BLOG ARTICLE FROM GOTHENBURG REGIONAL ASSOCIATION (GR)

2016-05-20

”The Gothenburg Regional Association of Local Authorities (GR) is a co-operative organisation uniting thirteen municipalities in western Sweden. The combined population of these municipalities is almost 950.000 inhabitants. The task of the association is to promote co-operation over municipal borders and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and experience within the region. “

20160517_081714During the spring GR has held a series of breakfast meetings around different topics concerning School working life issues.  The meetings start around 08.00 and last for around two hours. Guests are invited to mingle with each other and to share ideas and experiences from their horizons. Carefully selected speakers hold presentations around the topic in question.

17th May, GR held a breakfast meeting and workshop at its conference premises in Gothenburg. The meeting was to inform about the iMOVE project, and also about the wider issue of creating sustainable long term and strategic plans to organize mobilities for VET students. Guests were shown the trailer for iMOVE and information and brochures about the project were handed out.

Speakers from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, UHR (Universitets- och högskolerådet, national appointed agency for Erasmus+), GTC (Gothenburg Technical College/Vovo), SKF Technical College and representatives from the Municipality of Kungsbacka were invited.20160517_083103

Johan Olsson from The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, talked about the importance of building bridges between school and the Business world. Students that have participated in a learning experience in another country are seen as attractive for the employers, in particular if they’ve had a work practice experience.Bengt Landfeltdt from UHR gave a picture from a national perspective, the status of VET mobilities in Sweden and the opportunities available. Information was given about the ongoing work, within EU, to create a common regulatory framework for validation in VET training and education.

Learning examples from Schools that have built up successful methods and strategies around mobility organization where given by Josefine Larsson from GTC (Gothenburg Technical College/Volvo Corp.), Ulrika Wiklander from SKF Technical College in Gothenburg and Andreas Mårtensson and Pernilla Öhberg, from the Kungsbacka municipality, informed about recent successful mobility projects in two of their VET schools.

During the workshop guests were divided into groups discussing two main topics:

  1. How to create long-term sustainable organizational structures to implement mobilities abroad operationally and strategically

 

  1. How can we be better at receiving students from other countries operationally and strategically?

 

20160517_093658Among some of the outcomes of the workshop was the fact that staff that has undergone working or learning experience abroad can raise the quality of companies. Skills development within education leads to greater participation and influence in the workplace, but for efforts to be sustainable, they need to be long-term and strategic.  A good way to start is to use the channels and platforms that are available right now and build from there. Establishing good contacts with local companies building bridges between School and the working life, preferably through the establishment of “co-operative” organizations (including VET-schools, local authorities and companies involved in a particular sector) is also essential.

Coordination of mobilities is no easy task. It requires dedicated resources within the VET school or local authority; otherwise the efforts are not sustainable in the long-term. The setting up of local and regional consortiums, which is possible within Erasmus+, enables a long-term and strategic approach enabling more students to undertake a life-changing experience abroad.

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