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					                WORK EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT



                           COMPARATIVE REPORT




Leonardo da Vinci programme
WEM - 2003
Pilot project: I-02-B-F-PP-120118

Ronald Kloeg

ROC Midden-Brabant
Tilburg, the Netherlands
INDEX                                                           PAGE

 COMPARATIVE REPORT

       Chapter 1: Introduction                                    2
       Chapter 2: Legislative and cultural environment            4
       Chapter 3: Preparation of practical placements abroad      5
       Chapter 4: Partner Organisations                           7
       Chapter 5: The actual work experience                      9
       Chapter 6: Evaluation and validation                      11
       Chapter 7: Dissemination                                  12

 Annex 1: Template for National Reports                          13

 Annex 2: List of Key Issues                                     15

 Annex 3: List of existing tools                                 16

 Annex 4: National report Czech Republic                         21

 Annex 5: National report Germany                                35

 Annex 6: National report Italy                                  52

 Annex 7: National report The Netherlands                        71

 Annex 8: National report Portugal                               85




WEM Comparative Report                                             1
1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Purpose and methodology of the comparative report
This Comparative Report is the result of the first phase of the Work Experience Management
(WEM) project and is based on the National Reports delivered by five WEM project partners
from five different countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal). The
first phase of the WEM project was meant for survey and data analysis. Five partners with
large experience in the management of transnational work placements, mainly funded under
the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci programme, investigated the organisational practice
in their own institutes and in some occasions they involved data required from other organi-
sations. The methodology that had been agreed among the partner network, privileged an
investigation on the institutional level rather than an analysis on national level. The institu-
tional practice was to be set into the more general picture of national and transnational work
placement practice. This approach was chosen in order to set a concrete basis for the formu-
lation of practical tools for a common quality system to be applied to the organisation of
transnational work placements.

The questionnaire, according to which the five surveys were formulated and which was
agreed among the partners, therefore followed the practical steps which are involved in the
organisation of placements abroad. These practical steps were defined as “key issues”,
which are fundamental for a qualitatively valid process of transnational placement organisa-
tion. As part of the National Report, each partner also shared the tools currently in use, i.e.
the practical organisational procedures in the form of administrative procedures or organisa-
tional practice, which are linked to each “key issue”.

Furthermore, this institutional approach implied that the Comparative Report should summa-
rise and compare the five National Reports rather than analyse them. The first version of the
comparative report was presented to all project partners in August 2003 and was discussed
during the third transnational project meeting in Lisbon.

1.2. Conclusions
A number of conclusions were drawn from the comparison of the five National Reports:

Firstly, it is obvious that in spite of the many differences between the partners‟ organisations,
the process and practical steps of sending trainees abroad for a work experience period and
also the process of receiving students are by and large similar. Therefore, it can be inferred
that the five “National Reports” are to some extent representative for a wider picture. Indeed,
the Dutch partner ROC Midden-Brabant states that their situation could be seen as an ex-
ample for work placements abroad throughout the Netherlands.

Secondly, the key issues that are critical for the success of the placements abroad are
similar or the same in every institution, which was investigated for the National Report.

Thirdly, the actual practical organisation of placements abroad is embedded in the internal
organisation of each institution. Even though the process of organising practical placements
abroad can be seen as largely similar, in its detailed articulation it still follows the
requirements of each single institution.

The partner network agreed consequently that the report constitutes a valuable
representative description of the organisational process of transnational work placements. In
addition, it was concluded that it validates the project‟s approach of defining a shared
approach to the description of the organisational process and the development of shared
tools. These are called the WEM User Guide and the WEM Treasure of Tools.



WEM Comparative Report                                                                            2
However, while at the beginning of the project, it had been presumed that it would be
possible to set up a single standard procedure to be shared between the project partners,
and other institutions later on, it was concluded that a changed approach was needed in this
respect. If the organisational process is in its practical articulation strongly defined by the
internal organisational set-up of a given institution, it is not possible to standardise tools and
process to an extent that they would be the same everywhere. Consequently the WEM User
Guide and the WEM Treasure of Tools are adaptable products, which respond to this
reality.

1.3. The project partners
The project partners involved in the WEM project represent five European countries: Italy,
Germany, the Czech Republic, Portugal and the Netherlands. The partners are of different
origin and shape and offer programmes to different target groups in relation to the respective
national systems of education and training.

In Italy several partners are working together in the WEM project. The main institute is IAL
Piemonte, a regional organised and federate agency which provides training courses in the
fields of administration, industry and craft, automation technology, CAD, environment, tour-
ism, marketing and organisation. The other Italian partners are: Cisl Piemonte, a worker
Trade Union, Confcooperative, the association of the Italian co-operatives, Orfeo, a co-
operative itself and 3i SRL, a private company with experience in the proces of work place-
ments for foreign students.

The Portuguese partner MundiServiços investigated work placements abroad in two insti-
tutes: a Professional School in Aveiro in the centre of Portugal and the Catholic University of
Lisbon. The Professional School is rather small with appr. 315 students. It offers training
courses in the fields of Business administration, Information Technology, Management,
Safety and the Environment at the workplace, and Industrial Organization. The University
has more than 1,000 students per year in the areas of administration and management, Eco-
nomics and Consultancy.

TÜV Akademie is located in Eastern Germany with Berlin, Magdeburg and Dresden as main
centres. It offers a wide range of professional qualifications to more than 10,000 trainees
yearly. TÜV Akademie also offers courses to SME‟s like quality management. Many of TÜV
Akademie‟s training courses have been developed by TÜV Akademie itself, and in some oc-
casions with European partners.

VSB is the Technichal University of Osrava in the Czech Republic. This University consists of
seven faculties and has more than 15,000 students.

ROC Midden-Brabant is a Regional Training Centre for secondary vocational training and
adult education in the south of the Netherlands. They provide mainstream education and
training for 16,000 students per year in almost all vocational areas.

1.4. International activities of the project partners
All project partners are involved in a wide range of international activities which effect the in-
ternational dimension of their training courses and education. The partners make use of EU
programmes like Equal, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus and Socrates. The work placements in
other countries organised by the project partners concern several hundreds of students
yearly, depending of the size of the project partner.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                               3
2. LEGISLATIVE AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

2.1. Vocational training and adult education in the partners’ countries
The ways in which vocational training is organised in the partners‟ countries show more dif-
ferences than similarities. Vocational training is taking place in Secondary Vocational
Schools, Technical and Professional Institutes, Private and non-private Regional Training
Centres and Training Agencies, Institutes for Higher and Further Vocational Education and
Training and at Universities. Training courses show big differences in duration and structure
and are aimed at different target groups.

2.2. Work experience as a compulsory component of vocational education
Only in the Netherlands, Portugal and in Germany work experiences are a compulsory com-
ponent of vocational education and training. In Italy practical trainings are a rather recent
practice. In none of the partners‟ countries work placements abroad are compulsory.

2.3. National attitude towards work experience
All partners have noticed the tendency that companies see more and more the high values of
work placements. This has been encouraged by the trade unions in some of the partners‟
countries. The Dutch and the German partner are rather positive, but recognise that the atti-
tude of companies is easily influenced by the economic situation. The Italian partner still ex-
periences a lack of interest in many companies and has doubts about the quality of several
work placements. The Czech and the Portuguese partner say that the attitude towards work
placements is often depending on the individual management in the companies. The general
attitude towards work placements in other countries and towards offering placements to for-
eign students is still rather reluctant.

2.4. Specific regulations for work experiences in other countries
In most of the partners‟ countries there are no special regulations for work placements in
other countries. The Italian partner has noticed that some areas in their region are allowed to
fund these work placements under the national CIPE programme. Also municipalities are
sometimes acting as promoters of mobility actions for students. In the Netherlands students
will get a higher scholarship if they are abroad for a longer time.

2.5. Different target groups
In the national reports only the Italian and Dutch partners mention the fact that it is more diffi-
cult to organise work placements for adults and students who have finished their training.
There is a big difference between such practical placements and placements for young stu-
dents. No further remarks are made about work placements for special target groups.

2.6. National bodies
Under this paragraph the partners mention the actual actors in their countries and region
which are typical for the national situation is each country.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                            4
3. PREPARATION OF PRACTICAL PLACEMENTS ABROAD

3.1. Encouraging students
All project partners give information about the possibilities of work experiences abroad to
their students. This information is provided either on paper or through personal presentations
by teachers and by students who have already finished their work experience in another
country. In some occasions the information is also available on the intranet system or the
website of the partners. One of the partners is holding information sessions for teachers of
the schools for who they organise these work experiences. The high value of a work experi-
ence in another country is only mentioned in two of the national reports. This aspect should
get more emphasis. Encouraging students to take part in work experiences in foreign coun-
tries is a key issue in the process of a work experience abroad. The Dutch videotape about
the advantages of a work experience in other European countries is a fine tool for this matter.

3.2. Selection of suitable candidates
The five national reports show unanimous descriptions in this paragraph. A corresponding
subject area and positive study results are the first of the selection criteria which are applied
by the project partners. Communication and language skills are seen as further important se-
lection criteria. In personal interviews with the candidates their motivation, attitude, reliability
and open mindness are assessed. The Italian partner has developed some special tools for
the interviews. The selection of suitable candidates is another important issue in the process
of organising work experiences in other countries.

3.3. Special target groups
The project partners hardly organise work experiences in foreign countries for groups of stu-
dents with special needs. The German partner has initiated several mobility projects for
young unemployed people. It seems that a work placement in a foreign country is only easily
accessible for students who do not require a special attendance.

3.4. Agreements and contracts
In all occasions the project partners are using standard contracts which have to be signed by
the sending institute, the student and the hosting company. In the Netherlands such a con-
tract is an official and integral part of the overall study contract between the student and the
training institute. The Portuguese partner said that sometimes the trainees have to use a
contract which have to be signed only by them and by the hosting company. The Italian and
the Portuguese partners are asked to use the official Leonardo da Vinci work placement
agreement, as the Czech partner is using the official Socrates agreement form. These con-
tracts and the additional agreements cover matters like contents of the work experience,
rights and duties of the student and financial and administrative details. The use of these
contracts and agreement forms is also an important matter in the whole process.

3.5. Insurance
In most occasions the students will have to take care of private medical care and travel in-
surances. Sometimes students will have to pay themselves, but when they get EU funding
also insurance premiums will be reimbursed. In Portugal one of the partner schools is re-
sponsible for the insurance of the students but the insurance policy is paid by the Leonardo
da Vinci Programme and in Italy the students are automatically insured against third party li-
ability and against labour accidents. In Portugal students are usually asked as well to fill in
Form E111




WEM Comparative Report                                                                             5
3.6. Payments and bookings
Dependent on the regulations of the different funding programmes the students will some-
times have to pay for things like travel and accommodation in advance and be credited later.
The Dutch and one of the Portuguese partners however will pay for flight tickets from their
own recourses, even without yet having received the European funding. Nevertheless, they
are then paid by the Leonardo da Vinci Programme. Only students from the Czech partner
will make all bookings by themselves in all occasions. The other partners still feel that they
are responsible for the right bookings.

3.7. Other financial matters
Three remarkable things should be mentioned under this paragraph. The Italian partner has
made an interesting tool, a table in which the students have to report strictly about all their
expenses when they are abroad. The German partner has taken initiatives to apply for com-
prehensive integrated projects, which will include all costs at once. In the Netherlands stu-
dents are able to get extra money from the Dutch government when they are in other EU
countries for a longer period. In some cases students would be able to get even more money
than they would need.

3.8. Accommodation
In most occasions suitable accommodation is found through the hosting partners or compa-
nies. It could concern private addresses (stay with families), student residences or apart-
ments and studios. If necessary the students will have to pay directly for the accommodation,
but mostly the sending partner is taking care of payments for the accommodation. One of the
partners shows pictures of possible accommodations on its website so that the students
could make a choice in advance. A fine tool to help the students by making their decisions.

3.9. Pedagogical and language preparation
All partners offer special language courses to the students who will take part in a work ex-
perience abroad. The approach may vary: these language courses, which sometimes include
also cultural matters, could be organised by the sending institute but also by the hosting insti-
tute, after the arrival of the students. Dutch students will speak and write sufficient English
and sometimes also German, so that they don‟t need to attend language courses when they
go to countries where these languages are applicable.

3.10. Intercultural preparations
In most occasions cultural preparation is integrated in the language courses. The project
partners feel that intercultural preparation is very important to avoid any kind of cultural
shock. Some partners also refer to certain websites and videotapes where the students could
get a first idea about the country that they are going to visit. However, personal experiences
presented by students who have already participated in a work experience in another country
or by native speakers will be more efficient to prefigure typical situations and possible solu-
tions. Both cultural preparation and language courses are estimated as key issues by the
project partners.

3.11. Different backgrounds of students
More guidance is given to younger students or to other students who would need so. Further
we would like to refer to paragraph 3.3




WEM Comparative Report                                                                          6
4. PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

4.1. Selection of suitable partners
The national reports show unanimous outcomes under this paragraph. Partner institutes in
foreign countries are found from already existing networks and partnerships, but also from
European or national databases. These hosting partners will find suitable and reliable com-
panies which they already know from the work placements offered to their own students.

4.2. Hosting partners and intermediate partners
In general the project partners are used to co-operate first with partner institutes who have
similar courses and who are working for more or less the same target groups. As these part-
ner institutes know best the situation in their country and region, they will intermediate be-
tween the sending partner and the companies. Only in few occasions the sending partner
has direct contact with the companies in the countries where the work experience will take
place.

4.3. The role of the companies
Companies are expected to be responsible for the actual work placement inside the com-
pany. In most occasions the company will nominate a contact person who will give assis-
tance to the trainee and who will take care of suitable assignments and evaluation. Compa-
nies usually expect from the foreign students that they are able to fulfil the tasks that were
agreed upon earlier with the sending partner and the hosting institute in their own country. It
is obvious that companies have higher expectations when they will receive university stu-
dents like from the Czech partner. The Portuguese partner states that companies in their
country don‟t have too many expectations at all. Companies in all the partner‟s countries are
not convinced enough of the value of offering work placements to foreign students. This is
too often dependent on individual persons and their individual opinion. For this matter tools
still have to be developed.

4.4. The role of the partner school or an intermediate institute
As said earlier this role consists of finding the right placements and suitable accommodation.
Further partner institutes will monitor the whole process of the stay and sometimes they take
care of language preparations.

4.5. Selection of partners concerning different target groups
The project partners actually try to match each work placement to the requirements and
needs of the individual student. This means that the sending partners reckon with differences
like the age of the trainees, the level of their studies etc. This is mainly done by working to-
gether with institutes with comparable training courses and target groups.

4.6. Information materials
To the hosting partners and the companies the following information is given: the student‟s
CV and personal application form with detailed data about skills, motivation etc. A description
of the job profile of the trainee and information about the student‟s training course. Also prac-
tical information about issues like insurance, accommodation and the evaluation procedure.
This information is very important for the whole process of organising work experiences
abroad. The project partners have several examples of fine tools (CV‟s, personal application
forms) which are useful for this purpose.

4.7. Partners offering the right placements
As the project partners in most occasions have a long term relationship with their foreign
partners, this will guarantee that the companies that have been selected will be able to meet
the requirements as expected. Sometimes preparatory visits are made to new partners. Stu-
dents who have been returned are giving feedback in their evaluations. This is very important
and will give clear evidence about the question whether a partner and a company have met
the aims of the work experience.

WEM Comparative Report                                                                            7
4.8. Agreements and contracts
All partners work with general agreements concerning the co-operation between the partners
and with official contracts between the company, the student and the sending institute.
Sometimes special contract and agreements are used, related to certain EU funding pro-
grammes.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                   8
5. THE ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE

5.1. The management of the work placements
Most of the partners have a special office that deals with the process of work experiences
abroad. Dependent on the actual situation in the partners‟ institutes the office staff includes
one or more co-ordinators and administrative personnel. The Italian partner is making use of
university graduates or students who will function as project‟s assistant.

5.2. Tasks, assignments and work programme for the students.
The actual assignments and work programme of the students are related to the course they
follow and may differ from situation to situation. Especially when the work placement is an in-
tegral part of the curriculum, those assignments can be stipulated by the contents of the cur-
riculum.

Other tasks of the student are related to the process of taking part in international work
placements. Students have to agree to and to sign official documents, take part in prepara-
tory and evaluation meetings and have to write their weekly reports as well as their final re-
port.

The German partner mentions the fact that every student during a work experience abroad
will have the task of being open minded, increasing awareness and using foreign languages.
This seems an important aspect that should get more emphasis in the whole process.

5.3. Formats and checklists
Under this paragraph the partners summarise a pretty long list of formats and checklist that
they are using. These useful materials can be considered as tools in the process of work
placements in other countries. For a list of these tools and a description of them we refer to
Annex 2 in this report.

