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Structured Training and European Mobility for Vocational Education and Training
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Project This project will enable students from across the wide ranging curriculum offer of Lancaster & Morecambe College to undertake structured two or three week placements overseas with established vocational training centres and host organisations in Europe. Objectives Work experience is a vital part of the personal and professional development of all students at Lancaster and Morecambe College and every effort is made to validate and match that experience with the students' course of study. As well as preparing the student for their next steps into the world of meaningful employment, it is also expected that this opportunity will give them cultural insight and a personal experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Profiles The project is a balance of past mobility projects that have run for several years with the inclusion new destinations and vocational areas to maximise the impact on the whole organisation and benefit a wider range of learners. In this application 64 learners will be able to improve their employability prospects and broaden their horizons with a structured placement in one of the following countries: Level 3 - Sports & Public Services students in Slovakia and Bulgaria Level 3 - Engineering & Construction students in Aalborg, Denmark Level 3 - IT students in Ostrava, Czech Republic Level 2/3 - Football Coaches in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands Level 3 - Hospitality & Tourism students in Abruzzo, Italy Level 3 - Health & Social Care students in Vasto, Italy Quality The outgoing numbers are aligned with past project applications to ensure realistic quality and consistency for all participants. The competition for places is high with all students having to meet strict selection criteria to be considered. The faculties represented deliberately start with smaller and manageable numbers to ensure the end result and only then can consider increasing the number of outgoing placements. Activities The placements are negotiated and developed between the International Team, LMC teachers and host organisations. This is a continual process to help refine the activities for future students and improve the project. The emphasis is on a work placement and in all instances there are opportunities for training and more intense linguistic preparation for particular vocational fields such as hospitality and health care. Mobilities are normally three weeks (two for football coaching). This is the optimum time based on staff and student feedback over recent mobility projects. Mobility dates are agreed well in advance of the activity and shared with students, usually after the first term. This itself we have found to serve as a motivating force for learners. Therefore, the impact on the students is positive even before any mobility preparations have taken place. In all projects a timetable of activities is agreed in advance and worked out by key staff and the hosts who manage the training. This ensures a realistic and manageable project with all expectations and requirements clearly laid out. This design of the programme is often adapted for specific needs of participants with specific skill sets. For example, in summer 2014 LMC Sports and Public Service students demonstrated their skills in advance for the host organisations in both Slovakia and Bulgaria. This allowed the hosts to programme activities on their side, based on the skills of the outgoing students. It is intended The Netherlands and Czech mobilities will be carried in 2015/16 in only one flow each. All the others will happen over two flows in 2015/16 with a safe, realistic number of accompanying people. Accompanying people will remain with the participants for the entire duration of the placement only if the students are under 18 years old. All but two of the projects involves the students staying abroad without staff and therefore getting the best independent life experience. Results and impact LMC attracts a lot of students from deprived areas and its typical student profile is one of very little exposure to different cultures and little or no experience of travelling away from the region. This project will provide a tremendous opportunity for broadening their horizons and developing an appreciation of European Citizenship as well as introducing new employment opportunities. In recent years the impact on students has been immense. Participants reports have stated, "this exchange is the best thing I have ever done" and "from this experience I have gained a much wider outlook on life" See: Long Term Benefits After each visit the students feedback their experience to the European Committee at LMC. This is when the real feelings and benefits are shared with the wider college. LMC OFSTED and QAA reports have cited international mobility experiences as improving and contributing to students' employability and prospects.
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