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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project “Apprenticeship Abroad is My Opportunity” was directed at students in the third year of Technical school from the ICT and Electronics courses. Its main aim was to create an opportunity for students to achieve success in a professional area and to enhance their personal development, which was fully accomplished. The students gained knowledge, skills and professional qualifications, which increased their prospect of finding employment in both domestic and European markets. A crucial aim of the project was to raise intercultural awareness and understanding of different cultures and countries in the project participants and to strengthen the feeling of citizenship and European identity. Key objectives of the project were to give every participant individual benefits and to create the chance of development for the school and the local community. The project had a significant impact on the development of our school, especially in the field of vocational education. It resulted in cooperation with a foreign institution and the exchange of experiences on the international level. Thanks to this, different and often innovative educational solutions have been used in our school. The positive influence of the project on the level of teaching in our establishment is now visible and will continue to be in the future. The apprentices came back with new experiences, which they have already passed on to their peers, their families and the local community, and in the future will use in their workplace. An important outcome of the project was that students discovered the need for lifelong learning and so will show the importance of this in people’s lives to the wider community. The apprenticeship took place in Plymouth, Great Britain. The host organisation was Tellus Education Group, a vocational education centre. A group of 20 students took part, 10 from ICT and 10 from the Electronics course. The recruitment was based on clear rules. Before leaving, the young apprentices received language, cultural and psychological support. During their English classes they boosted the vocabulary and expressions needed for work and for everyday-life communication. Basic information about cultural differences, traditions, customs and the economy of the country they were going to visit, was acquired during lessons with a native speaker. The school counsellor carried out a psychological workshop where the students developed their people skills, practised communication, learnt assertiveness and improved their confidence. The students gained familiarity with the rules of the apprenticeship, the programme and regulations of their training, their rights and obligations, and the safety rules during their journey and stay. The students were provided with international transport, insurance, accommodation, board and full mentoring from both the teachers of ZSEiO, who constantly looked after the students during the apprenticeship and from the employers of the host organisation. The ICT students carried out tasks connected with designing and creating local computer networks as well as managing the data communication networks. The students from the Electronics course performed tasks connected with installing, maintaining and repairing electronic appliances. The apprenticeship gave students the opportunity to compare European industry solutions with ones used in Poland and to test their theoretical knowledge in a practical context. The students developed language competence, improved their communication skills and their work-specific vocabulary. Staying with families and meeting participants from other countries and courses gave students a better understanding of different cultures and fostered greater openness and tolerance. Each participant received the Europass Mobility document, which records information about the knowledge, professional qualifications and additional benefits the student acquired during the apprenticeship. Each student also received a Certificate of Completion by their supervisor. In summary, the student apprentices, the teachers, the whole school and the local community all benefited from this project. It not only gave participants the opportunity of vocational and personal development but also opened the door for better and more effective teaching in our school.
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