5.4. Communication with the students
E-mail communication is most common in this process. In special occasions communication
could take place via telephone and text messages. Official documents are sent by ordinary
mail. Both the Italian partner and the Dutch one mention a digital platform on a webpage as a
fine possibility for students to communicate with other students and with their tutors. The Ital-
ian partner even has a helpdesk which can be reached also for personal questions.

5.5. Guidance and tutorship from the foreign partners
The project partners show under this section that they have different expectations from the
hosting partner as far as guidance and tutorship is concerned. When university students are
involved guidance is expected especially when problems occur. In the case of younger voca-
tional students the project partners expect a tutor both at the hosting partner institute and in
the company where the student will be located. The Italian partner gives the student the
freedom to choose with whom of the tutors he or she would like to communicate most. The
Dutch partner has different expectations from the tutor at the company and the tutor at the
hosting institute. The tutor at the company should guide the student while working on the job
floor, the tutor or contact person from the hosting organisation is expected to help in case of
troubles.

5.6. Guidance and tutorship from the sending institute
In all occasions guidance is offered by the sending partner through e-mail communication.
When partners have sufficient funding (from own recourses or project grants), students are
escorted to other countries or are visited by representatives of the sending partner.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                            9
5.7. Europass
Only the Italian, the Portuguese and the Dutch partner will provide the Europass to all stu-
dents involved. The Dutch partner asks the students to fill in the Europass themselves and
accepts mistakes made by the students. The Italian partner emphasises how very time con-
suming the correct deliverance of the Europass is: agreements must be signed when order-
ing the Europasses, students have to be informed properly about the use and about how to
fill in the Europass etc. The Portuguese trainees are also informed about the use, the impor-
tance and about how to fill in the Europass

5.8. Co-operation with other institutes in the partner’s country
Three of the partners co-operate regularly with other institutes and organisations in their own
country in order to exchange knowledge and to reach synergy concerning the organisation of
work placements abroad. The Dutch partners has strong ties with the national bodies who
play such an important role in vocational education and training in the Netherlands. Because
of their role as service organisation IAL Piemonte works together very closely eight schools,
training institutes and the public authorities.

5.9. Hosting foreign students
At university level the hosting of foreign students on a reciproque base seems to be rather
easy. The Czech partner has good experiences with foreign students who tend more and
more to come to their country. The German partner emphasises the importance of creating a
good intercultural atmosphere when receiving foreign students. The preparation of the work
placement is regarded as very important and we would like to take care of the same level of
preparation as we expect from our partners. The Italian partner states how difficult it is to
host foreign students in Italy because of the importance of the Italian language, lack of inter-
est from companies and high costs of accommodation.

5.10. Budget
The work experiences in other countries organised by the project partners depend very much
on EU fundings like Leonardo, Erasmus and ESF. Without these fundings a lot of students
who would be interested would not be able to go to another country. This means that getting
funded is a very important and decisive aspect in the whole process. In few occasions the
students are expected to pay themselves for the placement. In Italy the public authorities
give extra money for the administration service and monitoring of IAL Piemonte. The Czech
partner points out the strange fact that foreign students who would come to the Czech Re-
public have the disposal of € 400 – 500, while the average living costs is about € 150.

5.11. Financial administration
Financial administrators in all partners‟ institutes take care of the administration of the work
placements abroad. The national reports don‟t show any special details in this respect.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                             10
6.   VALUATION AND VALIDATION

6.1. Evaluation with the students
The performance and the experiences of the students are being evaluated through feed back
from the hosting company. This evaluation is done in most occasions by the company tutor.
Then the students will have to evaluate in their final report and in a personal debriefing with
the tutor in their own institute. Some partners organise work sessions together with groups of
students or involve students in presentations for other students who are interested in work
placements abroad in the near future. Students are also asked to evaluate the organisation
and administration of the work placement and the role that was played by the hosting partner
and the hosting company.

6.2. Evaluation with the partner organisations
Through questionnaires and feedback forms the foreign partners are asked to evaluate the
whole process of the work placements and to give suggestions for future improvement. The
German partner stipulates that they often don‟t have enough time for evaluation in each indi-
vidual occasion. Therefore a continuous dialogue with structural partners is taken place
within the framework of their co-operation, which seems a very efficient way of evaluation.
The whole evaluation aspect is a very important issue in the process of organising these
placements.

6.3. Implementation of the results
As important personal results of the work placement abroad should be considered: a
changed mentality, open mindness, improved language skills and independence. These re-
sults are very difficult to measure and therefore continuous communication with teachers and
trainers of the students should take place. Conclusions and other outcomes of the evaluation
process are taken in account during the organisation of the next group of work placements.

6.4. Validation and accreditation
The Europass is seen as a means of validation of the work placement abroad. Further the
students could get a certificate from the company and the sending or intermediate institute.
In the Netherlands all work placements have to gain accreditation from the national bodies
for vocational education.

6.5. Quality assurance
Most of the partners state in their national reports that quality assurance systems do exist in
their institutes (some of the partners are ISO certified). However these quality systems are
not applied to the international mobility projects yet.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         11
7.   DISSEMINATION

7.1. Internal dissemination
The project partners are using several means for internal dissemination: presentations by the
students involved, the institute‟s intranet and website, internal statistics and reports, internal
magazines and leaflets. Internal dissemination is important as ameans to encourage stu-
dents to take place in work experiences in other countries.

7.2. External dissemination
The same counts for external dissemination: website, presentations during conferences,
newspapers and magazines, contacts with other partners and networks. Although all part-
ners see dissemination as an important issue, non of the partners mentions a strategic dis-
semination plan in their national reports.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         12
                                                                                       Annex 1



                         TEMPLATE FOR NATIONAL REPORTS

Introduction
1. Short description of your institute:
    - What are the main area‟s of training and Education?
    - Fields of interest
    - Target groups
    - Size of your institute
2. Short description your international activities
    - Policy and objectives
    - How have you organised and structured your international activities?
    - Give some key figures: how many students take part yearly in international activities,
       how many teachers etc.?

Legislative and cultural environment
1. Describe shortly the Qualification Structure of Vocational Education in your country.
2. What are the official obligations and possibilities concerning work experiences (practical
   placements)?
3. Give an overview of the national approach towards training placements. How would you
   describe the existing culture in your country: do enterprises and trade unions strongly be-
   lieve in the values of placements, how do students and employees feel about it etc.?
4. Do you distinguish any differences between the idea about work placements for students,
   unemployed people and employees?
5. Are there any specific regulations for practical placements in other countries?
6. Which national, regional or local bodies or institutes play a specific role concerning these
   placements abroad?

Preparation of practical placements abroad
1. How do you encourage students to take part in these placements (presentations, re-
    ports)?
2. How have you organised the selection of suitable candidates (only for certain fields of
    training, level of studies, personal attitude, study results …)?
3. How do you involve special target groups?
4. Which kind of agreements and/or contracts have you prepared for your students?
5. Do you take care of the insurance, or is the student involved himself, have you thought of
    special agreements with insurance companies?
6. Who does the booking of flight tickets: your institute or the student? Who pays at the be-
    ginning etc.?
7. Of which other financial matters do you take care and how?
8. How do you make sure that you will find suitable accommodation for the students when
    they are abroad? How do you pay this accommodation etc.
9. Give a description and mention some examples of your pedagogical and language prepa-
    ration for daily life and acting in professional situations.
10. Give examples of intercultural preparations which appeared to be successful and others
    which seemed to be less effective.
11. Work placements abroad could be carried out by students of different ages, different
    educational backgrounds and they could be real students, unemployed people or em-
    ployees. Do you reckon with these differences when preparing a work experience?




WEM Comparative Report                                                                      13
Partner organisations
1. How do you find and select suitable partners?
2. Do you work directly with companies or via partner schools or other institutes like inter-
   mediate organisations and job centres? Describe how you use these different channels
   and how placements are arranged.
3. Describe the role of the companies during the work placement period. What do compa-
   nies expect from the trainees and what from the sending institutes? Are companies con-
   vinced of the high values of foreign trainees for their own organisation?
4. Describe the role of the partner school or an intermediate institute in comparison with the
   role of the company if you work with such partner schools or institutes.
5. Do you take into account the differences mentioned above like different ages, different
   educational backgrounds and different employment status when you choose your part-
   ners and how do they respond to the different needs of the trainees?
6. Which information do you prepare for your foreign partners?
7. How do you make sure that partners are able to take care of the contents of the workplan
   for the student?
8. Which agreements and contract do you use together with the partner organisations?

The actual work experience
1. Who takes care of the management of the work placements in your institute and how
    have you organised and structured things?
2. Give a summary of the tasks, assignments and work programme for the students.
3. Which formats and checklists do you use?
4. How do you communicate with the students abroad (telephone, e-mail, digital platform)?
5. Describe the guiding and tutoring that you expect from the foreign partners (both partner
    schools and the companies themselves)
6. Which guidance do you offer to your students while they are abroad (do you visit the stu-
    dents)?
7. Do you use the Europass? How have you been able to handle the administration etc.
8. Dou you work together with other institutes in you country concerning your work place-
    ments abroad?
9. Do you also host foreign students in your country (reciprocity) and could you mention
    some important issues?
10. What is the budget for students‟ mobility in other countries, do you get any funding, how
    much do you pay yourselves?
11. Have you made any specific agreements with your financial department?

Evaluation and validation
1. How do you evaluate the work program and the process of the work experience with your
   students?
2. And how with your partner organisations?
3. How do you make sure that implementation of the results will take place in your institute?
4. How do you make sure that validation and accreditation of the competences that have
   been gained will take place?
5. Do you work with a quality assurance system?

Dissemination
1. How do you disseminate the results of students‟ mobility an work placements abroad in
   your own institute?
2. And how outside your institute?




WEM Comparative Report                                                                      14
                                                                                          Annex 2




                                          List of Key Issues

1. Legislative and Cultural Environment
   - Promotion of hosting international trainees

    -   Awareness and requirements of hosting enterprises

    -   Varying functions of practical placements for trainees and employers

    -   Varying relevance of international placements with respect to the qualification


2. Preparation of international practical placements
   - Selection of candidates

    -   Motivation of candidates

    -   Employment Contracts

    -   Insurance

    -   Payment of grants

    -   Linguistic preparation

    -   Intercultural communication preparation

    -   Preparation for “enterprise culture” abroad

    -   Accommodation


3. Partner Organisations
- Contracts and agreements with students, hosting organisations and companies


4. The Actual Work Experience
   - Guidance and tutoring

    -   The role of a supervisor in the enterprise


5. Evaluation and Validation
   - Assessment as a joint exercise between hosting and sending organisation

    -   Assessment of the quality of individual placements in general


6. Dissemination and implementation
   - Implementation of the results of the work placements

    -   Dissemination to other students




WEM Comparative Report                                                                        15
                                                  Annex 3




                    WORK EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT



                         LIST OF EXISTING TOOLS




Leonardo da Vinci programme
WEM - 2003
Pilot project: I-02-B-F-PP-120118
WEM Comparative Report                                16
1. Existing tools - Technical University of Ostrava

Tools
A. Leonardo da Vinci placements
1. Explanation about work experience as a compulsory component of education and training (at the
    website of Czech Leonardo Office http://www.nvf.cz/leonardo)
2. Application form for the selection at the faculty
3. Curriculum Vitae form
4. Certificate about the placement
5. Certificate “Place-S” about the placement
6. Motivation letter for an enterprise from the part of the student in order to introduce oneself
7. Video tape – motivation support for foreign languages learning before a placement
8. Application form G
9. Application form S
10. Official practice agreements in four languages (EN, FR) – available only in printed form
11. Confirmation of the receiving organisation
12. Final Report on the placement
B. Socrates/Erasmus
    1. Explanation about the aims of the programme Socrates/Erasmus
        (http://www.csvs.cz/socrates/erasmus)
    2. Application form
    3. Proposal for the receiving of a foreign student
    4. Erasmus Final Report
    5. Confirmation about the Erasmus placement
    6. Financial agreement between student and VSB-TUO
CEEPUS programme (USA universities)
    1. Application form
IAESTE
    1. Nomination form
    2. Explanation about the programme
    3. Report about the placement
ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) for inter-university exchanges only
    1. Application form for the selection at the faculty
    2. comparison of topics
    3. Application form
    4. Learning Agreement
BILATERAL agreements, governmental bursaries...
    1. Foorm of bilateral agreement of individual student exchange between VSB-TUO and foreing
        university, only in written form, FR and EN version
    2. Application for a fellowship (aanvraag voor een studiebeurs), Univ. Gent, NL
    3. Research programme
    4. Medical Certificates (NL, F...)


2. Existing tools - TÜV Akademie GmbH

                                               Tools

    1. Internal demand sheet for international work placements (German, English)
    2. Internal information sheet for international work placements (German, English)
    3. Preliminary general information for the partner and the company about the student (a table
       with basic information, German, English and French)
    4. Assessment sheet (English)
    5. Internal list of current placements (English)
    6. Work placement contract (German, English, French)
    7. Attendance / Time sheet (English)

WEM Comparative Report                                                                              17
3. Existing tools – IAL Formazione

Tools                                                       Description

1. Assessment Form         The form aims at collecting basic information to be assembled as
                           aggregate statistical information reporting the placement outcomes. Two
                           pages, one of closed questions, the other of open questions to be later re-
                           arranged in closed questions according to the answers.
2. Additional Contract   It is contract including a number of clauses aimed at covering all major
   with the Trainee      issues involved with the placement abroad. It also includes minimum
                         clauses established by the Leonardo da Vinci programme contracts.
3. Allergy &             It is a form aimed at collecting information related to allergy and emergency
   Emergency             information; the form has been worked out by Park Lane College (UK),
   Information Form – promoter of the 1995 Leonardo da Vinci Pilot Project “Animateurs Training
   A-                    across Europe” (no. 3567)
4. Allergy &             It is a form aimed at collecting information related to allergy and emergency
   Emergency Form - B information.
   -
5. Call for Applications Call for proposal addressed at the concerned public potentially interested to
                         take part to a placement abroad. It may concern the public at large or the
                         students of a certain school. It describes all major issues related to the
                         organisation of the placement.
6. Candidate               Guided bi-lingual CV form which aims to guide the applicant through all
   application form        major issues related to describing him/herself in view of the work placement
                           abroad
7. Table for mark          It is a table which report the range of marks for each issues to be
   assessment              investigated during the interview of the candidates; to be associated to the
                           Candidate Interview Assessment form
8. Candidate interview     Diagram intended to collect the interviewers assessments, judgements and
   Assessment Form         opinions throughout the interview with the candidate, and aims to transfer
                           those opinions into numbered evaluations leading to a final trainee priority
                           list
9. Certification format    The forms aims at certifying the completion of the placement abroad, giving
    issued by the          basic information on the contents and the organizations involved., both
    Promoter and/or the    available in English
    Partner
10. Company Tutor          It is a form aimed at collecting information on how the placement has
    Evaluation Form        developed; to be filled out by the company tutor (or by the partner tutor)
    Skills Assessment -    upon completion of the placement; the form has been worked out by Park
    A-                     Lane College (UK), promoter of the 1995 Leonardo da Vinci Pilot Project
                           “Animateurs Training across Europe” (no. 3567)
11. Europass Booklet       A few pages addressed to the trainee in order to explain how the Europass
    Information Form       booklet is to be filled out.
12. Company Tutor          It is a questionnaire to be filled by thecompany tutor abroad for each trainee
    Evaluation Form - B    after the work experience
    -
13. Evaluation form for    It is a questionnaire to be filled by each trainee after the work experience
    the trainee
14. Family authorisation   Form to be filled and signed by parents of the candidates which autorizes
                           the minor to the work experience abroad.
15. Final Report           It is a form aimed at providing the trainee with relevant information on the
    Information Sheet      issues to be discussed within his/her final report. To be discussed with the
                           trainee during departure/arrival meetings. The form has been worked out by
                           Park Lane College (UK), promoter of the 1995 Leonardo da Vinci Pilot
                           Project “Animateurs Training across Europe” (no. 3567)


WEM Comparative Report                                                                                    18
Tools                                                      Description

16. Financial Report      The form aims at allowing the trainee to list all expenses made during
    Table                 his/her placement abroad. To be used by the trainee whenever he/she
                          hands back original receipts.
17. List of questions     Useful questions for the interviewer to icebreak at the beginning of the
                          interview in the phase of selection of the candidates.

