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Press Release ERASMUS Work Placements

Wakefield College is committed to working in partnership with school, employers and learning providers to enrich our students’ learning, attainment, achievement and progression opportunities. Part of that vision is supported by projects with the European Union’s ERASMUS+ Programme.

Since 1997, more than 500 students have been placed with organisations across nine countries with the aim of gaining genuine vocational work experience in an international setting. The programme funds preparation, travel and subsistence for students to spend two or three weeks on work-placement in a setting related to their curriculum area.

The project operates within Animal Care, Hospitality and Catering, Sport, Public Services, Travel and Tourism and Childcare and has a wide variety of host partners currently including a College in Sweden, the Hilton in Malta, a ski-tour operator and hotel group in Italy, a marine research institute in Spain and an animal sanctuary in The Netherlands that can offer both practical, relevant work experience and the many benefits that cultural linguistic exchange brings.

Participating in a competitive recruitment programme and benefiting from this once in a lifetime opportunity not only increases ability and confidence but can provide a positive focus for an engaging and interesting interview with potential employers or universities.

Abigail McDonald a student on the ERASMUS programme said, “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I would recommend to anyone. I enjoyed the work experience and it gave me more of a chance to get a job in the future with everything I learnt.”

In March, ten Travel and Tourism students spent two weeks working in a ski resort in Italy. This was Wakefield College’s first visit to Italy as part of the ERASMUS project. The students worked at popular accommodation such as Luna Hotel, Derby Hotel and The Renzi Hotel, as well as worked with other college and school groups from all over Europe.

They gained experience working in different departments such as reception, restaurant, kitchen, in a ski shop and as a ski representative. The students spent just fifteen days in Italy, experiencing the Italian culture and customs, allowing them to gain experience which they can also transfer to their studies. 

Josh Shields, Curriculum Development Manager said, “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students. All of the students represented themselves to a high standard, which will set them up for employment. They gained unique experience working in different job roles whilst in a different country. The students developed their employability skills, which will enhance their UCAS and job opportunities in the coming years.”

At the end of March, the College sent ten Catering students to work in the kitchens of the prestigious Hilton Hotel in Malta. Wakefield College has been sending students to the Malta Hilton for many years and in previous years students have returned to Malta at the end of the course having been offered permanent jobs out there.

This year the College also re-established links with Sweden and at the end of April sent eight Child Care students to work in forest schools in Falun, Sweden.

The College is sending a small group of Animal Care students to work in an Ape Rescue Centre in The Netherlands in July. In recent years they have completed placements in a Bottlenose Dolphin Research Centre in Galicia, Spain and a Griffon Vulture conservation park in Croatia.

Tony Rex, Director of Higher Education Development said, “Many of our students have limited opportunities to travel overseas and in some cases rarely go further afield than Leeds City Region. Involvement in ERASMUS+ offers an opportunity to experience life and work in a different culture, and can be life-changing for some students.”

Wakefield College is proud to continue to be a beneficiary of an EU grant under the ERAMSUS+ Programme and earlier this year submitted a bid for an ERASMUS+ mobility project to run from 2018-2020 and in April received the news that the College have again been awarded the funding.




CONTACT: For more information email, or telephone 01924 789789.
DATE: 29 June, 2018

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