Title: Work Placement Abroad as Part of Innitial Vocational Education and Training. Adventure or Future Career Enhancement?
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Michal Pachocki, Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Erasmus+ National Agency, Poland
The practical training in another country often aims at strengthening excellence in vocational learning. It is believed that placements undertaken in foreign enterprises can boost theoretical knowledge and practical skills of learners. This paper provides the outcomes of transnational tracer study on vocational school graduates with foreign mobility experience. The research was carried out in 10 different European countries using mixed methods (web survey, focus groups and interviews with former participants of foreign placements). In every country, the questionnaire and interview guidelines were built on a comparable core that consisted of similar inquires translated into national languages that allowed participants to evaluate their placements in terms of content, quality, logistics and organizational aspects. The comparison of data has given opportunity to better understand the expectations of young graduates from different parts of Europe. It has also allowed to learn more about their feedback on how (and to what extent) their training abroad was relevant not only to their needs but also to the requirements of the contemporary labor market. The data show that living and working abroad was a big challenge, especially for younger learners. That demonstrates the importance of careful selection as to host companies and participants’ living conditions. However, to meet the participants’ needs, the mobility placements need to remain in line with learning curricula undertaken in the sending VET schools. Then the skills acquired abroad can be more transferable and easier to reinforce at later stages of educational paths.
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