18. Placement             It is a form to be filled out by the hosting partner where various placement
    Information Form      information related to the experience abroad are given to the promoter
    issued by the         (company data, accommodation, transports, and so on)
    partner
19. Planning for          It shows the main deadlines of the process of preparation of the whole work
    activities            placements

20. Statement Certifying The form aims at certifying the condition of a trainee currently in a different
    the condition of     European country to complete a placement within the Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo Trainee     Programme. To be used whenever needed to state officially such condition.
21. Statement to obtain   The form aims at allowing the issue of E128 form extending to a different
    E128 Form             EU country health care public assistance plans. To be used by the trainee
                          whenever he/she requests the form to the relevant office.
22. Survive Tactics       It is a form aimed at providing the trainee with critical item information on
    Information Sheet     the issues to be discussed before the departure. It is intended to guide the
                          discussion when packing and thinking over major placement relevant
                          issues. To be discussed with the trainee during the departure meeting. The
                          form has been worked out by Park Lane College (UK), promoter of the
                          1995 Leonardo da Vinci Pilot Project “Animateurs Training across Europe”
                          (no. 3567)
23. Trainee Attendance    It is a form aimed at collecting the signatures of the trainee attending
    Sheet                 his/her work placement or other activities, like the initial language course; it
                          is to be countersigned by the company tutor (or by the partner‟s) upon
                          completion of the placement

24. Trainee Weekly Log It is a form aimed at collecting weekly information on how the placement is
    Book               proceeding in terms of skills improved, problems encountered and
                       comments; to be filled out by the trainee in his own language and used as a
                       basis to draft the final report upon his/her return; the form has been worked
                       out by Park Lane College (UK), promoter of the 1995 Leonardo da Vinci
                       Pilot Project “Animateurs Training across Europe” (no. 3567)
25. The SWEET website It is a site dedicated to the Leonardo mobility project Sweet - Students at
                      work in european enterprises - It collects tools information for beneficieries,
                      families,schools, and partners. The site is obviously in Italian and no
                      English version is at the moment under construction.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                                   19
4. Existing tools – ROC Midden-Brabant

Tools

1. Explanation about vocational education and training in the Netherlands
2. Explanation about work experience as a compulsary component of vocational education and
    training
3. Information about the role of the National Bodies for vocational education and training and their
    role in work experience
4. Information leaflet from one of these National Bodies
5. Invitation letter for students in order to encourage them to take part
6. Video tape about WE abroad to encourage students
7. Written information for teachers and course leaders about the process of WE abroad
8. Official practice agreements in four languages (EN, DE, FA)
9. A description of special conditions which belong to the official practice agreements
10. Agreement with the student in which all financial specifications are stipulated and also
    insurance matters and other duties of the student
11. Financial format to be filled out with the students and to plan the budget of their WE
12. Examples of cultural and language preparation
13. Lists and formats with assignments and other things to be fulfilled by the student at a work
    placement meant for hosting partners and companies
14. Evaluation form for the students
15. Evaluation form for the hosting partners
16. Evaluation form for the hosting companies


5. Existing tools – MundiCerviços

         Tools                                           Description

1. Site with Information Explanation about the placements from Camões Institute, Sócrates /
   for students and Erasmus Programmes and Contact Programme (ICEP).
   companies
2. Specimen Standard
   Contract
3. Placement
   Agreement
4. Europass
5. Evaluate Forms




WEM Comparative Report                                                                                 20
                                                 Annex 4




                    WORK EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT


                            NATIONAL REPORT

                             CZECH REPUBLIC




Leonardo da Vinci programme
WEM - 2003
Pilot project: I-02-B-F-PP-120118

Hana Danihelkova / Pavel Danihelka

Technical University of Ostrava
Ostrava, Czech Republic




WEM Comparative Report                               21
1.      INTRODUCTION

VSB – Technical University of Ostrava – short description

VSB-TUO is a technical and economic institution of higher education. The principal task of
which is the provision of higher education based on free and internationally oriented re-
search. The Mission of the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava is to develop as a modern
European technical university. The form and content of its study programs relate to
processes of change from industrial to post-industrial structures of material production and
social organization. The University offers creative and systematic higher education making its
graduates to compete successfully for labour on international markets and orient themselves
effectively in the rapidly changing realities of the society based on knowledge.

The University is a source of innovation, and partner for regional namely small and medium
sized, entrepreneurial sector.
The University is one of principal movers and constitutive elements of regional economy and
contributes to social and economic development producing and distributing knowledge in in-
ternational cooperation and collaborating with practice worldwide.

The University consists of seven faculties:
       Faculty of Economics
       Faculty of Civil Engineering
       Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
       Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics
       Faculty of Mining and Geology
       Faculty of Metallurgy and Material Engineering


1.1.    Main areas of training and education
are listed, together with internet cross-links, in Annex I. (see also the website www.vsb.cz -
English version)


1.2.     Fields of interests – R&D activities
R&D represents an integral constituent of activities of VSB – Technical University of Ostrava
and is crucial for the success of the restructuring process in the region of North Moravia and
Silesia.
VSB-TUO ranks among six top universities in the Czech Republic of which the volume of fi-
nancing for R&D has exceeded 3 millions EUR per year. The fact attests to the strength of
human and research potential that the University has as its disposal.
The greatest share in this volume has the Research programs, “Vyzkumne zamery” (Re-
search Objectives), the programs for a research centre, and grants of GACR (Grant Agency
of the Czech Republic) and European programs.
A major role is also played by the HEI Development Fund, which adds significantly to the
quality of master and doctoral study programs, as well as to laboratory equipment of individ-
ual departments.
A unit for transfer of technologies has been established at the University, which provides ser-
vices contacting national and international partners for the University R&D commercializa-
tion. The services concern also consulting as regards the protection of intellectual property
and patent rights.
We consider the founding of the Science & Technology Park of Ostrava in the close vicinity
of the University Campus in Poruba to be a useful step. The park has been a joint enterprise
of regional universities and will be finished in following years.
Important research cooperation exists between VSB-TUO and industry, overall turnover of
contracts being about 2.5 milions EUR.

WEM Comparative Report                                                                           22
1.3.    Target groups:
undergraduate students (UG)
postgraduate students (PG)
doctoral students (PhD)
long-life learning


1.4.   Size of the University – some basic numbers:
Total number of students in 2002/2003          15 325
                                      UG        3 213
                                      PG       10 841
                                      PhD       1 271
Number of foreign students                        139
(stages not included)


2.         INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES, INTERNATIONALIZATION

2.1.       The university’s policy

Towards internationalization of studies and research is given by its strategic development
plan and in particular by its European Policy Statement:


European Policy Statement

VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava created its first European Policy Statement in 1997 and
its amended and precise second version in 2000 to declare how to introduce the European
dimension in higher education and research as well as to set up a comprehensive description
of plans in the international, especially European co-operation. This European Policy State-
ment is based on both previous versions and sets out the institution´s strategy for the inter-
national co-operation in the context of current social and economic changes in the Czech
Republic and Europe.

A. International co-operation – basic data

At present, VSB - Technical University of Ostrava is deeply involved in international coopera-
tion with a high number of partners in Europe and overseas:

       -     87 bilateral agreements with institution of higher education abroad
       -     8 Leonardo da Vinci projects
       -     15 international (European) R&D projects (5 th Framework Programme, NATO,
             INGO, Barrande, Eureka, etc.)
       -     R&D cooperation based on bilateral agreements (Tohoku-University-Japan, SIU
             Carbondale and Missouri-Rolla-USA, University of Taipei-Taiwan, Capetown Uni-
             versity – RSA)
       -     59 bilateral agreements under Socrates/Erasmus with 14 EU countries
       -     mobilities in the framework of our IC 49166 in the 2002/2003:
             outgoing students: 159
             outgoing teachers: 83
       -     increasing number of students and teacher exchanges




WEM Comparative Report                                                                       23
B. Present situation

B.1 Strenghts and weaknesses

Strengths

      -     renewed and regained academic freedom
      -     autonomy of university
      -     students are more responsible selecting their study programs
      -     computer technology, free access to the Internet
      -     large international cooperation
      -     accreditation according FEANI
      -     student and teaching staff exchanges
      -     involvement in EU - programmes
      -     gradual ECTS implementation to the major subject areas
      -     increasing total number of enrolled students since 1990

Weaknesses

      -     social and economic problems related to the restructuring processes in the indus-
            trial Ostrava region
      -     not completed transformation in the system of secondary education in the Czech
            Republic
      -     reduced number of new applicants in technical subject areas
      -     insufficient financial sources for international activities
      -     in term of ECTS compatibility problems with partner institutions
      -     low language proficiency of students and staff at the technical faculties
      -     courses taught in foreign languages for UG and PG students only at the Faculty of
            Economics, in the technical subjects areas only individual tutoring available

B.2 Priorities for the academic years 2003/2004 - 2006/2007

      -     gradual implementation of the Bologna process, namely adopting the compatible
            two - level system (UG and PG) with the first degree no shorter than 3 years and
            introduction of ECTS at all levels including also lifelong learning.
      -     Europeanization of study courses
      -     humanization of the education in technical subject areas
      -     compatibility of taught courses, recognition of study periods abroad
      -     enlarged student and teaching staff exchanges in particular, to achieve more than
            100 students mobilities and more than 50 teacher mobilities per year, to all EU -
            countries and in all major subject areas
      -     improved language preparation
      -     ODL and Lifelong Learning (partnership in Thematic Networks and/or Grundtvig)
      -     dual diplomas
      -     new curricula (partnership in CDA projects)
      -     to assure additional funding in synergy with other EU - programmes, national pro-
            grammes and the support from the industry


An important role play also activities under other Socrates programmes (Minerva, Grundtvig)
or other schemes funded by the Community (Leonardo da Vinci). Partnership from former
joint activities lead to new bilateral agreements for Socrates/Erasmusm and on contrary posi-
tive experience from new cooperation action under ERASMUS resulted in broader agree-
ments between VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava and several European universities in-
cluding also collaboration in R&D.

WEM Comparative Report                                                                      24
B.3 Additional remarks

Participation in teaching staff assignments is considered as an important part of the individu-
al professional profile and brings more positive personal evaluation. PhD - students are en-
couraged in the same way.

Full recognition of study periods does not happen automatically. Even in the case that both
partner universities apply ECTS, a certain adjustment in corresponding curricula is neces-
sary. This procedure has to be performed before student exchanges. Done mostly by teach-
ing staff during their mobilities.

A large scale implementation of courses taught in foreign languages is limited by insufficient
funding. However, there is individual English, German and French tutoring available in all
major subject areas for PG and doctoral students.
A gradual extension of English taught courses should be achieved until 2006/2007.

The implementation of the EPS process is being currently managed, monitored and eva-
luated by special university commission (vice-rector, institutional coordinator, faculty coordi-
nators).

2.2.    Organizational structures for international activities:

at the university level:
         Vice-rector of R&D and International Cooperation
         International office
at faculty levels:
         Vice-dean of R&D and International Cooperation
         Administrators

2.3.    Numbers of students and teachers involved in international activities in
        2002/2003

Students

2.3.1.                        Programme              Outgoing       Incoming
SOCRATES/ERASMUS                   153                     31
LEONARDO DA VINCI                  8                       8
CEEPUS                             12                      12
AKTION                             48                      -
Governmental grants                14                      4
Direct exchanges                   25                      15
Czech state support                16                      -

Teachers

2.3.2.                        Programme              Outgoing       Incoming
SOCRATES/ERASMUS                    83                     43
LEONARDO DA VINCI                    5                      5
CEEPUS                              12                      7
AKTION                               9                      5
Governmental grants                  2                      1
Direct exchanges                    12                      9
Czech state support                  3                      -



WEM Comparative Report                                                                         25
3.      LEGISLATIVE AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

3.1.    Qualification Structure of Vocational Education in Czech

The term Vocational Education had not been used in Czech Republic before 1989. Later it
has been adopted for education and training at a wide range of institutions of higher educa-
tion preparing students for their professional career in the broadcast sense of the word,
namely:
            Universities (founded by state)
            Private institution of higher education
            Other institutions of higher education
Nevertheless, there is no law or regulation concerning vocational training in country and con-
sequently, no recognized qualification structure has been adopted till now.


The overall structure of Czech education system is presented in Annex II.


3.2.    Official obligation and possibilities concerning work experience (practical
        placement)

At national level, there is till now no legislative demand for practical placement

VSB-TUO:
Work experience (work placements) is considered as an important part of the vocational
training at our University. The majority of bachelor and master courses, especially in technic-
al subject‟s areas, have incorporated work placements as an integral part of education. How-
ever, the offers are mostly limited to domestic companies.
As a university we have little or no experience with work placements for unemployed people.
On the other hand, there is a special department at the university offering retraining courses
for unemployed people thus helping them to find new positions on the labour market.
Work placements abroad are extremely attractive for students, but lack of funding limits the
number of student mobility. Only students having sufficient private funding or those selected
as beneficiaries under various programs supporting such mobility can take part in work
placements abroad.
The university cooperates with partner institutions abroad. On the reciprocity principle work
placements are being offered to our partners. More details in the paragraph ”Preparation of
practical placements abroad”


3.3.    National approach towards training placements

As mentioned above, there is till now no legislative demand for practical placement at na-
tional level. In enterprises, the situation differs according the management of enterprise; in
some cases, the work experience improvement is a part of personal politic of enterprise, in
other is rather neglected.
Certain enterprises began to understand quickly after the economical changes in early 90‟s
that receiving students for work placements can bring them considerable benefits. Compa-
nies having solved their ownership, transformation and restructuring issues welcome the
possibility to take care of students interested in work placements concerning the communica-
tion between employees and students; almost no negative feedback has been registered.
Especially positive situation can be found in international companies, which are opened to
accept foreign trainee. In last years, VSB-TU is sometimes asked to help to find foreign trai-

WEM Comparative Report                                                                       26
nee, which will help to implement the international feeling and to help to overcome the lin-
guistic barrier. Positive examples are societies Cepro, Cabot, MG Odra Gas, Steelwork Tri-
nec and other. On the other hand, some enterprises are still closed to cooperate.


3.4.    Differences between the idea about work placements for students, unemployed
        people and employees

Yes, there is a significant difference. Generally, students at all levels are more and more
aware of importance of practical placement, especially abroad. They feel that such an expe-
rience will increase their chances at labour market. Even among unemployed, the students
just leaving schools are the most opened to search for practical placement to get some expe-
rience.
Unemployed people, except of above mentioned students, are less motivated and often hesi-
tate to go to practical placement, especially abroad. This phenomenon is probably linked to
the poor linguistic preparation and to the fact, that in the country, there is not too much of
tradition to move for getting job.
For employees, the most important factor is the culture background of the enterprise.


3.5.    There are no specific regulations for practical placements in other countries


3.6.    Which national, regional or local bodies or institutes play a specific role con-
        cerning these placements abroad?

At national level, the most important are Ministry of Youth, Sport and Education and Ministry
of Social Affairs. Leonardo da Vinci and Erasmus-Socrates programs are very important na-
tional-level structures for placement abroad.
For university level students, international organisations for student exchange and practical
placement (IAESTE, AIESEC) have long-time tradition and well-developed infrastructure in
Czech Republic.
There is no specific body or institute at regional level.



4.      PREPARATION OF PRACTICAL PLACEMENTS ABROAD

4.1.    How do we encourage students to take part in these placements

At both university and faculty levels, there are regular presentations (at least one per seme-
ster at each faculty) showing current possibilities and chances to take part in work placement
abroad. Moreover, our long-term partners (University of Hanover, the Leonardo office “PART
SACHSEN” and Hogeschool Gent send once per month information about vacant place-
ments for Czech applicants).

Information about placement possibilities are available throw intranet network at university
and placed regularly at official desks of departments of foreign affairs of faculties and univer-
sity.

One from the most effective ways how to encourage students is direct speech of teachers.
This way is especially positive in cases where long-term cooperation between VSB and for-
eign partner exists, while such cooperation is usually based on personal contacts and deep
knowledge of conditions abroad. (Example of good practice are Ecole Centrale Paris, Ecole
des Mines Ales, CTL Gent, Bergakademie Freiberg, University of Carbondale etc.)

WEM Comparative Report                                                                         27
Frequently, some good candidates are pre-selected and/or informed about the opportunity to
go to stay abroad. In this case, they prepare themselves for stay even long time before going
abroad.

IAESTE and AIESEC have their own network for student information and encouraging, in-
cluding possibility to meet previous trainee. Both organizations have internet links at universi-
ty intranet and at internet.


4.2     The selection of suitable candidates

is being done at the particular faculties.

Selection criteria:          corresponding subject area
                             language proficiency
                             study results
Final decisions are made after personal interviews.

At department level, especially when department has direct cooperation with foreign institu-
tion, the candidate for placement is often selected by internal procedure of department.


4.3.    Special target groups

Normally, the special target groups are not involved into selection criteria


4.4.    Agreements and/or contracts

We use mostly a combination of a “Financial agreement” and a “Learning agreement”. Both
contracts were taken over from the SOCRATES scheme, slightly adapted for the conditions
of work placements.
IEASTE and AIESEC have their own contracts and agreements
When accepting trainee from abroad, some special agreements (usually tri-lateral) are used.
The example is contract VSB – Ecole des Mines Ales – student (available in printed form on-
ly)


4.5.    Insurance

Each student is responsible for his/her personal insurance covering the time period spent
abroad and he/she can select freely an insurance company. However the university checks,
if he/she is actually insured for the whole work placement period to avoid potential difficulties
in emergency cases.
Demands concerning insurance are various. Some partners demand special level of insur-
ance, for example for certain minimum level of insurance or combined medical insurance and
civil responsibility insurance. In other cases, foreign partners prefers local insurance and so,
only first 1-2 weeks are covered by Czech insurance and during this period, trainee insures
him/herself at destination.
Special case are grants given by French government, where national structure for foreign
student – EGIDE – covers the insurance as well, together with bursary for live expenses. The
question in this case is the period of arrival, when student are not yet insured throw EGIDE.
In this case, University recommends to student to buy first week insurance.



