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Starfsnám nemenda og kennarara MK 2014 - 2016
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The envisaged project of Kopavogur Institute of Education (Hospitality and Culinary School of Iceland and Iceland School of Tourism) is designed to empower students of Practical Tourism by offering an opportunity of job training abroad as well as the teachers/staff members directly involved in the management and operations of the school canteen, where culinary students are involved in cooking and serving the meals on offer on a daily basis. Students of the Iceland School of Tourism will be offered a three-week work placement abroad – in Finland and in Ireland – in collaboration with Rovaniemi Municipal Federation of Education/Lapland Tourism College and City of Dublin Education and Training Board. The plan is to send a total of twelve students abroad, always in pairs, six to Finland and six to Ireland, during the period from August 2014 to July 2016. Memoranda of Understanding will be drawn up between the partner institutions where the roles and duties of each party are clearly specified. The Iceland School of Tourism is, for instance, responsible for preparing the students for the work placement, organizing the project and evaluating its outcome. Tasks and responsibilities of the receiving institutions include assistance in finding appropriate businesses for the job training, accommodation and providing assistance in matters that might arise during the placement period and which cannot be solved from home. Learning/training agreements will be made with the receiving institutions/businesses where key training content and competences are specified. The work placement forms part of the students’ compulsory three-month work training, but may also be evaluated as a compulsory elective subject. Last autumn the school canteen at Kopavogur Institute of Education underwent some radical changes. Instead of hiring an outside company to prepare food for staff and students, the school itself now manages the canteen as part of the training programme for culinary students. Students prepare and serve all meals on offer in the canteen under the direction of teachers. The aims of this change are twofold: to introduce students to realistic projects from the onset and to support the school’s participation in an official health promotion incentive directed at upper secondary schools in Iceland. This change has met with positive response, not least from the general consumer and parents, who can now rest assured that their youngsters have access to healthy food at reasonable prices. With the Hospitality and Culinary School being the only one of its kind in Iceland, there is no comparable undertaking in the country. It is, therefore, of primary importance for key staff in this project to look to our neighbouring countries for information and guidance on the day-to-day management of a student-based canteen. The principal teacher of the canteen project proposes to spend a week at Leeds City College to become familiar with beginner-level teaching of culinary subjects, but cookery students at LCC prepare lunches that are sent out to canteens in the city. Ester Mosessons Gymnasium in Gothenburg operates three different restaurants that offer food prepared by students. The cookery teacher of Kopavogur and the finance manager, who is in charge of canteen operations, have planned a visit to EMG in order to observe how they manage their restaurant operations. There can be no doubt about the positive results of job training abroad. Students of Practical Tourism develop skills in working independently as well as gaining an understanding and appreciation of the culture and life in a foreign country. This is important knowledge for people preparing for a career in tourism, which has become one of the key economic activities in Iceland today. A good canteen is the cornerstone of a good working atmosphere. The canteen at Kopavogur Institute of Education is managed by ambitious individuals who constantly seek to improve their work and standard of service. This is why they wish to visit institutions abroad, but still close to home, that are known for their good work and exceptional standards. The overall impact of this project will be a positive one for the school as a whole, increase its reputation at home and abroad and attract students, not least to vocational courses which are powerful base for the development of tourism in Iceland. Thus it can also e said that its long-term impact is a positive one for the Icelandic society.

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