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Praxiserfahrungen für Auszubildende durch Lernaufenthalte in Europa
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The target group of our project are apprentices from various occupational groups. They are mostly a part of the so-called ‘Generation Y’ – a generation that grew up with and within a globalized environment owed to television, internet and radio. They were born into a world that shows increasingly cross-linked and interdependent structures, they consume products from all over the world and are well versed in international restaurant menus. However, this is just one dimension of their experiences with our globalized world – with the beginning of their vocational training new aspects come along – the apprentices get a first impression of what it means to act on an international labour market, to work within an international environment or work with colleagues from all over the world. The requirements for qualified employees are rising – and therefore the importance of learning how to handle these challenges as early as possible. In the training curricula as well as in the training regulations, these aspects often don’t get the required attention – resp. only a theoretical treatment of these subjects is possible. Therefore our objective is to offer the apprentices, their educational centres and their apprenticing companies the opportunity for a practical and application-oriented experience. During their month-long internships, the apprentices do not only prove and improve their know-how. They will also learn a lot about themselves and will improve and strengthen their social competences. During that time the participants will also receive the task of realise a small individual project in order to contribute their personal expertise. For example, this could be an intercultural cooking event that the apprentice arranges by himself. Altogether, over the course of the project we would like to send 46 participants to five different countries (14 participants to Spain, 8 to the United Kingdom, 12 to Ireland, 2 to Poland and 10 to the Netherlands). The group of participants includes apprentices from various occupational groups, for example child care workers, chemical laboratory workers or clerks. Our participants will all be of age and, generally, they all completed the first year of their vocational training. We provide a comprehensive preparation for their stay abroad to turn it into a positive and enriching experience. During preparation meeting the participants receive a general and individual guidance and a portfolio that contains information regarding their travel, the country, the company and the local characteristics and contact information about their mentor. Next to that there will be a seminar that will impart intercultural competences and training. This seminar will be mandatory for every participant. In addition, we support and consult in every other aspect (e.g. in language and every day live requirements). With this combination of preparatory offerings fears should be dispelled and their joy of discovery should be strengthened. After their stay abroad we encourage the participants to share their experiences and therefore spread the idea of the project. For that purpose the apprentices will get a platform within their company or educational centre, where they for instance get the opportunity to report on their individual projects and their stay, as part of a documentation. We expect for our participants a great personal and professional gain through the strengthening of their personnel and social competences as well as an increase of their motivation for their further vocational training. Additionally, we want to pursue sustainable impacts on another level: The number of apprentices that make practical experiences in a foreign country during their vocational training is after all very low with a slightly increasing tendency. The reasons for that lie e.g. in the missing support or high bureaucratic obstacles. With this project we don’t only want to support the participants with their plans. We also want to facilitate the access to and the acceptance of such offers and therefore achieve a consolidation of work experiences abroad within the vocational training. Alongside we expect a stronger interlacing of vocational education protagonists on a European level and an increased cooperation between the education centres and the companies.

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