WEM Comparative Report                                                                        28
4.6.    Booking and buying of flight tickets

Students choose the type of transportation and make all booking by themselves making use
of various discounts offered for ISIC student cardholders or others. Transportation costs are
covered by the corresponding grant.
The help of University consists of advising the means of transport and explaining general
possibilities.


4.7.    Other financial matters

The university is responsible for financial flows between the granting institutions, the partner
institutions and the students as well as for an annual financial report.
No other financial matters are dealt by University.


4.8.    Accommodation

Accommodation is a question of agreements between partner institutions abroad and the
university. Offering all international students accommodation in our Halls of Residence we
insist on getting reciprocity in this field. Accommodation is paid either by students themselves
from their grant or sometimes by the host institution.

Preparing students to go to the partner where no bilateral agreement is signed, the accom-
modation is usually the question of communication between student and accepting institu-
tion.


4.9.    Pedagogical and language preparation for daily life

There are special courses organized by the Department of Languages for participants in in-
ternational programmes. However, the general admission condition is at least – upper inter-
mediate level.
In certain projects, language preparation is a part of stay abroad (examples: projects CES-
SEM and CISMELED of Ecole des Mines Ales) and it is organized by accepting institution.
The experience is, that in such cases, even basic knowledge can be sufficien for highly moti-
vated students.


4.10.   Intercultural preparations

The university only recommends learning in advance possible customs and habits- different
from the domestic ones – to avoid the so called cultural shock. No special courses or prepa-
rations are performed – lack of time and founding.
Nevertheless, the personal experience of both previous trainees and teachers is the most ef-
fective way. Very good experience is from the long-lasting cooperation, where the “club” of
people passing already stays at this place transfer the experience by informal way to next
trainee.
One recent negative experience is from this year, when 5 French students, who came to the
stay at VSB, supposed that accommodation is paid following month but the local custom is
an advanced payment. Both sides supposed to be O.K. but misunderstanding occurred.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         29
4.11.   Different ages, different educational backgrounds

For each individual placement we try to select a suitable candidate with a corresponding
educational and social background. The highest principle is the “equal opportunities” – rule.
On the other hand, the university background leads to relative uniformity of age and educa-
tion.


5.      PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

5.1.    How do we find and select suitable partners?

The university has more than 80 bilateral agreements with partner institutions in Europe. Our
partners usually have a similar size course structure, priorities, and cooperate with a group of
companies offering work placements.
Suitable partners for placement are very often partners from other kind of cooperation, for
example partners from research projects. We declare also our willingness to cooperate at
various databases for partner-searching, for example for research project throw EU struc-
tures (Leonardo da Vinci, 6th RDT etc.)


5.2.    Do you work directly with companies or via partner schools or other institutes
        like intermediate organisations and job centres?

The university makes use of agreements with partner institutions abroad. The work place-
ments are offered on an exchange base. Partner institutions, universities mainly, organize
work placements in their country for Czech students and vice versa.


5.3.    Role of the companies during the work placement period

The companies are responsible for organizational matters related to the individual work
placements – aim and objectives of the placement programme, technical equipment needed
for – e.g. PC, access to internet, necessary training if any, meals during working hours, etc.
The companies expect to get trainees having an educational background corresponding to
their requirements sent in advance to the sending institutions, and necessary skills if required
– e.g. lab experience. The sending institutions are responsible for the selection of suitable
candidates. Work placements are of mutual benefit for both the companies and trainees.


5.4.    Role of the partner school or an intermediate institute

The partner schools actually play the role of intermediates for work placements. They search
for suitable companies offering attractive work, very often provide Czech students with non-
expensive accommodation and boarding. They expect similar service for their students in the
Czech Republic.


5.5.    Differences

Work placements are not organized in large scale dimensions, therefore each work place-
ment is tailored to match the requirements and needs of the individual applicant.




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5.6.    Information for foreign partners

For foreign partners we prepared following information:
         Profile of the company, basic data
         Company‟s requirements
         Required educational and professional background of the applicants according to
           the specification of the companies
         Living conditions in the Czech republic
         Student life at the university campus
         Information on visa procedures etc.
The most of information is available throw internet pages of VSB


5.7.    How do you make sure that partners are able to take care of the contents of the
        work plan for the student?

The work plan (sometimes also called Learning agreement or Work placement agreement) is
always set up in advance and signed by representatives of the company and the sending
university. After finishing the placement students have to bring back a confirmation and a re-
port showing the contents and the results of their work abroad. These documents are neces-
sary for the recognition of their work placements at the home university.


5.8.    Which agreements and contract do you use together with the partner organisa-
        tions?

Various types of agreements and contracts:
        General bilateral agreement on cooperation where work placement represents
           one form of collaboration
        Special contracts focused on work placements
        Cooperation with specialized institution – e.g. PART SACHSEN
        Special projects under the CEEPUS and/or AKTION scheme



6.      THE ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE

6.1.    Who takes care of the management of the work placements in your institute and
        how have you organised and structured things?

The work placements abroad at the university are organized by the same team as other
international activities, i.e. both at central and faculty levels - see also item 2 in
“Introduction”. Generally spoken, contracts with foreign partners belong to the responsibility
area at the university (central) level, selection of candidates and particular work plans are
being carried out of the faculties.

An important role plays bilateral cooperation between departments (actually between
people), which are the “driving force” of real and sustainable cooperation between VSB and
partner organization.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                       31
6.2.    Give a summary of the tasks, assignments and work programme for the
        students.

Due to the differences of stays and programmes, it is difficult to give one summary. For ex-
ample, the research stay is completely different from studying and/or industrial placement,
even if all of them are standard stays.


6.3.    Which formats and checklists do you use?

The administrative work is based on unified documents and/or software – application forms,
learning agreements, student reports in Word-format, overviews, tables, and sheets in Excel.
There are no standard checklist for placement at University nowadays, IAESTE and AIESEC
use their owns.


6.4.    Communication means

The most convenient and efficient communication tool is the contact via e-mail, less often by
phone, SMS or fax. The “classical” mail is used only for sending originals of documents.


6.5.    Guiding and tutoring expected from the foreign partners

In general we expect that foreign partners will act in accordance with bilateral agreements
and other agreed and approved rules. The reciprocity principle in student mobility flows and
provided services should ensure a smooth functioning and day-to- day operation.
Based on the principle of autonomy of student and existing bilateral agreement, we do not
check guiding and tutoring, only results.


6.6.    Guidance to our students abroad

Students abroad getting into troubles may ask for assistance by usual communication chan-
nels, mostly via e-mail. University staff – administrative or academic - visit from time to time
such companies or institutions where problems occurred or where we have a higher number
of students. So called preparatory or monitoring visits help to solve current problems if there
are any.


6.7.    We don’t use Europass



6.8.    Work together with other institutes

In the framework of several networks of universities in the Czech Republic we consult current
issues concerning work placements and sometimes help each other in finding new partners.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         32
6.9.    Hosting foreign students in our country

Most above mentioned bilateral agreements are based on the reciprocity principle. Czech
Republic itself, and in particular technical universities, become gradually a quite popular des-
tination for foreign students seeking a suitable work placement. Our universities has had pos-
itive experience with work placements and so-called combined study programmes (a combi-
nation of theoretical courses at the University and work placements in the industry) since
1992 when the first TEMPUS projects were launched in this country. Making use of tradition-
al links to companies in the region we offer work placements in the industry and at the same
time advantages of the student life at the campus.

Cooperation with some partners is long-lasting and for example Ecole des Mines Ales send
each year students to VSB last 6 years, this year 5 of them. The reciprocity is fully respected
by IAESTE and AIESEC exchange schema too.


6.10.   Budget

Funding student‟s mobility is the crucial issue in the whole process of work placements
abroad and lack of finances limits the numbers of mobility considerably. The difference in
average living costs per month in the Czech Republic (roughly 150, -EUR) and EU – coun-
tries (more than 400,- EUR) is the main reason, why an additional funding for each mobility is
necessary. EU – programmes, governmental or private grants can only satisfy less than one
third of applicants.
Paradoxically, foreign students coming to the Czech Republic obtain the same value (400-
500 EUR/month), which is close to the average net salary in Czech.


6.11.    Specific agreements with your financial department

The available finance sources are administered by the same departments where the mobility
is organized, and thus the funding can be allocated in accordance with priorities given by the
University‟s strategic plan. However, the main problem is lack of funding as itself – see
above.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                       33
7.      EVALUATION AND VALIDATION

7.1.    How do we evaluate the work program and the process of the work experience
        with students?

Evaluation of work placements
                Work programme, results, benefits at the faculties
                Organizational and financial aspects at the central level
                Annual reports for the university management based on students reports
                Once per year an evaluation meeting with students

7.2.    Evaluation with partner organisations

Bilateral agreements running well are extended to longer time periods. Cooperation activities
with repeatedly occurring problems are usually stopped and cancelled.


7.3.    Implementation of the results

Academic staff is responsible for study programs monitoring and evaluation of benefits regu-
larly, impacts and spin-off effects of work placements abroad and give recommendations to
changes, modifications, enhancements, etc.

7.4.    Validation and accreditation of the competences

Each Czech university works with an internal quality assurance system based on a high
number of criteria. At present, the development tends to a more general evaluation system
enabling not only a more effective quality assurance but also comparisons between universi-
ties. Such a system is still under construction and has not been adopted yet.


8.      DISSEMINATION

8.1.    How do you disseminate the results of students’ mobility an work placements
        abroad in your own institute?

Dissemination of results is being performed in evaluation reports, in annual reports, in the
university monthly “Akademic”, etc. At main internet page of VSB, there is a column “Activity”
where results and possibilities are concentrated. IAESTE and AIESEC have theirs own dis-
semination programs.


8.2.    Dissemination outside of University:

Website, student fairs and promotion booklets for recruitment of new students.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                      34
                                                 Annex 5




                    WORK EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT



                           NATIONAL REPORT


                                    GERMANY




Leonardo da Vinci programme
WEM - 2003
Pilot project: I-02-B-F-PP-120118

Wilfried Baumgarten

TÜV AKADEMIE GmbH
Berlin, Germany




WEM Comparative Report                               35
1.          INTRODUCTION

1.1. How the report was produced, and what it covers

The report was written by those persons of TÜV Akademie who are mainly involved in the
organization of international work placements, so it is mainly based on their – and thus on
TÜV‟s – experience. This involves the experience of the two main training centres of TÜV
Akademie which organize international work placements: that of Magdeburg and that of
Dresden. The report thus covers TÜV Akademie‟s own experience, and it is not
representative for Germany.


1.2. Short description of TÜV Akademie GmbH

The company was founded in 1990. Every year, TÜV Akademie provides vocational training,
extended training and retraining for more than 10,000 trainees in 23 training centres, in the
whole of eastern Germany.

An average training centre has about 8 to 12 rooms for theoretical training and 3 to 6 work-
shops for practical training, on an area of 2,000 to 3,000 m2 (including administration / office ,
sanitary facilities etc.).1

With a permanent staff of about 350 employees (most of them trainers), and with more than
1,000 long-term and short-term temporary experts, TÜV Akademie is able to combine high
quality standards with maximum flexibility.

A wide range of professional qualifications for most various industries is dealt with, including
motor vehicle maintenance and environmental protection as well as the hotel and catering
industries and many others.

Short seminars are being held on nearly everything that might be of interest with regard to
industrial safety standards (this subject being a traditional domain for TÜV).

In addition, TÜV Akademie offers consultancy aids for SMEs. This includes quality manage-
ment as well as environmental management courses according to DIN EN ISO 9000ff : 2000
and DIN EN ISO 14000ff, respectively.

Another typical field of activity is high standard training of welders according to European
norms such as EN 287 - 1/2.

As far as transnational projects are concerned, a close co-operation and partnership exists
with Yale College and Deeside College (UK), ROC Midden-Brabant (Netherlands) and many
other European organizations including local authorities, providers of consultancy and social-
ly committed networks in Italy, Portugal, France, the Czech Republic, Poland and the Rus-
sian Federation.

As a provider of international management courses, TÜV Akademie GmbH, in close co-
operation with its European partners, offers work placements all over Europe.


     1
         These are only rough numbers, as the size of an individual training centre may differ from another
     one substantially.




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Many of TÜV Akademie's training courses have been designed by TÜV Akademie itself, in
some cases together with European partners. Thus, TÜV Akademie is particularly experi-
enced in the development and validation of training methodologies – partly financed within
the LEONARDO DA VINCI programme of the European Union.

For quick reference - as to TÜV Akademie's main fields of training competency - please refer
to the annexed lists.


Main areas of training and education

TÜV Akademie GmbH
-    European Management Programme for managers and experts including
     international work placements and study at partner colleges abroad
-    Leasure time management / Hospitality (including international work
     placements)

For more subjects, please refer to the annexed lists.


Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft TÜV Bildungswerk mbH

Professional College for Tourism and IT
-      Tourism assistent (including work experience abroad)
-      Business assistent / combined with information technology and
       software development academy or with automation technology

Fields of interest
-      International management
-      Development of external trade competencies for experts and managers
-      International projects including exchange programmes
-      Vocational and professional training and further training
-      Further career training
-      Professional Colleges

Target groups
-      School leavers with full secondary education (general certificate of
       maturity – „Abiturzeugnis“)
-      School leavers with medium secondary education („Realschule“)
-      University drop-outs
-      Employees (mainly of SMEs)
-      Unemployed persons




WEM Comparative Report                                                                    37
Size of our institute

Training Centre of Magdeburg
TÜV Akademie GmbH:                    18 employees
                                      about 260 course participants per month

TÜV Bildungswerk:                     8 employees
                                      about 80 students

TÜV Akademie GmbH:                    overall number of employees: 385
                                      23 training centres

TÜV Bildungswerk:                     overall number of employees: 82
                                      6 private schools



1.3. Short description of our international activities

Policy and objectives

The development of the European Union means that people with different traditions, and with
various historical, cultural and economic backgrounds, come together.
This development bears risks as well as chances.
Those who are open for the change and look upon it in a positive way will understand that
the European common labour market is a challenge and a chance.
Those for whom it is hard to be flexible and to adapt to the new conditions, and those who
are sceptic and pessimistic, will probably face a lot of difficulties.
Both groups need professional support from experienced people and/or rganizations in order
to master quickly changing situations in the labour market. Together with its European
partners, TÜV Akademie GmbH has been working for years in this field, providing support for
people who have recognized their chance.


How have you organized and structured your international activities?

There are, mainly, two levels of organization of international activities:

A. The Central Administration of TÜV Akademie GmbH in Berlin, with its Department of
European Projects Management:

The Department of European Projects Management is responsible, among other things, for
the organization of international co-operation with ENETRAC members and other partners,
for centralized projects and for contractualization procedures as well as project controlling
and co-operation with the bookkeeping department. It is considered to be a technical assis-
tance unit for the training centres.

B. The training centres organize:

- international work placements and training courses at partner colleges
- smaller exchange projects
- further studies abroad




WEM Comparative Report                                                                      38
for their individual students.
Practically speaking this means that the training centres are responsible for all the details
connected with individual placements (travel, insurance, preparation of trilateral contracts
between the student, the company, and TÜV etc.), whereas the Department of European
Projects Management provides the technical support and „infrastructure“.


Give some key figures

International work placements organized for students of the training centre of Magdeburg:

Young people and unemployed persons (1996 – 2002)

France                   UK                      The Netherlands          other countries
                                                                          (including Eastern
                                                                          Europe)
33                       74                      14                       26

Employees of SMEs

France                   UK                      The Netherlands          Bulgaria
6                        38 from the tourism     18                       10
                         branch
                         48 from other
                         industries



2.       LEGISLATIVE AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

2.1. Describe shortly the qualification structure of vocational education in your
country

Traditional vocational training within the „dual“ system

Theory:                              in a vocational school („Berufsschule“)
Practical training:                  in companies
Duration:                     3 or 3½ years
Examination:                  at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the
                              Chamber of Handicrafts

Training at technical colleges („Berufsfachschule“)

Duration:                     2 – 3 years of full-time school-based vocational training
Examination:                  responsible is the Ministry of Education and Culture of the
                              respective Federal State („Bundesland“)

Training at professional colleges („Fachschule“)

Duration:                     3 years (full-time)
Examination:                  responsible is the Ministry of Education and Culture of the
                              respective Federal State („Bundesland“)




WEM Comparative Report                                                                          39
Training at colleges at degree-level („Hochschule“, „Fachhochschule“)

Duration:                     4 years (full-time)
Examination:                  responsible is the Ministry of Education and Culture of the
                              respective Federal State („Bundesland“)

Training at universities

Duration:                     5 years (full-time)
Examination:                  responsible is the Ministry of Education and Culture of the
                              respective Federal State („Bundesland“)


2.2.    What are the official obligations and possibilities concerning work experiences
        (practical placements)?

    -   Work placements in Germany are compulsory
    -   Work placements abroad are optional

International work placements are supported by numerous organizations, like e.g. DAAD
(Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)


2.3.    Give an overview of the national approach towards training placements. How
        would you describe the existing culture in your country: do enterprises and
        trade unions strongly believe in the values of placements, how do students and
        employees feel about it etc.?

