisition of vocational skills and generic labor competences in a foreign context, improved language skills and an increased independence and self-confidence. The third and final objective is situated at the greater European level. With this exchange project the consortium wants to contribute to propagation of the European integration idea and give the apprentices the opportunity to get acquainted with another country and culture. Because the international exchange of students in the apprenticeship system is new to the SYNTRA network, the consortium has opted to start with a relatively small-scale project. During the academic year 2015-2016, about 20 students from the sectors Green/Animals and Catering/Bakery/Butchery will get the chance to do a two week unpaid internship in the northern French city of Tourcoing or the Dutch region West-Brabant. In addition to workplace learning the internship also includes recording a leading and ambassador role to disseminate their experiences to potential and fellow apprentices, and follow a socio-cultural leisure program. Specifically for the students in France the development of French language skills is foreseen. The screening and selection of the participants is presided by the person in charge of the apprenticeship system of the SYNTRA training center of the candidate and is based on a personal interview and input provided by the candidate’s teachers and apprenticeship counselor. The consortium will appeal to CFA Tourcoing and ROC West-Brabant to find a suitable internship and guest accommodation, to guide the students during their journey and to follow-up the workplace learning and the socio-cultural program. On the one hand these foreign partners will play an intermediary role in the project as a connection between the consortium and the foreign trainers and enterprises, and, on the other hand, they will take over the role of the SYNTRA network locally in terms of guidance and quality follow-up. Over the period of the project the communication with the consortium’s foreign partners is provided by contact points for each combination of country and sector, consisting of a duo of employees from SYNTRA Flanders and a SYNTRA training center. These contact points will as well organize information sessions about the project for the participants, and report to the Working Group on learning mobility in the apprenticeship system, which consists of SYNTRA Flanders’ apprenticeship counselors and consultants, and the SYNTRA training centers’ persons in charge of the apprenticeship system. The coordination of the Working Group, as well as the administrative and financial management of the project, is in the hands of SYNTRA Flanders. The project foresees a diverse impact, both at the level of the system and the organizations involved and at the level of the apprentices themselves. On the first level a more appealing apprenticeship system is envisaged, which consequently has to lead to an increased influx of new students. The project should also serve as a fundament of the further development of firstly a Flemish consortium for international mobility in the apprenticeship system, and secondly an international network for future exchange and other projects. The impact on the participating students will be very divers. First of all, they will gain professional skills and more specifically new and innovative work processes, techniques and/or products from abroad. The Flemish trainers and enterprises where they are employed can in turn use their acquired knowledge. Furthermore, the project has also to develop an international and European awareness, increased independence and self-confidence, linguistic and cultural diversity and experience with recording a representation and leading role.
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