Work It! promotes the possibility for students with special needs to carry out on-the-job-learning abroad and enhances equal opportunities to become international.
Supporting on-the-job-learning abroad is one of the priorities in the strategy of Luovi Vocational College, in Luovi’s Course 2012 – 2015. Luovi has systematically developed the quality of international activities including student and staff mobility. There’s a growing interest for mobilities because of a previous MENU-project which received Leonardo da Vinci certification in 2010.
Luovi provides excellent education and training services in order to promote the employment and social status of students with special needs. On-the-job-learning abroad is part of the studies. Placements abroad enhance the knowledge, skills and competences needed in the world of work and intercultural skills. The placements will be carried out in groups accompanied by the support staff from Luovi. The employees of Luovi also develop their own professional and language and cultural skills when supporting the students.
The target group of the project are students who need support in order to have on-the-job-learning abroad. The participants of the project are second or third year students with special needs in initial vocational training. They are studying for vocational qualifications in the following fields of education: tourism, catering and domestic services, natural resources and environment, technology, communication and transport sector and Social sciences, business and administration and culture. The students are from different locations in Finland. Support persons are teachers and guidance and counselling staff or work in the services provided by Luovi, for example in restaurants or cleaning services.
Altogether 64 student and 20 support person mobilities will be carried out in this project. The placements will take place in local companies in Germany and in Greece. In England and in France the placements will be carried out in the on-the-job-learning environments of the receiving partners, in restaurants, greenhouses and gardens, in the stables and farms. The length of the placement is 16 – 28 days. Our cooperation with the partners is reciprocal.
The objectives of each on-the-job-learning are tailored to meet the needs of the student. Language and culture preparation is an essential part of the placement and also support persons participate in the preparation. The teacher of the students is responsible for the professional preparation. Work It! is hands on – concrete tasks during the placement and learning by doing. We also want to encourage the students to communicate in foreign languages. The placement will have a positive impact on the students’ self-esteem, which is very important in the world of work. The participants will get experience on working in multicultural environment and to get prepared for the future life. Working in new environment prepares them to take responsibility of their own choices and to understand the importance of their input in the working process.
Being a support person for students is one step in the path of internationalization of Luovi’s staff. We aim to describe a model of different ways to acquire international skills as a part of developing the knowledge, skills and competences of our staff before the end of the year 2015.
The main objective of the project is to increase the employability of students by offering them an international working experience. The feedback and new ideas brought by the staff members are taken into account in the development of Luovi’s activities according to the key priorities. We also want to promote equal opportunities in Finland and worldwide and encourage education and training providers to support the internationalization of students with special needs.