Pan Wales Vocational Learner Mobility 2015
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
Context/background of the project
CollegesWales is the national organisation that represents the 15 Further Education colleges in Wales. CollegesWales has employed a full time International Coordinator since November 2010 to engage the FE colleges in European funded projects. The job was funded for one year by the Welsh Government who specified that a key outcome was the submission of a centralised application for initially Leonardo da Vinci funding in February 2011. This funding was to enable apprentices to undertake two/three week work placements in Europe. The application was successful and subsequent centralised applications for funding in 2012 and 2013 have also been successful and have attracted funding between them of over 400,000 Euro enabling 138 participants(the project has included apprentices and VET learners since the 2012 application) to undertake short term work placements in various European countries. The International Coordinator's role is now funded by the membership fees of the colleges and consortium applications for staff and learners will continue to be submitted under Erasmus+. CollegesWales is the Applicant Organisation and is submitting a consortium application on behalf of 9 FE colleges in Wales.
The objectives of the project are to enable participants to:
-explore and deepen their knowledge of their vocational subject within a European context and within, at times, a totally different working environment
-consider future employment opportunities in Europe within their chosen field
-enhance their professional profile and employability by providing evidence of having acquired additional professional skills during their work placements overseas as well as enhancing their personal communication and team-working skills through working with their European counterparts
- to support the European tools for transparency and portability of qualifications
For the sending and receiving Organisations, the project will enable them to develop and strengthen partnerships across a range of curriculum areas and to contribute to the European Commission's objective to improve and modernise VET education across Europe. The project will also support the EU transparency tools for qualifications and enable vocational learners to become more work mobile across Europe.
Number and profile of participants
There are 92 participants in this project - 84 are full time VET learners from FE colleges across Wales who are studying national vocational qualifications at either Level 1, 2 or 3 and who are defined as those whose studies typically include work-based learning. Four of the participants from Gower College Swansea will be studying Modern Apprenticeships (Level 3) in Electrical Engineering and four of the participants from Coleg y Cymoedd will be studying Modern Apprenticeships (Level 3) in Mechanical Engineering. The participants will be selected from the following curriculum areas:- Childcare, Hair & Beauty, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality & Catering, Sport, Outdoor Adventure, Built Environment, Business Administration, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. The participants haven't yet been selected even though all curriculum areas have identified target groups of learners and drafted sample training plans with the receiving organisations.
The participants will undertake two week training periods in VET schools and/or companies/businesses in 4 European countries. The sample training plans that have been developed for this application have been produced by the sending and the receiving organisations. They take into account the qualifications that the target group of participants are working towards in Wales and have identified learning outcomes that can be achieved during the training period that will contribute to the achievement of that qualification. Europass Mobility certificates will also be obtained by the participants to provide evidence of the learning achieved.
Impact and longer term benefits
The impact of these opportunities on individual participants is significant and will lead to some participants having the confidence to consider working in a different country in the near future or later in life. Returning participants who share their positive experiences with their peers, staff in their sending organisations and possibly with their employers will generate an enthusiasm for this type of activity and provoke others to consider participating in a similar project in the future. There is no doubt that for some of the participating organisations, taking part in this type of activity has had a positive impact on student intake into specific curriculum areas within that organisation. CollegesWales will seek to maximise the dissemination of the project to ensure that it has as wide an impact as possible on the greatest range of relevant groups.
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