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xchange - Grenzüberschreitender Lehrlingsaustausch der IBK und Arge ALP
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The governments of the regions participating in the International Lake of Constance Conference (Internationale Bodenseekonferenz) and the Consortium of Alpine Regions (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Alpenländer) – Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Swiss Cantons, Liechtenstein, Trento, South Tyrol, Lombardy, Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg and Upper Austria – have agreed to carry out a vocational trainee exchange project. Apprentices will spend three to four weeks in a company in one of their neighbouring regions to broaden and augment their professional and personal qualifications and skills. Practical experience in host companies will help them gain new expertise and insights, enable them to cope with novel situations and environments, assist them in organising their own lives and perfecting their personal, social and professional capacities, while demonstrating the advantages of mobility in today's work world. This will expand mental horizons beyond borders, emphasise opportunities present in the European Union, and offer new career vistas. In addition, the project promoters anticipate further benefits: Improved cross-border cooperation and exchanges among partner organisations and the attendant optimizing of training programmes in the project areas as a whole, enhancement of the importance and prestige of different training approaches, and a more European-focussed stance among the apprentices and their companies. Changes with Swiss-Cantons are actually non possible. To implement this project the regions mentioned above have succeeded in involving organisations which are active in vocational training in the chambers of commerce, or those which have the necessary information about and contacts with training institutions and vocational schools for young persons. These operative organisations form a cross-border network, cooperate via a common internet platform, utilise modern social media, and hold meetings of those responsible on a regular basis. A coordination office, with regularly updated website, provides for the coordination and communication between the partners ( Procedure: Partner organisations should advertise at training centres and vocational schools which might wish to participate in this mobility programme. After a vocational trainee has applied for a stay abroad within the scope of this programme, his or her data and wishes regarding vocational training are sent to the partner organisation in the desired host country. This organisation searches for a suitable company and arranges for contacts between the companies planning to send and receive the applicant. The main focus of the training and the dates of the trainee's stay abroad are agreed upon after consulting with both firms and put down in writing, in a so-called "apprenticeship agreement." In certain cases there will be preparatory visits to the host company by the trainee and those responsible for vocational training, in order to become acquainted with the circumstances involved, and to clarify and settle any details. During his or her stay abroad the trainee is assigned a "sponsor", a contact partner who will offer additional support to the trainee host. Apprentices are also encouraged to make use of the cultural opportunities and activities in the host country and to participate in the many facets of everyday life there. A final evaluation report, which every participant must present, will help to assess the results and provide for optimizing the procedures for future internships. Eligible for participation are all second-year apprentices with a current apprenticeship contract. Within the project period we are anticipating 46 participants from Austria, who will spend their time abroad in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Liechtenstein or Italy. A similar number of participants will come to Austria from the partner regions.

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