Practical work experience through placements in companies is generally considered to be a
must for full-time school-based vocational (and/or professional) training. Within the “dual sys-
tem”, however, placements are more or less irrelevant, because practical work in a company
is an integral part of this system. Companies tend to accept students for practical training if
the aims and objectives are clearly defined, and if they do not have to pay a regular remu-
neration. For excellent performance, though, some companies do pay an extra bonus.
On the other hand it must be said that there are companies which would hardly accept a stu-
dent for a work placement, because they suppose he or she will cause a lot of extra work,
and possibly some trouble. Particularly the smaller companies increasingly seem to give up
training of young people, even within the dual system. This has lead to a political discussion
in Germany – initiated by the government and the trade unions – about the introduction of a
special tax or fee for those companies which do not offer training opportunities but do employ
trained people (so as to economize training costs at others‟ expense).


2.4.    Do you distinguish any differences between the idea about work placements for
        students, unemployed people and employees?

Not really, although it must be said that organizers of work placements feel that they are
more responsible for young people (=students and young unemployed people) than for
adults (=unemployed people and employees). So, the necessary amount of supervision, con-
trol and advice to be given is certainly bigger for students.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                       40
2.5.     Are there any specific regulations for practical placements in other countries?

Nothing like this is known to us.


2.6.     Which national, regional or local bodies or institutes play a specific role con-
         cerning these placements abroad?

     -   InWent GmbH, the successor organization of Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft, specializing
         in work placements co-financed by the LEONARDO and other European programmes

     -   Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – for university students

     -   EURES – Consultants at the Employment Offices



3.       PREPARATION OF PRACTICAL PLACEMENTS ABROAD

3.1.     How do you encourage students to take part in these placements (presenta-
         tions,
         reports)?

     -   Description of the practical value (for development of personality, gain of experience
         etc.)
     -   Information about the target region and about job opportunities


3.2.     How have you organised the selection of suitable candidates (only for certain
         fields of training, level of studies, personal attitude, study results …)?

     -   Personality profile (personal attitude, particularly in an intercultural context, reliability
         etc.)
     -   Qualification / study results
     -   Communication skills


3.3.     How do you involve special target groups?

A special target group for us are young unemployed people; we have initiated several pilot
projects for them, which were co-financed by the Land of Saxony-Anhalt.


3.4.  Which kind of agreements and/or contracts have you prepared for your stu-
dents?

We have a standard trilateral work placement contract in several languages (German, Eng-
lish, French), which is normally signed by TÜV, the company, and the student. For special
purposes, this standard contract can be modified. In some cases, we have to use the stan-
dard work placement contract provided by the funding organization.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                               41
3.5.    Do you take care of the insurance, or is the student involved himself, have you
        thought of special agreements with insurance companies?

In some cases, insurance premiums are part of the funding. In other cases, the students
have to pay themselves. It depends on the individual project and the funding source.

3.6.    Who does the booking of flight tickets: your institute or the student?
        Who pays at the beginning etc.?

In the case of a whole group of young people, TÜV would book the flights, the money being
available from the funding organization. Rarely, TÜV has to pay from its own resources and
will be refunded later.
In the case of individuals (in most cases, adults then), those people have to book their own
flights, but we support them if they think they need support.


3.7.    Of which other financial matters do you take care and how?

We try to find financial solutions for everything including accommodation, food and local
transport. This means that we apply for comprehensive integrated projects (“all inclusive”) at
InWent GmbH or at the Employment Office and other institutions.


3.8.    How do you make sure that you will find suitable accommodation for the stu-
        dents
        when they are abroad? How do you pay this accommodation etc.

For individuals:
We give support in finding accommodation through the Internet or with the help of our part-
ners, and we give support in finding the necessary financial means.

For groups:
We apply for projects within special target group programmes (which usually include the
funding for accommodation). Accommodation is booked with the help of our partners in the
target country then.


3.9.    Give a description and mention some examples of your pedagogical and lan-
        guage preparation for daily life and acting in professional situations.

We offer intensive language courses (usually with language trainers who teach their mother
tongue), we organize contact with intercultural groups and associations, exchange of experi-
ence, participation in international fairs and exhibitions etc…


3.10.   Give examples of intercultural preparations which appeared to be successful
        and others which seemed to be less effective.

Preparatory training in the foreign language in subjects like economy or business administra-
tion (in addition to language training), usually with trainers from a partner college in the target
country, seems to be very successful.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                          42
3.11. Work placements abroad could be carried out by students of different ages, dif-
      ferent educational backgrounds and they could be real students, unemployed
      people or employees. Do you reckon with these differences when preparing a
      work experience?

        (See 2.4.)



4.      PARNTER ORGANISATIONS

4.1.    How do you find and select suitable partners?


Mainly through ENETRAC, and in addition to this, we try to maintain our relations to other
partners – i.e. colleges and companies where we have already had some of our students.


4.2.    Do you work directly with companies or via partner schools or other institutes
        like intermediate organisations and job centres? Describe how you use these
        different channels and how placements are arranged.

We use all these channels and possibilities in order to find enough opportunities.


4.3.    Describe the role of the companies during the work placement period.
        What do companies expect from the trainees and what from the sending insti-
        tutes? Are companies convinced of the high values of foreign trainees for their
        own organisation?

According to our experience, it is rather hard to find companies for work placements. Once
they have agreed to receive our students they expect excellent language skills and full self-
integration into the ongoing business process. Non-profit and/or volunteering organizations,
as well as socially committed companies (e.g. in France, “Entreprises d‟insertion” etc…) are
excellent partners. All do expect due preparation of the work placement by the sending insti-
tute (comprehensive information about the student in question – as to skills, qualification
level etc.-, clear aims and objectives for the student, a placement contract, work accident in-
surance, etc..). Not always are they convinced of the high value of foreign trainees for them-
selves. This depends largely on the individual situation.


4.4.    Describe the role of the partner school or an intermediate institute in compari-
        son with the role of the company if you work with such partner schools or insti-
        tutes.

The partner institution helps us to get into contact with the local partners – companies as well
as organisations.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                       43
4.5.    Do you take into account the differences mentioned above like different ages,
        different educational backgrounds and different employment status when you
        choose your partners and how do they respond to the different needs of the
        trainees?

Speaking about companies, we sometimes did not succeed in doing this properly, although
we always try. The problem is that it is difficult enough to find at all any companies for work
placements. Thanks to our partners, though, we usually manage to place our students in the
end.
For some of our students – those who are in training for business administration and for simi-
lar “white collar” jobs – it was possible to go into our partner institutions, where they were in-
volved in organisation and planning, and other office work.
Speaking about partner organisations - of course, we choose our partners according to the
target group, and they have usually no difficulties in responding to the needs of our students,
because they work with the same target groups in their countries. In the beginning of a rela-
tionship with a new partner institution, it may happen, however, that they do not respond to
the specific needs of foreign students if they receive such students for the first time. But
problems of this kind are usually solved within a placement period.


4.6.    Which information do you prepare for your foreign partners?

    -   CVs of the students, with photos
    -   Certificates giving evidence of qualification levels
    -   Information about language skills and other special knowledge and skills
    -   Information about the funding, about insurance, required accommodation etc.
    -   Information about possible vacation periods (“holidays at home”)
    -   Information about the training course, and about the aims and objectives of the work
        placement
    -   Information about required feedback (work time sheets etc…)

        (cf. List of tools, and the tools themselves)


4.7.    How do you make sure that partners are able to take care of the contents of the
        workplan for the student?

This problem can only be solved through long-term trusting co-operation, and in this context,
we (as the sending institution) have to make available as much relevant information as pos-
sible for our partners, and to stay in contact continuously.


4.8.    Which agreements and contracts do you use together with the partner                or-
        ganisations?

    -   General co-operation agreements
    -   Work placement contracts
    -   Work time sheets
    -   Reports

        (cf. List of tools, and the tools themselves)




WEM Comparative Report                                                                           44
5.       THE ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE

5.1.     Who takes care of the management of the work placements in your institute and
         how have you organised and structured things?

We have a decentralised structure, with a number of training centres scattered all over Ger-
many. The training centres are independent to a large extent, but there is a central admini-
stration in Berlin.

This is the background for our way of managing international work placements: The “Central”
European Projects Department (based in Berlin, with 2 employees, and in Cologne, with an-
other 2 employees) is responsible for international networking, i.e., for the build-up and main-
tenance of co-operation relations with European partners, aiming at support of the individual
training centres.

In a training centre, there is usually a responsible person for work placements (at both the
national and the international levels), but this is not a full-time job (10 – 14 hours a week, this
depends on the intensity of work related to placements, which may widely differ from one pe-
riod to another). Of course, there is close co-operation between this person and the Euro-
pean Projects Department.

5.2.     Give a summary of the tasks, assignments and work programme for the
         students.

Target groups and training programmes cover a wide range of different kinds, but in general
it can be said that tasks and work programmes of students in work placements are always an
integral part of the training programme in question, and thus closely related to this pro-
gramme. In some cases, students have to accomplish tasks that are part of a project which
had been started at home.

A general task in all European placements is to acquire as much knowledge as possible and
to personally train as many skills as possible in connection with the “intercultural aspect”. So,
students are given the advice to listen carefully, to have a closer look at their environment
when being in another European country etc…Using the “European terminology”, this could
be described as “increasing their awareness”, “sensibilization” etc…It is hard, though, to
measure the results in this sphere.


5.3.     Which formats and checklists do you use?

     -   Attendance lists
     -   Reports
     -   Work placement contracts

         (cf. List of tools, and the tools themselves)




WEM Comparative Report                                                                           45
5.4.    How do you communicate with the students abroad (telephone, e-mail, digital
        platform)?

We try to use all these possibilities, according to availability.


5.5.    Describe the guiding and tutoring that you expect from the foreign partners
        (both partner schools and the companies themselves)

We expect support in finding suitable accommodation, as well as guidance and help in the
case of misunderstanding that may result from “intercultural” problems, and we hope to get a
quick feedback, particularly if there occur any problems.


5.6.    Which guidance do you offer to your students while they are abroad (do you
        visit the students)?

Whenever the funding volume allows us to visit our students we do so. In some cases a
teacher travels with the students to stay with them at least for the first few days. Otherwise,
we have to use all means of modern telecommunication.


5.7.    Do you use the Europass? How have you been able to handle the administra-
        tion etc.

We have not used the Europass so far, although we recognize that the Europass is certainly
a step forward towards a sort of “European training career documentation”. But the proce-
dure seems to be highly time-consuming for the sending organization.


5.8.    Do you work together with other institutes in you country concerning your work
        placements abroad?

We have untertaken first steps to co-operate with InWent GmbH (the former Carl Duisberg
Gesellschaft).


5.9.    Do you also host foreign students in your country (reciprocity) and could you
        mention some important issues?

Yes, we do.

Some important issues:
  -   We try to put them into existing German groups in order to create a favourable “inter-
      cultural” atmosphere.
  -   We organize accommodation and work placements in companies.
  -   We prepare the companies carefully.
  -   We try to help immediately in the case of any problems.
  -   We receive the students at the airport or railway station (and see them off at the end)
  -   Of course, for us, it is as essential as for our European partners to get all the neces-
      sary information in connection with a placement (as to the persons [CVs etc..], the
      funding possibilities [for local transport, accommodation, cultural programme etc…],
      the dates, the required programme, insurance etc…)



WEM Comparative Report                                                                            46
5.10. What is the budget for students’ mobility in other countries, do you get any
      funding, how much do you pay yourselves?

The budget depends on the individual project. The funding normally comes from European
sources (mainly the ESF and LEONARDO), TÜV Akademie itself cannot provide any funds.
In some cases, the students themselves have to contribute to the project budget. Rarely
(with individual placements, not with group placements), the student has to cover the whole
budget from his or her private sources.


5.11. Have you made any specific agreements with your financial department?

No, nothing like this exists.



6.      EVALUATION AND VALIDATION

6.1.    How do you evaluate the work program and the process of the work experience
        with your students?

Through continuous feedback during the placement, and usually a work session after the
students‟ return home.


6.2.    And how with your partner organisations?

For lack of time, an evaluation of particular placements of our students with the partners is
seldom – if the funding institution does not require a definite joint report within a certain dead-
line. Therefore, it is all the more important to build partnerships over years, so that at least a
kind of “general” evaluation process is guaranteed through the continuous dialogue between
the partners within the framework of their co-operation. In our opinion, this is an efficient way
of evaluation, as soon as partnership relations are not made for a very limited period of time.
However, this process is not formalized and may therefore lack exactitude.


6.3.    How do you make sure that implementation of the results will take place in your
        institute?

Results are reported to the European Projects Department if this department has not been
directly involved. Conclusions are drawn and taken into account when preparing the next
group of students. It must be said, though, that this process is going on more or less on an
oral level through discussion, exchange of experience etc. between the involved and/or re-
sponsible persons. As this part of our staff needs to be personally committed to its task
(apart from having language and other special skills) we try to limit fluctuation in this field.
Thus, we have become a “learning organzation” in some way through our learning employ-
ees.


6.4.    How do you make sure that validation and accreditation of the competences
        that have been gained will take place?

(See 6.3.)


WEM Comparative Report                                                                             47
6.5.     Do you work with a quality assurance system?

Yes, we do (DIN EN ISO 9001:2000)



7.       DISSEMINATION

7.1.     How do you disseminate the results of students’ mobility an work placements
         abroad in your own institute?

We present internal statistics, documentations and TÜV reports. Sometimes we publish work
placement reports (or reports about our international networking) in internal TÜV magazines
or in the TÜV INTRANET.


7.2.     And how outside your institute?

     -   Reports to the funding institution
     -   Launch of reports in the local press
     -   Presentations in conferences and the like




WEM Comparative Report                                                                   48
Annex 1: List of tools2

1. Internal demand sheet for international work placements (German, English)

2. Internal information sheet for international work placements (German, English)

3. Preliminary general information for the partner and the company about the student (a
   table with basic information, German, English and French)

4. Assessment sheet (English)

5. Internal list of current placements (English)

6. Work placement contract (German, English, French)

7. Attendance / Time sheet (English)




2
 The tools themselves were provided separately (see separate files); for explanatory notes see
Annex 2


WEM Comparative Report                                                                           49
Annex 2: Explanatory notes about the tools


1.      Internal demand sheet for international work placements (German, English)

As TÜV Akademie GmbH has a highly decentralized structure, with 23 training centres
scattered over the whole of Eastern Germany, but with a „central“ European Projects
Department, the internal demand sheet is an instrument for the training centres which is used
in calling for help if they need to organize international work placements. For the European
Projects Department, this instrument facilitates the preparation of the placements in so far as
the necessary basic information which is needed for the international partners is provided in
a written form.

2.      Internal information sheet for international work placements (German, English)

The internal information sheet is designed to avoid lack of information, particularly with
regard to further demands for placements – so as not to contact companies or partners in
connection with such demands if they are already involved in ongoing placements. It must be
said, though, that the rule of providing this information sheet is not strictly observed.

3.      Preliminary general information for the partner and the company about the student
        (a table with basic information, German, English and French)

This information sheet is of utmost importance for the partners and the companies, as it
provides all necessary dates of a placement in very compact form. The design of this tool is
based on practical experience, taking into account that all the preparatory work in connection
with placements is time consuming enough, so that only the absolutely necessary
information is given here. If more information is required it would be provided on request.
Among the most important items for companies are: „language skills“ and „objectives of the
work placement“, according to our experience. It goes without saying that „qualifications“,
„skills“, „job experience“ are equally important for employers, but companies tend to ask first
about the objectives of the placement. This is at least true for young students in initial
vocational or professional training. If the students are older (e.g., unemployed people in re-
training or further training), previous job experience becomes more important, of course.

4.      Assessment sheet (English)

The assessment sheet is based on typical documents that are in widespread use in Germany
in this field. Judgements from „unsatisfactory“ to „excellent“ are equal to marks „6“ to „1“ at
school. Special „intercultural“ or „international“ aspects are not considered here so far.

