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Rathmines College Working Abroad
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

As a result of the current economic situation education, training and up skilling has assumed a new dimension. Rathmines College sees this as an opportunity to development new and existing partnerships and respond creatively to the changing student profile in the best interests of the learners. The college wants to provide a more comprehensive range of awards with high relevance to labour market needs in a quality assured and outcome based learning environment. Rathmines College aims to provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to function in a French speaking country in everyday situations of life and work, and acquire the skills necessary to progress to further study or into employment either at home or abroad. It aims to enhance education and training at all levels and make mobility and lifelong learning a reality. There are 10 participants from a range of nationalities, age and socio-economic backgrounds. All participants are currently in full-time Further Education studying for qualifications at National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Levels 5 or 6 (equivalent to European Qualifications Framework (EQF Levels 4 and 5). Participants will gain international industry experience in their vocational area over a two week work experience period in a structured and supported environment. They will develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the French language. They will also engage in cultural activities to develop a greater awareness of other civilisations to promote social cohesion and active citizenship. All learners will be told about the project and will be given the opportunity to apply. Full information on the selection criteria will be made available at the start of the academic year. All applicants will complete an application form and will do a language proficiency test to progress to the next stage of the process. Attendance will be considered and a points system operated. All applicants who meet the language proficiency requirement will be interviewed by the Deputy Principal and Head of Languages and a Department Head. The decision will be communicated to applicants within 7 working days of the interviews. A reserve list system will apply. Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to discuss their application with the Deputy Principal. The Project Team will include the Principal, Deputy Principal, the Accompanying person and two Department Heads. The Deputy Principal will chair meetings which will be held on a monthly basis with more frequent meetings in the run up to the Project taking place during February. All participants will complete the FETAC Level 5 Work Experience and French programmes. These programmes facilitate learners to examine work organisations and personal career opportunities in their particular vocational area, to include consideration of work-related issues and needs. The Head of Languages will provide workshops where participants will be briefed on the project and will be given an opportunity to discuss project related issues and concerns , for example the practicalities and logistics of the project, livng and working in an intercultural environment and the socio-cultural differences to be aware of. Feedback from all participants and stakeholders will be sought and evaluated and used to develop and implement a programme improvement plan. Participants will benefit from increased confidence that will come from meeting the challenge of undertaking a period of work experience abroad in a different culture and through the medium of a foreign language. It will strengthen transnational mobility for learning purposes and create a greater sense of European citizenship. Participants will develop and improve on their personal, interpersonal and practical skills. It will strengthen links between Rathmines College and colleges and businesses in the host country, and develop existing partnerships and foster increased cooperation between colleges and international employers. It gives the college an opportunity to build relationships with employers who operate in a multi-cultural/multi-linguistic environment and are looking for employees with a high level of competence in European languages. In the long term it will encourage current and future students to study a foreign language and will lead to the enhancement of existing course offerings or the development of new courses in Rathmines College, for example – International Business, International Marketing, Liberal Arts with language. Current and future students of the college will have an increased awareness of the possibility and desirability of working in an international and intercultural environment. Rathmines College will update our internet and social media platforms to reflect students’ participation in the project and to encourage future students to study a foreign language .

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