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proDISCO – Discover Your Key Qualifications in Europe
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project “proDISCO – Discover Your Key Qualifications in Europe” ties in seamlessly with previous European mobility and exchange projects by Arbeit und Leben NRW. The collaboration with the partner country France will be further intensified in the project, as well as the cooperations that were newly formed in the previous mobility project. In this, over 90 young people from 25 different institutions of vocational education had been sent to other European countries to complete an internship. Arbeit und Leben NRW is also involved as a host organisation in mobility projects. According to a needs assessment of the so far involved institutions, it can be noted that there is a growing demand for mobility services. Some vocational trainings in the field of technical and commercial occupations show special interest and demand to send young people abroad for an internship during their education. Arbeit und Leben NRW is taking on these tasks. It is part of the organisation’s European development plan to make young people “ready for work” in Europe. Project participants acquire foreign language, as well as social and intercultural skills. They gain a higher level of independence and are more aware of cultural differences and similarities. Thereby enhancing their recruitment and employment opportunities in the domestic as well as the European labour market. The companies and educational institutions involved realise an exchange of experiences regarding vocational training and the organisation of vocational training. Hereby, an opening to international educational programmes is made possible. In the project two types of activities are carried out. Type A1 is aimed at 42 young people in vocational education and in prevocational education schemes. They are undergoing a technical or commercial training, as well as trainings in social, health and care professions. They have hardly any international experience and little foreign language skills. Most of them still live with their parents. The participants are divided into 8 different activities in which they complete an internship in Poland, Ireland, France, Spain and Turkey. On site introductory and orientation programmes are followed by occupational internships. In this type of activity small groups are being sent abroad. The activity type A2 is aimed at 19 vocational school teachers, trainees and other actors in vocational education. This target group takes part in a mobility project for the first time. They will complete training activities such as seminars, guest visits in companies and partner schools, preparatory visits for foreign activities and/or evaluation activities, which will take place parallel to the occupational internships of the type A1 activities. All participants pass though an application and selection process at Arbeit und Leben NRW. They attend an extensive preparation in the form of seminars with descriptions of the learning objectives, carried out by Arbeit und Leben NRW. The internships are made possible with partner organizations abroad, which will furthermore ensure a mentoring as well as organisational processes on site. After returning, participants take part in a follow-up with Arbeit und Leben NRW. With this project, the young participants experience a leap forward in development and a stronger personality. They develop a new perception on interculturality in everyday life, more tolerance and flexibility. Communicating in a foreign language will become clearer and more freely. With the certification of their learning outcomes by the Euro mobility pass their employment opportunities are improved. The participating educational institutions are actively shaping their opening towards Europe. They recognise new potential among trainees and in European cooperation. New coalitions regarding the structure and design of vocational training are taking place at the European level. Arbeit und Leben NRW for its part opens up new issues and requirements that young workers need for Europe.

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