Derby College is strengthening its international links with a number of key projects designed to improve the employability skills of learners both in the UK and from abroad.
Students across the College are to be given the chance to gain valuable training and work experience placements through links with European partners funded by the Leonardo Lifelong Learning programme.
A group of eight motor vehicle staff and students have recently returned from a week in Belgium which was the first stage of the ‘Green Miles’ project involving Derby College and their counterparts in Germany, Sweden and Belgium.
Each college is investigating different environmentally sustainable changes to vehicle maintenance including scrappage, alternative fuels, future technologies and emission friendly driving techniques.
Derby College will host the next stage in February 2013 where approximately thirty staff and students from the three other countries will visit the department to investigate alternative fuels.
Next March and April, 30 Derby College Level 2 Hair, Beauty and Hospitality and Catering students and accompanying staff will spend two weeks in Estonia working in schools and local businesses.
The students will have an opportunity to gain industry related language skills and improve understanding of different cultures and work environments. The participation and achievements such as language competency, personal development and employability will be acknowledged with the issue of Europass Mobility and Derby College’s certificates.
In February Derby College and local employers are also offering work experience placements to eight Business, Multimedia, Motor Vehicle and Hairdressing students from Estonia.
The College is also developing programmes in partnership with colleges in Finland, Poland, Croatia, Greece and France to explore best practice in construction techniques; and with colleges in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Latvija, Austria and Spain to research recycling materials for the fashion industry.
Meanwhile, the College is hosting two groups from Bangladesh who are studying either English or Business in Derby with a view to progressing onto higher education either at the College or through local universities. Fifteen learners are currently completing qualifications and a further 30 learners will be arriving in January.
Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino explained: “The programmes not only benefit the students who get the opportunity to gain valuable work experience abroad but also benefit our wider learning community through the contacts that they make with international staff and students who come to the College.
“It is vital in this economic climate to give our students additional skills and experience of international work conditions to improve their employability prospects, improve their understanding of the world and contribute to the important college-wide policy of promoting diversity and widening participation.
“As well as linking up with education exchange projects through the Leonardo programme, we are also delighted that the reputation of Derby College means that learners from as far afield as Bangladesh recognise that the standard of education here is a valuable way of improving their job prospects both back in their home country and throughout the world.”
Sarah Jenkin-Jones, Derby College PR Officer, Tel: 07951 945665; firstname.lastname@example.org
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