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Travel and Tourism
Start date: Aug 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project sent 50 young people studying qualifications at BTEC Level 3 in Travel and Tourism out to Tenerife, to complete a 6 week work placement. The young people were typically aged between 17 - 25 years old and keen to pursue a career in the tourism sector. The students critically need experience to deepen their academic learning. They need this for several reasons: to give value and meaning to their academic work; to strengthen their CVs; to improve their employability skills, to help them network with potential employers; to help them decide on optimal career paths for themselves. The work placements provided these students with practical experience and increased the work-based skills and knowledge that are fundamental to their programmes of study. The work placements also provided opportunities for complementary sector-specific training that is unavailable to students in the UK but readily accessible in Tenerife. The work placement roles included: Working as research guides on the Whale Watching Boats. Developing guiding and information materials for use on the boats and for tourists Interaction with tourists at the start, during and end of excursions Working with the crews, particularly the captains, and researchers to co-ordinate guiding activities Working with hotels to provide children?s animation sessions Working in the visitor centre in Puerto Colon and devising, organising, marketing and presenting talks, quizzes and other events in the centre for tourists to the island.arranging quizzes anworking as research guides on whale watching boats, giving guide talks to tourists to the islans. Liaising with tour operators and hotel groups. Students received comprehensive pre-departure training in the UK and in-country orientation on arrival in Tenerife and also received pastoral support throughout the mobility to ensure success. Many of the students came 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 added value to their college programmes and supported students in broadening their horizons: personally and professionally. The longer-term benefits of participating in this mobility are that, in addition to obtaining work-based skills and knowledge, the students have also benefited from an intercultural experience and personal development that will strengthen their position in the labour market and their workplace readiness. Participants have developed 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 better prepares them for employment, giving them a competitive edge when seeking employment. Through participation in the mobility project, the colleges have contacts with and the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with the host organisations in Spain, with whom it they can work closely to develop closer ties and possibly expand the fields in which mobility opportunities are offered. From a college perspective also, the programme will enhances their course offerings making them more marketable to potential students. At a local and regional level, this project has provided young people with an enhanced training programme, providing them with experiences they could never gain in local work placements, and thereby a better chance of attaining employment in the sector. It supports drives to reduce youth unemployment, and build the confidence and capacity of young people. The impact for participating host partners is that their European networks and international outlook have been 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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