5.      Internal list of current placements (English)

This is a list which is used by the individual training centres of TÜV Akademie, in order to
trace their groups of students who travel abroad for international work placements. It is
considered to be vitally important to have the contact details of every student quickly and
easily at hand at any time during the placement.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         50
6.      Work placement contract (German, English, French)

The contract has been designed deliberately to be very simple and short. Former versions
even lacked the „liability clause“ (paragraph 9). We are not sure, though, whether all
important issues are really duly considered – although practical experience seems to prove
that it is sufficient. We think it is important that the contract is bilingual (English – German or
French – German, respectively).

Paragraph 2 (objectives) is normally accompanied by an annex to the contract which
describes in detail the specific objectives in accordance with the professional goals of the
work placement.

7.      Attendance / Time sheet (English)

This tool is important for both the student and TÜV Akademie, for reporting to the funding
institution. No further comment seems to be necessary.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                            51
                                                 Annex 6




                    WORK EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT


                           NATIONAL REPORT

                                    ITALY




Leonardo da Vinci programme
WEM - 2003
Pilot project: I-02-B-F-PP-120118

Tulio Colombo / Gino Gomba / Claudia Oehl

IAL Formazione Piemonte
Turin, Italy




WEM Comparative Report                                52
1.      INTRODUCTION

This report represents the approach of the four Italian partners involved in the WEM project. The
point 1 and 2 of the template have been described separately, while specific contents from the
partners has been distributed in the rest of the report with the only aim to avoid repetition of the
same concepts. The experience of Ial Piemonte of practice in abroad work placements is often
quoted.

Cisl Piemonte
Cisl Piemonte is a worker Trade Union, federated with the main CISL Confederation Headquarter
in Rome, with a main office in Turin and 9 Unions all over Piedmont.

Confcooperative
Confcooperative Piemonte is an association of the confederation of Italian co-operatives. It repre-
sents and safeguards the interests of co-operatives. It is a union organisation, existing all over It-
aly, which offers services to its members and represents them at an institutional level. There are 22
regional unions, 74 provincial unions and 5 inter-provincial unions.
As well as representing and safeguarding its members, Confcooperative Piemonte provides assis-
tance in management, training, promotion, communication, image and accounting control for its
members.
Its federations operate at a regional level in various fields of co-operation: housing, agriculture,
agro-industry, co-operative banks, retail, culture, tourism, sport, entertainment, work production
and services, as well as social solidarity.
I.Re.Coop Piemonte (Istituto Regionale per la formazione e l‟educazione– regional institute for co-
operative training and education) provides training, information and services to firms. It provides
assistance in setting up cooperatives, organises retraining courses to promote the growth of coop-
eratives and the development of new forms of co-operation in a European point of view.
I.RE.Coop Piemonte has its main office in Turin, where it carries out its managing, administration,
training planning and co-ordinating activities, and a library and classroom for training activities are
to be found. There are also offices in Asti and Cuneo.
The project, research and development department carries out market research to define training
needs and then organises training courses using innovative training methods and the most ad-
vanced techniques available on the market.
To ensure that technicians, staff and management are constantly kept updated l'I.RE.Coop
Piemonte plans and manages seminars about management techniques using European funding.
These courses are organised with funding from Ministry of Labour, European Union, local Cham-
bers of Commerce, and funding given by the coops themselves. I.RE.Coop Piemonte also organ-
ises conferences in the field of social-economics, co-operation, legislation and taxation.
The question of integration into employment for young people, whether they have a diploma or de-
gree, for the long-term unemployed, for people with weak qualifications or who have been ex-
cluded from the labour market is of particular interest to I.RE.Coop Piemonte. For this reason
through ES Funding I.RE.Coop Piemonte plans, delivers and coordinates training courses of
varying lengths.
Confcooperative considers work experience a very important phase both from the student‟s point
of view, because it can help them to choose after hands-on experience, and the employers point of
view, because they have a chance to see potential recruits at work.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                          53
Ial Piemonte
Founded in 1955 by the second biggest Italian trade union CISL, Ial started as the “Cultural
Agency for the Professional Training of Workers”. The organisation developed into a regionally or-
ganised and federate agency, which answers the training needs with four strategic approaches:
technology, project based approach, innovation and research. Today, IAL is organised in 19 re-
gional coordination offices, on which more than 200 training agencies depend. On average 1500
courses are offered per year for
20 000 students. Ial is a private non-profit organisation, which is financially independent.

In the Piedmont region, Ial has been active since 1961. With 18 agencies IAL Piemonte covers the
piedmontese territory and develops training activities in the industrial and tertiary sectors, paying
particular attention to new technologies in today‟s world of employment without forgetting tradi-
tional skills. It delivers training in the fields of administration, industry and craft, automation, infor-
mation technology, CAD, environment, tourism, marketing and organisation.

The training offer covers a variety of groups:

     initial training for youngsters who still have to complete the obligatory schooling
     continuing training for employed workers and employees
     re-training and continuing training for the unemployed
     re-training and continuing training disadvantaged groups on the labour market, i.e. disabled
      persons, migrants, long-term unemployed
     re-training and continuing training women, who want to re-enter the labour market

Particular care is taken, to enrich the training by including work experience or apprenticeships in
local firms, for which IAL relies on its extensive network with the local industries.

Orfeo
This small cooperative operates in connection with the University of Turin – Faculty of Science of
education and training. Its members deliver guidance and information for international placements
to the beneficiaries (university students).

This service aims to give information and help for students and job seekers

-   Service for students
-   Professional profiles
-   Job and life long learning

     Service for students: Documents and library: there is a collection of information and docu-
      ments about skills, jobs and labour market: individual counselling, professional project,
      stage service

     Professional profiles: Follow up and Constant monitoring: through direct contacts with firms
      and organisations; Profile promotion: according to the specific labour markets dynamics;

     Job and life long learning: Pre selection and matching: through a data base we contact
      firms and organisations and we send them selected CVs. Mailing list including specific or-
      ganisations, catalogued and carefully described. Information about postgraduate and mas-
      ter courses. Seminars mainly about vocational guidance, education, training.

“3i” Srl
“3i” is a small enterprise whose field of activity is the design of health and safety plants. It operates
in Alessandria and has a tradition of work placements for young people with diploma or university


WEM Comparative Report                                                                             54
graduated. The particular contribute of “3i” - as one of the enterprise involved in work experiences
management - is described in the section on “Partner organisation” of this report.
The competitive nature of enterprises means that they weigh up the necessary „cost‟ of accepting a
student in work experience ( human, economical, organisational resources), to the added value
that the experience can bring to the organisation. On the one hand, the cost of assigning a mem-
ber of staff to supervise the student and time where the student works alongside other professional
staff in the organisation, on the other hand the real performance and benefit that the student can
give to the firm. Companies invest in students in the form of induction, training and supervision and
may not see a return on their investment if students stay for too short a period.
Not all firms are open to the experience of welcoming foreign students, one of the main reasons for
the success of work experience at a local level which is the possibility of getting to see potential
candidates for future employment is lacking.
Firms, unless involved in numerous work placements do not have a „training culture‟. It‟s obvious
that they would be very pleased to welcome a brilliant student in their field who has a good com-
mand of the language; be computer-literate; ideally already have some work experience; be moti-
vated, enthusiastic, and committed; be prepared to work hard; be ready to accept a degree of re-
sponsibility; be able to adapt to a foreign working culture; be able to adopt a smart dress code; in
short, be ambassadors for their country, this would all be to their favour, and very cost effective.
Firms that accept foreign students in work experience may be unsure of what is expected of them,
although they are used to coping with students in work experience in their own country they must
be more open to challenges if they want to make the most of the opportunity. Their role needs to
be clarified and clearly delimited so they may be happy to increase their involvement in future. As
well as the overall aim of improving students‟ linguistic competence, increasing their cultural
awareness, developing transferable skills, providing useful work experience in an international en-
vironment and in the process enhancing employment prospects it is necessary to define the more
practical work objectives of the experience and the results that are expected. The student should
be engaged in work appropriate to his/her ability and level of attainment and with a clear job de-
scription. The professional and cultural contribution, which students can make in the workplace and
the level of expertise, which they can provide, should not be underestimated. Placements should
be structured, challenging and beneficial for both the students and the employers.
Firms usually ask for some sort of „support‟ from the organising partner, they ask for a strong point
of reference if something should go wrong, if the placement results unsuitable. They want to know
as much as possible about the student who will arrive so they can prepare the work environment.
The level of knowledge of language is considered important depending on the type of work to be
carried out, the lower the level, the more difficulties may be encountered in a highly professional
environment.


1.1 International activities

Cisl regionale
International activities are located at the regional headquarter in Turin. Cisl Piemonte has activated
three types of international experience:

    -   Iscos Cisl Piemonte is the ONG of Cisl located in Rome with regional branches concerned
        with international cooperation in projects in Asian, South American and African countries;
        one representative of ISCOS is located in Turin.
    -   The trans-frontiers co ordination (CSI) with the unions of confining regions (in particular with
        the Rhone Alps and Valle D'Aosta) that is concerned with territorial policies and economic
        development;
    -   Finally there is the sportello "EURES - Transalp" which facilitates workers mobility between
        Piemonte, Valle D'Aosta and France;




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         55
Cisl hosts one Euroadviser who is the responsible of the Eures service at CISL in Turin In the re-
cent past some experiences have been carried out, though Eures has been established specifically
for favouring workers‟ mobility and at the moment it is not sufficiently organised for carrying out ac-
tive and functional mediation in the field of international work placements for trainees.

Ial Piemonte
IAL Piemonte‟s International Activities are coordinated by the Special Projects Service.
    -   The policy which the Special Projects Service of Ial Piemonte adopts, is to use international
        projects as to give concrete application to the process of building a European dimension in
        training; build local national networks linking secondary schools, training agencies, compa-
        nies, local public administrations as to provide these organisations with the necessary
        European expertise thus encouraging their presence in international projects, both pilot,
        mobility and network oriented, with the final goal of making it possible for those organisa-
        tions interested to start and manage directly international projects.

    -   The Special Projects Service of Ial Piemonte focuses on international activities to improve
        internal expertise in all fields of training, in particular those who are dedicated to social dis-
        advantage, equal opportunities, and innovation technology. Ial coordinates a wide range of
        transnational project as main contractor, coordinator body, associated partner as follows:

UE PROGRAMMES              N. OF PROJECTS AS          N. OF PROJECTS AS          N. OF PROJECTS AS
                           THE MAIN CON-              CO ORDINATOR               AASSOCIATED
                           TRACTOR                                               PARTNER
EQUAL INITIATIVE                                      1                          9
LEONARDO DA VINCI 3                                   4                          4
TOTAL             3                                   5                          13

    In regard to mobility projects Ial Piemonte acts also as a service organisation providing interna-
    tional project management skills on behalf of other organisations. There are currently four mo-
    bility projects: two of them are put forward on behalf of local provincial administrations and co-
    ordinated by Ial Piemonte (ASTinEuropa, (Alternanza Scuola Tirocini in Europa) put forward by
    Provincia di Asti, and SWEET (Students at Work in European Enterprises through Training) put
    forward by Provincia di Novara) who takes care of all duties related to project management
    (needs analysis, project outline, partner selection, trainee selection, project operation, assess-
    ment, dissemination and reporting); another, TravelStage, is run directly by Ial Piemonte and
    concerns all trainees coming from the other six provinces of Regione Piemonte; the last one,
    TravelCare, is addressed to trainers and concerns health and social care issues. Trainee mo-
    bility projects are all multi-professional and provide work career opportunities in favour of train-
    ees enrolled in some 80 secondary schools of Regione Piemonte. The staff includes: one Sen-
    ior Project Manager who is responsible of the International Unit and responds directly to the
    General Manager; two Senior Project Manager, five Junior Project Managers, working in dif-
    ferent locations, one International consultant, other consultant which are involved on single
    projects.
-        Mobility projects started with the Petra Programme in 1994 and continued with both Leo-
    nardo da Vinci I and II. Recent outgoing projects addressed to young people in initial vocational
    training and young workers and recent graduates approved under the Leonardo da Vinci 2000,
    2001 and 2002 calls for proposals have involved 449 trainees in the years 2000 (65 trainees),
    2001 (113), 2002 (131), 2003 (140), for different lengths of stay (5, 8, 12 weeks), involving
    some 80 sending organisations (mostly secondary vocational schools) and various receiving
    partners located in 11 countries (B, D, E, EE, F, FI, GR, NL, P, S, UK), for a total budget of
    over 800,000 euros.
    Incoming projects addressed to trainees have involved 26 beneficiaries coming from 2
    countries (FI, NL), in the years 2001 (10 trainees), 2002 (9), 2003 (7), for different lengths of
    stay (5, 8, 13, 20 weeks.


WEM Comparative Report                                                                            56
     The current 2003 Leonardo call for proposals still under evaluation concerns a request for a to-
     tal of 330 trainees, for a total budget of some 600,000 euros. Incoming projects put forward on
     reciprocal basis from sending organisations located in 4 countries (E, F, FI, NL) concern a total
     of 92 beneficiaries.
     Incoming trainers projects have so far involved Finland in 2003 (2 trainers for 2 weeks) and
     2003 (2 trainers for 1 week) for a total of 4 trainers. Outgoing projects involve 20 trainers in
     Finland in 2003 for 2 weeks and 20 in France in 2004 for 1 week (this one still under evalua-
     tion), both in the field of health and social care.

2.      LEGISLATIVE END CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

2.1. Vocational training and education in Italy
Primary education starts at 6 in Italy. Compulsory education has recently been raised to the age of
18, that is 12 years of education: 6 in elementary school, 3 in medium school. After medium school
the student can choose to continue in any of these three channels: 1. General Education (liceo
classico, scientifico, artistico, linguistico, and so on), lasting five years; 2. Vocational Training,
organised both at State and Regional levels; 3. Apprenticeship.
Vocational Training includes three options: 2a. Technician level titles (Istituti Tecnici Industriali,
Commerciali, and so on), lasting five years, normally in State Vocational Secondary Schools (but
also private schools exist); work placements are encouraged but not obligatory; 2b. Operator level
titles (Istituti Professionali Commerciali, Turistici, Industriali, and so on), issued within the State
Vocational Secondary Schools after three years; it is then possible to continue for two more years
as to receive a diploma; work placements are compulsory for a length of 200 hours only in the last
two years; 2c. Training Agencies financed by the Regional Administration, issuing 1st and 2nd level
qualifications after short finalised courses of 600 to 1200 hours, where 1/3 is normally spent in
work placements (Ial Piemonte belongs to this system). In the apprenticeship option the trainee is
a hired as a regular worker in the company and is then obliged to follow 120 hours per year (240
hours if the trainee is under 18 years of age).

2.2. Work experience as a compulsory component of vocational education
Practical placements are a rather recent practice in Italy: they have started in the middle of the
Seventies in the regional vocational education system and in the Nineties also in the State school
system (high education) and now they are extended in a large scale though not all schools provide
them in favour of their trainees. Italian schools and universities have long practiced a very
theoretical approach in training. Only the regional vocational training system has developed
contacts with companies both in favour of trainees to be sent there under work career placements
and recruiting experts and technicians to use as practical trainers in courses. Refer to 2b above in
the description of the vocational school system to see that only a few schools must provide
practical placements, but now schools are eager to look for placements in spite of the lenient
obligatory system still in force. In case of regional financed training (see above 2c) the Regional
Administration recognises the placement completed abroad within the local regional credit
requirements.
At present, work placements are compulsory in the regional vocational educational system. For the
school system, the new curricula prescribe work placements as compulsory only in professional
schools where vocational education agencies and professional schools work together for a certain
amount of time during the year.

2.3 National attitude towards work experience
The approach is changing, though traditionally placements have always been underestimated in
their potential impact, both for the company and for the trainee. Certainly trade unions have
encouraged this practice, but the culture is moving slow. The approach of companies is that
training is too theoretical and trainees take a long time before they get acquainted with needed
expertise. In apprenticeship sometimes things are difficult because the companies look at this
obligation of 120 lessons spent in the training system as a burden and an unnecessary obligation.


WEM Comparative Report                                                                         57
In 1996 and 1998 a new legislation paid particular attention to work placements and has brought
about a large increase in this type of experience. From a union point of view there are two very
important aspects:

    -   the need for a personalised detailed project for every single initiative of work experience ;
    -   the obligation to inform the union representative in the enterprise about the initiative;

both these points aim at avoiding work experience that is low quality and not qualifying for
student.. The most evident problem at the moment is the lack of interest of all actors (training
centres, enterprises, students) in guaranteeing good quality work experience which takes into
consideration the students needs and interests.
Generally training institutes consider work experience as an obligation and find enterprises without
too much hard work (the same applies to state schools) where work experience is not very interest-
ing for students. On the other hand all too often enterprises don‟t put too much hard work into or-
ganising effective work experience.

