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Sustainable Tourism and Sports Work Placement
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Leicester College is one of the largest public further education colleges in the United Kingdom, with a student body of approximately 27400, offering a comprehensive range of technical, vocational and higher education qualifications across a broad range of programme areas from entry-level up to bachelor's degree level. Leicester College is committed to enriching the lives of all members of our community and to creating new opportunities for them. This is reflected in our Mission Statement: "To deliver a wide range of high quality learning experiences to support the diverse communities we serve and the personal, social and economic development of individuals and enterprises." This project will provide 4 cohorts of 15 of Level 3 Diploma students and Higher National Certificate / Diploma students in our Travel and Tourism and Sports and Fitness Departments with a two-week work placement located in Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands for 16-18 days at a time over a 24 month period during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years. The work placements will provide these students with practical experience and increased work-based skills and knowledge that are fundamental to their programmes of study. The work placements will be part of their mandatory coursework and will be 'for credit'. The work placements will also provide opportunities for complementary sector-specific training that is unavailable to students in Leicester but readily accessible in Tenerife. Each cohort will travel to Tenerife with accompanying staff who will participate in the induction and orientation processes and the finalisation of Learning Agreements. The timing of each cohort's mobilisation will be agreed by Leicester College and the host partner organisations, taking account of the availability of students due to exams and UK holidays, the needs of partner organisations, their capacity to host and other issues that may affect the preferred timing. One cohort is expected to travel each semester. Students will receive comprehensive pre-departure training in the UK and in-country orientation on arrival in Tenerife and will receive pastoral support throughout the mobility to ensure success. Significantly, our students will gain relevant subject-specific knowledge and practical experience that is directly relevant to their formal programmes of study at Leicester College, and have exposure to alternative work environments and processes that would be unavailable to them in Leicester. Many of our students come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and, generally, opportunities for them to gain work experience that provides a broader perspective of the wider world and employment possibilities beyond their immediate region are limited. The project will add value to their Leicester College programmes and aims to support students to broaden their horizons: personally and professionally. The longer-term benefits of participating in this mobility are that, in addition to obtaining technical / work-based skills and knowledge, the students will also benefit from an intercultural experience and personal development that will strengthen their position in the labour market and their workplace readiness. It is hoped that participants will develop personal and professional confidence, an understanding of the labour market in another European country, and a set of transferable skills and an international outlook that will better prepare them for employment, giving them a competitive edge when seeking employment. The mobility will aim to enhance the attractiveness of Leicester College to prospective Travel and Tourism and Sports and Fitness students and develop its reputation as a provider of high-quality education, complemented by enhanced complementary learning opportunities through international work placements. Through participation in the mobility project, Leicester College will have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with the host organisations in Spain, with whom it can work closely to develop closer ties and possibly expand the fields in which mobility opportunities are offered. At a local and regional level, this will provide young people with an enhanced training programme, providing them with experience they could never gain in local work placements, and thereby a better chance of attaining employment in the sector. It supports local and regional drives to reduce youth unemployment, and build the confidence and capacity of young people. The anticipated impact for participating host partners is that their European networks and international outlook will be developed and strengthened, so that they are able to offer similar opportunities to future students and are more engaged and connected to the European labour market.
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