2.4 Specific regulations for work experience in other countries
The Italian Ministry of Education has recently approved a directive to help the depressed area of
the country by funding work experience for students both in the country and abroad. The
programme is called CIPE. Each school established in objective 1 regions may request national
funding to the Ministry to send students abroad for work experience.
In the rest of the country the only financial help for work placements abroad is the Leonardo da
Vinci programme.
In the last few years municipalities have also acted as promoters of mobility actions for students as
in the case of Provincia di Novara and Asti, but also Provincia di Ancona, Macerata, etc. These
municipalities often liaise with schools and vocational agencies in the framework of the new
legislation that provides for a new role of the Provinces for the development of vocational
education and local employment initiatives.
Practical placements are recognised by the regional and the national legislation. Recognition
implies the granting of study credits in the given curriculum. The number of credits can range from
1 to 10 , and the decision about granting them is up to 3. Rather than refer to simple regulation
matters though, a lot as to do with the approach of the single school principal who might encourage
or not these experiences. In general terms the awareness and the sensitiveness of the positive
aspects connected to these experiences are growing constantly amongst public and school
officials

2.5. Different target group
Of course 5 week vocational secondary school work placements are one thing, long term
placements for adults or recent graduates who have already a personal professional story are a
different thing. In our experience the latter have always met more difficulties, because their
requirements are more demanding: one thing is to place an initial vocational training student who
might still be 17 and has never worked in a company at all, another to place a 38 year old engineer
who wants to change job and asks for an international opportunity. The main problem is the
capability of the foreign partners to provide relevant and worthwhile placements, but we do cope
positively with both targets.
In the co-operative sector (Confcooperative) work placements are generally hosted though never
from abroad. All placements come from the offer of local training agencies and beneficiaries are
young people unemployed.

2.6. National bodies
Nationally the two concerned ministries are the Ministero dell’Istruzione and Ministero del Lavoro,
which are both represented in the Leonardo da Vinci selecting committees. On a local basis these
two ministries have regional and provincial offices, like Direzione Regionale dell’Istruzione and Uf-
ficio del Lavoro, which are not involved in these specific programmes but support them. Locally it
is the Regional Ministry for Vocational Training, which supports these international practices, but
also municipalities of the big cities might be involved in pushing the awareness of schools and citi-

WEM Comparative Report                                                                         58
zens on practical placements from the City Ministries for Training. And of course the most open
minded principals of vocational schools and of training agencies will promote these international
programmes with their students and teachers.


3.      PREPARATION OF PRACTICAL PLACEMENTS ABROAD

3.1. Encouraging students
Ial Piemonte is involved in the preparation of practical placements as:
     - co-ordinator of main contractors when main contractors are public authorities as subre-
         gional bodies such as provinces;
     - main contractor of Leonardo projects;
     - sending organisation of free placements on demands of specific target groups (young and
         workers)
Normally the first contact with Ial Piemonte comes after personal relationships: a teacher or a
principal who was previously involved with international mobility projects has been moved to a
different school starts these programmes in the new location; or the word simply spreads around
so that interest and awareness grow. Aside from these more personal links, Ial Piemonte carries
strategic actions with provincial ministries for labour, training or culture as one of these is entitled to
handle these projects. The idea is to have all the 8 provinces of the Region of Piemonte to have
their own mobility project addressed to initial vocational training trainees, as these schools are
under the rule of Provincial Administrations. So far this strategy of Ial Piemonte has succeeded
with 2 provinces.
Students not hosted on the two provincial projects Sweet and Astineuropa participate to the
Travelstage project, which is promoted directly by Ial Piemonte. Since for the two provincial
projects Ial Piemonte receives a contribution from the provincial administrations in order to run the
project, sending organisations in the network do not provide any further contribution for such
service. In the Travelstage project instead, schools sending trainees are requested to provide a
contribution of 250e each, as to guarantee project management funding to Ial Piemonte.
For initial training, meetings are then held with teachers coming from all the schools who could po-
tentially join in the sending network. They normally have a representative in a steering committee
entitled to supervise the project management and to take care of all promotion and information
within the school. A school customised call for candidates is then published by Ial Piemonte and
promotion is carried over within the school classes, normally last (5th) and second last (4th) years.
(see tool: Call for Applications)
Occasionally, (since the partner schools are over 80 and it would be impossible to visit all schools),
staff from Ial Piemonte might hold an information session with the students, especially when the
school has just joined the sending network.
For young workers, unemployed and recent graduate projects, special calls for candidates are
drafted in agreement with the sending partners, in these case not only schools, but also municipali-
ties.

3.2 Selection of suitable candidates
Every school is free to organise school selections according to the methodology decided by class
councils. Study results are relevant, but schools are invited to bear in mind that they do not
necessarily represent the key issue. Candidates are then invited to draft a CV following a form
provided by Ial Piemonte, which represents the start of the interview. The CV may be drafted in
Italian or in a foreign language. The interview may be individual or collective, is carried out by Ial
staff, sometimes joined by representatives coming from the sending organisations. Ideal
candidates are open minded, socially oriented, eager to learn from others, interested in cultural
differences, clear in their motivation, both professional and personal, moderately fluent in one or
more foreign language. Interviewers have a form they use to summarise the outcomes as to better
assess such outcomes later.
During the interview a special attention of the interviewer is dedicated to increase confidence of the
students and favour relax and discussion, exchange of point of view between interviewer and the
student. The interview is not an exam but the beginning of the path to the work placement.

WEM Comparative Report                                                                            59
(see tool: List of questions )
( see tool: Candidate Interview Assessment Form )
( see tool: Candidate Interview Assessment Marks )
In the case of Confcooperative the enterprise checks with the promoter tutor that the training
course competencies correspond to the activities carried out on the job, taking into account the
candidates aptitudes so as to match the correct person to the correct enterprise.
In the case of universities candidates are proposed work experience opportunities, hosing compa-
nies have no opportunity of choosing because work experience is part of the student‟s curricula
and considered on the field experience. .

3.3. Special target group
Sending organisations may send “Call for placements” to Information offices for young people (In-
formagiovani); in case of hosting organisation there is no specific methods to involve, but it is nec-
essary that people from abroad who want to work in Italian enterprises must have a sufficient
knowledge of Italian though English is not often accepted as a vehicular language. The use of Eng-
lish is especially required in tourist sector and multinational enterprises.

3.4. Agreements and contracts
The standard Leonardo da Vinci agreement is used upon request of the Italian Leonardo da Vinci
National Agency. Since the provisions set in such agreement do not satisfy all relevant issues, a
special additional form is issued and the trainee and their families are asked to sign it for agree-
ment after a special meeting has been held with trainees and relatives (relatives are requested to
take part to the meeting only when the student is in school, regardless of the age). Drafting a single
agreement setting all issues combined (Leonardo and others) has been discouraged by the LdV
NA since it would require too many authorisations. Such extra agreement sets regulations concern-
ing behaviour, financial matters (trainees are requested to advance certain amounts of funds, rang-
ing from 100% to 40%, since funds are not totally made available by the EU), certification, insur-
ance, and so on. Until such agreement is signed, the trainee has the right to withdraw at no cost.
After that, he/she is requested to pay all expenses already made by the promoter and, should the
reason for withdrawal be considered too superficial, a fee of 250e as to recover staff costs. The
Leonardo agreement is then issued upon departure, it is signed by the trainee, the promoter and
the receiving partner. It is drafted in a bilingual edition. Sending organisations are deliberately left
out as to avoid unnecessary bureaucratic complications and Ial Piemonte acts on behalf of the
sending organisations as well.

3.5. Insurance
All trainees are insured through policies established by Ial Piemonte for the following risks: third
party liability, death (around 50.000e), permanent invalidity (around 100.000e). Though they
belong to different schools, they are looked upon as trainees whom are taking part to a training
activity organised by Ial Piemonte. To this extent all official information provided for by the law is
then completed: information that a placement in a foreign country financed within a EU project is
taking place is issued to INAIL (the National Office against Labour Accidents) and to the Regional
Ministry for Vocational Training (if the trainee is following a course organised by a regional training
agency). All trainees are requested to have form E128 issued as to extend public health coverage
to the country of destination: to this extent special forms stating the condition of a student sent out
of the country are issued by Ial Piemonte to each trainee (note that form E128 provides full medical
coverage, while form E111 is only for emergency assistance).
( see tool: Statement to obtain E128 Form)
Finally, when international tickets are bought through a travel agency, usual travel policies are
issued as to cover trainees for private medical care and other assistance guarantees (around
3000e) and luggage damage or theft (around 700e); nevertheless, these travel policies are not
issued if the students travel with low cost airlines booked on line directly by Ial Piemonte, as such
insurance individual coverage would be too expensive since it does not profit from bulk rates
applied through travel agencies.
( see tool: Allergy&Emergency Information Form A )
( see tool: Allergy&Emergency Information Form B )

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3.6. Payments and bookings
The trainee has to provide the full amount guaranteed by the EU project: 1400e for 5 weeks, 1975e
for 8 weeks, 2975e for 12 weeks. When 60% advanced by the EU has been paid to Ial Piemonte
(usually in September/October for projects approved in June), than the trainee has to advance only
40%, otherwise the full amount. Such advance is re-paid back when Ial Piemonte receives the
funds. 20% are given to the promoter upon submission of an interim report, and the remaining 20%
upon final report evaluation. Since making an intermediate report means doing twice the same
thing, only one final report is made and the authorisation issued by the LdV NA as to exempt the
promoter from sending such interim report implies that all 40% due is paid upon final report
approval. The trainee is then credited of the 40% amount advanced some two years after the initial
project approval, since projects have a two year validity.
Once the full intake of project funds has been completed by the promoter, funds will be spent as to
guarantee the needed services. Whenever possible Ial Piemonte manages funds on its own and
on behalf of the trainee: flight and train reservations, accommodation, half/full board, language
courses, insurance. For those expenses which can not be dealt by the promoter (restaurants, su-
permarkets, laundry, local transport and so on) cash money is given to the trainee during a depar-
ture meeting, though within the limit of the maximum amount financed. When the full amount al-
lowed is reached through various payments and no cash money is available for local expenses
(this may happen in high cost countries, like the UK), the trainees have to further advance those
costs and they will be reimbursed only when the average cost for all trainees allows for compensa-
tion with students sent to lower cost countries. So far this levelling system has allowed full com-
pensation and no trainee has had to put extra money, aside from personal travel and personal ex-
penses. Note that provincial projects Sweet and Astineuropa sometimes provide extra funds as to
cover expenses exceeding the amounts established by the EU.

3.7. Other financial
Students must have complete control of they expenses when they are abroad, they are used to be
provided by the coordinating body with financial report tables: a form that aims at allowing the
trainee to list all expenses made during the placement.
(see tool: Financial Report Table)

3.8. Accommodation
Accommodation is normally located through the host partner. It might be families, a solution
preferred when dealing with younger students and considered culturally more interesting as it
allows to see more of the culture of the host country (families are used in England, Northern
Ireland and Finland). Or student residences or studios located by the partner. In long term projects
addressed to young workers and recent graduates individual training projects put forward by the
trainees are sometimes accepted and financed by Ial Piemonte and in such case money is given to
the student who locates the accommodation and pays for it directly, but normally payment is made
on a promoter-partner basis.

3.9. Pedagogical and language preparation
All trainees take part to an initial language and cultural introduction course, to be financed within
the limited EU funds paid to this extent (100 to 200 Euro each student) and which can not be com-
pensated with other items (travel, food, insurance and accommodation, which, instead, allow for
compensation within those categories). The development may vary: in the Netherlands, for in-
stance, the course is done throughout the first weeks in a two/three time per week two hour lesson
basis, in other countries it is normally located during the first or two weeks. Even the number of
hours varies according to the single country and the costs involved. In countries where English is a
vehicle language the course refers to such language. Sometimes the trainees take also part to
regular school lessons together with other students, courses related to their professional field.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                       61
3.10. Intercultural preparations
So far Ial Piemonte provides no particular linguistic or cultural preparation itself. The only
experience so far has been a specific course in Portuguese, which has been attended by 5
students for 40 hours and has met with great success. The arrangements of linguistic or cultural
preparation are agreed upon with the hosting institutions which receive IAL trainees and include
one week of linguistic and cultural introduction. This experience so far has proved to be sufficient.
It could be improved by providing, before departure, linguistic and cultural preparation by natives
whose role will be both of linguistic facilitator and cultural adviser. Such advisors can prefigure
typical situations and possible solutions. Also meeting with students who have already participated
to work placements in the specific country may be useful to stimulate questions & answer
dynamics. An important point in this preparation is guidance on how to deal with “culture shock”
from persons who have made an experience abroad. Indeed, even if European cultures appear to
be similar, communication can follow very different patterns. Advice on how to recognise cultural
differences as such and how to deal with them can mitigate negative impact.
In any case advice from persons with relevant experience is very well accepted.
Less useful may be considered just the use of video and reading papers and articles, while these
kind of utilities may be very well accepted if associated with human relations and by the presence
of native speakers delivering and explaining the utilities themselves.


3.11. Different backgrounds of the students
See above


4.      PARTNER ORGANISATION

4.1. Selection of suitable partners
Suitable partners are found out thanks several actions:
    - Leonardo database to establish relations with new potential partners;
    - Study visits after exchange of correspondence where the feasibility of work placements has
       been described and clarified even under the point of view of budget and costs;
    - Enlargement of existing partnerships

4.2. Hosting partners and intermediate partners
Though it would be preferable working directly with companies, Ial Piemonte is used to establish
contacts with partners that are intermediate organisations abroad (schools, training agencies) both
private and public.

4.3. The role of the companies
During the work period companies nominate one supervisor who is the main contact person of the
trainees inside the company itself. The supervisor looks after the trainees during their work, not
necessarily sharing all time with them, but giving assistance on the job, assigning tasks, responsi-
bilities, evaluating, etc.
It is not really clear what companies expect by the students. Sometimes we realise the trainees are
very useful and there had been cases where companies has asked the trainees to continue the
work experience for some weeks more. Companies accept to host students because of some ad-
vantages such us: help for work, improving international relations, looking for new possible work-
ers, etc.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                       62
4.4. The role of the partner school or an intermediate institute
The sending organisation would be able to describe clearly the skills of the trainees, their job pro-
file, expectations and motivation; young students generally, because of their inexperience of work-
ing at all, they have strong difficulties in describing clearly and effective their working knowledge.
On the other hand we have noted their ability to adapt themselves on the job once it has taken
place.
At the same time we are not aware at all of the level of convincement of companies when they host
trainees in their own organisation.
The intermediate hosting organisation are the principle contacts when organising work placements.
These organisations take care of searching accommodation, the right work placement on the basis
of the CVs of the trainees, monitor the work placements, under the logistic aspects, delivering lan-
guage sustain, evaluating the process of work and staying. They are very helpful and represent the
main contact between the sending organisation and the trainees abroad. In comparison to the role
of companies, the intermediate body refers to all the process of staying while the supervisor in the
company is responsible of the only working experience inside the companies.

4.5. Selection of partners concerning different target groups

There are obviously, differences if we consider the age of trainees. In Ial experience we have
managed trainees of:

    -   students of high schools (17 – 19 years old)
    -   young workers ( 20 – 27 years old)
    -   Unemployed pre university graduate
    -   Unemployed university graduate

These differences are more connected to the length of the work experience abroad: we suggest to
students work placements of 3 – 8 weeks, while for the other target groups placements might be
longer ( 12 – 39 weeks). In that case work experience should be more dependent by the specific
aim of the trainees: sometimes they want to establish definitively abroad or they ask to have a
strong impact on professional point of view or they want to improve their second language, etc.

4.6. Information materials
Foreign partners are informed of the characteristic of the trainees by personal application form
where presentations of the trainees are given.
( see tool: Candidate application form)
In the form there is a photo of the trainee, personal details (address, telephone number, level of
education, language and computer abilities, possible medical and diet requirements, etc; there is
also a section dedicated to self motivation, and description of the job profile of the trainee. Some-
times partners ask for more details in case either the description of job profile or the level of edu-
cation or specialisation are uncertain, in these cases in addition to papers and written information
we are used to establish personal contacts (telephone) with the partner person in charge for the
organisation of the work placements. Thanks to strict contacts we may assure the student work-
plan for the students will be respected

4.7. Partners offering the right placements
In addition to those current partners which respond to the requirements, a particular effort is made
to select new partners.
New partners are selected according to two main criteria:
    - cost of the placement (accommodation, linguistic preparation, monitoring)
    - quality of the information exchange
In some cases preparatory visits are necessary, especially in those cases where students would
be sent for the first time to new countries which are not yet included in Ial partner network.


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4.8. Agreement and contracts
Agreements are signed with companies directly and/or intermediate bodies. The agreement can
coincide with the Leonardo minimum agreement or a specific agreement can be stipulated with
companies .
The beneficiary also signs the contract. In the case of minors also the authorisation of the family of
the student is needed.
( see tool: Family authorisation )
(see tool: Additional Contract with the Trainee )



5.   THE ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE

5.1. The management of the work placements
In Ial there is a special office dealing with International projects, the so called “Special and Interna-
tional Project Department”, which is located within the regional headquarters of Turin. The office
staff includes: one Head of Department, The office is very autonomous, both in its policy and also
in its location, now independent from the main office, but close contacts are of course kept with
the General Manager, the Accounting Department and the Project Department. There is one
project manager who is responsible of the management process. Each project has one assistant
that is generally a university graduate or university student. It is preferable that assistants have al-
ready made themselves work experience abroad sot hey may have a better awareness of all ques-
tion; also the age of the assistants is often close to the age of beneficiaries, that helps very much
to open the beneficiaries and be confident.
In ORFEO there is a small staff too. As a general consideration not always sending organisation
has appropriate services to deal international work placements, sometimes this kind of activities is
delegated to operators that are personally interested and invest their own time inside the
organisation itself: this is the case of most projects which involve schools and teachers as both
sending and receiving organisations.
( see tool: Planning for activities)

5.2. Tasks, assignments and work programme for the students.
Before departure, students take part to information meetings where their task and the goals of their
experience are clearly spelled out. According to the placement information provided by the partner,
organisational matters are discussed as to make a plan of the future tasks. They are given a
weekly diary where they should report main issues of their experience (skills developed, problems
and solutions encountered, comments), they are informed about the structure of the final report
which is expected from them, they are provided with an evaluation form to be filled out by the
hosting company and with attendance sheets to state their presence at work.
( see tool: Trainee Weekly Log Book )
Besides the language course/work placement structure of the programme, no other special work
programme or assignment module is set, since the promoter is not the actual school of the trainee
it would be impossible to set specific training goals, nor the sending school makes such plans,
other than general outlines of the placement project.

The students are requested:
- send the application form ( see tool: Candidate Application Form )
- participate to the selection interview ( see tool: see tool: Candidate Interview Assessment
   Marks )
- sign the Leonardo agreement (see tool: Additional Contract with the Trainee)
- participate to preparatory meeting, included language reinforcement in some cases or attend
   course language if they will be send in country whose language they have not been taught (i.e.
   Portuguese)

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- Write a diary when they are abroad ( see tool: Trainee Weekly Log Book )
- Send communications via email, fax or telephone
- Write a final report ( see tool: Final Report Information Sheet )
- Participate to evaluation meeting
( see tool: Assessment form to be completed by the trainee – A –)
( see tool: Assessment Form to be completed by the Trainee – B - )

5.3.    Formats and checklists
An additional agreement is signed by every participant and his/her family when the trainee is still in
secondary high school as to firmly state financial matters related to kind of expenses admitted,
maximum amounts financed, insurance matters and payments back to the trainee of the amounts
anticipated before departure. There are also final report checklists which are discussed during both
departure meetings and after arrival back upon completion of the placement experience. Also a
survival checklist is discussed with the trainees before departure as to make sure all relevant
issues are taken into account. Finally the promoter has a checklist for each trainee as to make
sure that every needed document is given in at each placement phase.
( see tool: Survive Tactics Information Sheet )
During the work placement the student fills in and signs a daily attendance sheet, which contains
information on working hours (both inside and outside the company), observations, etc. The
amount of the working hours is taken into consideration as an additional credit for the student by
the school in Italy.
( see tool: Trainee Attendance Sheet )


5.4. Communication with the students
Mostly e-mail is used, though sometimes the trainee still does not have one. Telephone use is
limited, though in emergency or difficult situations is then used. A web-site with a digital platform
allowing for chat communication amongst students on line has been introduced within the Ial
Sweet and Astineuropa projects only. The use of electronic based communication and text
messages via cell phones is strongly encouraged with all partners and trainees and all transfers of
information, whether CVs or Partner Placement Information Sheets , are sent by e-mail.
During work placements there is an helpdesk co-ordinated by the assistant and the project man-
ager, the aim of the helpdesk is to maintain a link with the students abroad, they may send emails
if they have any questions to be cleared with the responsible, or inform about the general condi-
tions, kind of work, excursions, and leisure time. The helpdesk give an answer for private questions
via email to the beneficiary or public email on the project web site to give information also to the
public (families, friends, teachers, etc.)
On the web site there also photos or other piece of information such us monitoring visits reports. In
same cases the students are in fact visited abroad by teachers for 2-3 days in the middle of their
work experience to verify if the general conditions are according the Leonardo agreement.
( see tool: The SWEET site )

5.5. Guidance and tutorship from the foreign partners
There must be a partner tutor in every host organisation, normally per person who has located the
placement in the company and who follows the placement development. In addition to that there
must be a company tutor, who is the reference in the company for the trainee. The trainee should
then be able to count on four different tutors, including Ial Piemonte‟s tutor and the sending
organisation‟s, and is left free to apply to the person he feels most at ease with, or with the tutor
who seems most appropriate given the condition. It will then be the task of the person contacted to
take all necessary steps as to try to solve the problem represented by the trainee, including a no
action statement should this seem the most appropriate move.
Before the work experience takes placer from partner organisation we expect to be informed by
time what kind of work placement has been found for the students, at least 15 days before the arri-
val: name of the company, address, telephone number, address, name of the supervisor, other
general things families like to know in advance.
( see tool: Placement Information Form issued by the partner )

WEM Comparative Report                                                                        65
During the work experience we appreciate from the partner periodic information also informal about
each student, we like sharing impressions, make comments, find together new solutions to prob-
lems (i.e. if someone seem to be weak in communication we may agree to help him allowing the
host organisation to deliver some extra help in terms of language reinforcement; in other cases we
better explain to the partner problems occurred that the students couldn‟t explain effectively, etc.).
At the end of the work experience we ask the supervisor of the company to write down a report and
evaluation of the work experience.
( see tool: Company Tutor Evaluation Form Skills Assessment – A –)
( see tool: Company Tutor Evaluation Form – B - )

5.6.    Guidance and tutorship from the sending institute
Considering that Ial Piemonte does not provide directly any extra funding for monitoring purposes
(sometimes the provincial projects do provide some little funds to that extent, though) then escort
scholarships awarded when there are minors travelling (this only happens within initial vocational
training projects with a rough ratio of 1 every 10/15 scholarships assigned) are used to accompany
the trainees or to collect them: the trip covers a few days extra and visits to every student in that
specific location are made. Nevertheless the risk involved is that the LdV NA will not approve such
expense on the basis that escort scholarships imply the full development of the 5 week long stay,
along the standard duration of the trainee project. In fact they are sometimes looked upon as moni-
toring trips and not financed within escort funds; in such case the expense is anyway admitted
within promoters‟ funds, but this solution is not welcome because it implies in fact a reduction of
the total amount granted to the promoter. Guidance is then guaranteed through email small reports
to be sent to the promoter by each trainee every couple of weeks.
( see tool: Statement Certifying the condition of Leonardo Trainee)

5.7. Europass
Ial Piemonte provides Europass in favour of all trainees. The task is very time consuming as it
implies that the promoter make a special Europass project in order to get the booklets –that means
that the Leonardo projects do not apply. This means that every professional field must have its own
request, to be filled out on line with all details of the alternance project, partners and trainees, and
for a maximum of three countries each project. It might then very well be that the number of
Europass projects may be very high when dealing with so many placements in so many fields.
Agreements must be signed in original by every partner and a special official partner request must
be sent to the Europass office in Rome, also stating that the approval of the trainee to use his/her
data within the privacy law has been collected. Europass booklets are then issued by the
Europass National Contact Point to the name of every trainee, sent to the promoter and given to
him/her during the departure meeting. Since oral explanations on how to fill it out would easily be
forgotten, a special information form written in both Italian and English is given out to the trainees
that he can use it to better explain to the company tutor how to deal with it, though also the host
partner can sign it. Sometimes it is not possible to fulfil on time all these procedures and booklets
must then be sent by regular mail later when the student is already out doing the placement.
Please not that Ial Piemonte has issued such a high number of Europass booklets as to make
Piemonte the Italian region having issued the highest number in Italy: for such reason, the
Regional Administration of Piemonte has been granted by the Europass office in Rome the
responsibility to promote the use of Europass within other Italian Northern regions and Ial is
currently discussing with the Region how it can support their action.
The Europass certification is delivered since 2000 to all participants. A specific service is going to
be created to deal all Europass in the name also of piedmontese training organisation or school
who will ask for the certification.
Ial Piemonte put directly on the Europass procedure through the on line database managed by the
National Agency, the deliver the certificate to the beneficiaries after collecting specific information
to describe the contents of the work experience itself just according the information requested on
the certificate.
( see tool: Europass Booklet Information Form )



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5.8. Other institutes in Italy
Please refer above as to the description of the role of Ial Piemonte as service organisation provid-
ing international project management skills in favour of schools and other training organisations.
Please note different professional fields so far operated: Language, Administration, Commercial,
Tourist Assistance, Tourist Promotion, Travel Agencies, Hotel & Catering, Pastry, Social Care, As-
sistance to the Disabled, Social Integration of the Immigrant, Training, Graphics, Software & Hard-
ware, Multi-Media, Chemical, Environmental, Textile, Leather, Land-Surveying, Car Mechanics,
Mechanical, Electro-Mechanical, Jewellery & Gold, Dental Care.
Ial Piemonte especially works together other organisation (public authorities, schools, training
agencies) who send their students abroad. Ial organises joint courses together with Professional
schools on the year long whose theoretic contents and practical activities are made according the
National curricula o f the school. In these context the practical activity may be organised abroad.

5.9. Hosting foreign students
Please refer to the questions above. Main critical issues when hosting trainees in Italy: Italian
language is very important as English is not much spoken and foreign students find it difficult to
learn it; foreign trainees are difficult to place because cultural hang-ups and uneasiness of the
companies; accommodation is difficult to find as student dorms are not available for Leonardo
students so the need to look for paid families is a must.
Ial Piemonte have no much experience in hosting foreign students. There are some structural con-
ditions that make the work experience in Italy particularly difficult to be organised: lack of interest in
learning Italian by foreign students, lack of knowledge of the 2nd language in enterprises or public
services, high costs of accommodation. That make costly to organise work placements for foreign
students unless they have a certain degree of knowledge of Italian.
Therefore reciprocity appears one of the possible solutions for young people: in this case it would
be easier to find Italian families of students which can host youths from abroad with the agree-
ment to sharing experiences.

5.10. Budget
The Leonardo bid for students abroad is around 1500 Euro for 5 weeks ( travel, insurance, lan-
guage preparation, subsistence, accommodation); Public authorities integrate the bid with own re-
sources (5-10% of the Leonardo bid).
Public authorities assign to Ial Piemonte contributes to co-ordinate the projects and pay for the
administration service, monitoring, assistance and all management . In cases where there is no
contribute by public authorities the sending organisations (schools) pay for the management a per
person amount with own resources.

5.11. Financial administration
In Ial Piemonte the financial department anticipates staff expenses (salaries and all general costs)
for the organisation of work placements according the provisional budget of each projects




6.   EVALUATION AND VALIDATION

6.1.   Evaluation with the students
There are different phases for the evaluation of the work experience.

-    assessment of the hosting organisation (intermediate and company): there is an evaluation
     model suggested by Ial for the supervisor and for the hosting organisation; they may use the
     proposed model or change it and send papers, letters or other materials useful for a better un-
     derstanding of the results, impact, etc.
     ( see tool: Company Tutor Evaluation Form Skills Assessment– A -)

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    ( see tool: Company Tutor Evaluation Form – B -)
-   Each trainee writes the personal final report that is also a formal document needed by the
    Leonardo National Agency;
    ( see tool: Final Report Information Sheet )
-   Each supervisor write his final report to be sent to the sending partner to document the experi-
    ence and the organisation effort made by the enterprise, in this report the supervisor will de-
    scribe the kind of work the trainee has done with some indicators as: punctuality, effectiveness,
    efficient, abilities to understand and collaborate, etc. That are useful for the evaluation.
-   There are meeting with the trainees just a few days after they have returned, in this meeting
    every trainee describe his experience and give some more explanations, details, etc.
    ( see tool: Assessment Form to be completed by the Trainee – A - )
    ( see tool: Assessment Form to be completed by the Trainee – B - )

In the ORFEO approach during work placement enterprises are asked to provide information at the
starting phase of work placements i.e.: questionnaire for the trainee to record expectations; then
trainees can be interviewed by supervisor to discuss the on going experience.

6.2.     Evaluation with the partner organisation
This evaluation is often made in parallel with the hosting organisation, impressions are shared and
the final assessments are included in the official report that the contractor or the co-ordinator body
will produce for the National Agency.
Questionnaires are often proposed by the sending organisation to enterprises to investigate if the
enterprise has been satisfied with the trainee, collect idea and suggestion that might be useful for
other initiatives in the future.

6.3.    Implementation of the results
After the meeting with the students, Ial give notes of the results to the group of the teachers of the
students, they are informed about the complete work experience, so they can observe the students
once they will come back to school and refer in the future about changes, reactions, etc. The ex-
perience abroad often produce effects in the future on mentality, language performances, open
mind, all these effects can be observed on passing time, for that reason a co operation with
schools and teachers is precious.

6.4. Validation and accreditation
After the work placements each student is provided with several documents which certificate the
experience. There is a certification of attendance delivered by Ial,
( see tool: Certification format issued by the Promoter and/or the Partner – A -)
( see tool: Certification format issued by the Promoter and/or the Partner – B -)
a certificate of attendance delivered by the hosting organisation and finally the Europass document
that is realised by the Europass-Italia service according the Europass procedure.
( see tool: Europass Booklet Information Form )
Schools accredited the work experience from a minimum of 1 to 3 scores on a total of 100 scores
as the maximum amount of marks that are needed to achieve the diploma.
Enterprises also can deliver one certificate which describes the competencies that the trainee has
achieved during the placement.

6.5. Quality assurance
Ial Piemonte is a certificated body as ISO 9000 quality assurance system. This system is not ap-
plied to international projects.




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7.   DISSEMINATION

7.1. Internal dissemination
It is important to stress once more that IAL Piemonte consists of 18 training agencies dispersed
over all of Piedmont‟s territory, each with its own director and staff structure. This has of course an
impact on dissemination as it would involve two levels – the individual training agency and IAL as
an organisation. While the first is currently well covered, the second needs still to be developed.

7.2. External dissemination
Ial Piemonte participates in conferences at regional level and organises conferences open to other
bodies which are interested to be involved in mobility activities. Every year Ial Piemonte organises
one conference for Piedmontese schools and vocational agencies to disseminate results and
evaluate mobility actions.
Results of student mobility and work placements abroad are disseminated in each participating
training agency/school through:

-    public seminars made in co operation with the local public authorities
-    news letters dedicated to students and their families
-    An internet web site where information is provided to give opportunities to understand the aims
     of the project and to contact possible target groups interested in attending future mobility ac-
     tions
     ( see tool: The SWEET site )




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         69
ANNEX 1 (www.minwelfare.it)

The Italian law fixes the maximum length of work placements in Italy as follows:
4 months                 Pupils of primary schools

6 months                 Unemployed

6 months                 Persons in general secondary and vocational training

12 months                University students

12 months                Socially disadvantaged persons (Legge 381/91)

12 months                University graduates

24 months                Disabled persons




WEM Comparative Report                                                             70
                                                      Annex 7




                         WORK EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT



                              NATIONAL REPORT


                              THE NETHERLANDS




Leonardo da Vinci programme
WEM - 2003
Pilot project: I-02-B-F-PP-120118

Ronald Kloeg

ROC Midden-Brabant
Tilburg, the Netherlands




WEM Comparative Report                                    71
1.   INTRODUCTION

This report gives an overview of the structure of work experience abroad in secondary vocational
education in the Netherlands and of the approach which ROC Midden-Brabant applies to manage
these work experiences.

1.1.     ROC Midden-Brabant
ROC Midden-Brabant is a Regional Training Centre for adult education and vocational training at
secondary level. ROC stands for Regionaal Opleidingen Centrum. ROC Midden-Brabant is one of
46 ROCs spread over the Netherlands, which provide mainstream education and training courses
in all sectors of vocational and adult education. With 16,000 students and 1,000 staff ROC Midden-
Brabant is one of the biggest ROCs in the southern part of the Netherlands. It plays a key role in
education and work in its region through co-operation and strong partnerships with other institutes
and companies.

At ROC Midden-Brabant vocational training and adult education have been divided between four
Colleges. Each of the Colleges offers a wide range of training programmes and courses. Language
courses are incorporated in almost all programmes.

-    The College for Social Services and Health Car
     Course range: Social and Child Care, Health Care, Nursery, Hairdressing, Fashion and
     Textiles, Sports.

-    The College for Business Studies and Computing
     Course range: Business and Finance, Banking and Insurance, Legal Services, Secretar-
     ial, Computing, Logistics, Communication and Marketing, Commercial, International
     Trade, Wholesale and Retail, Security, Travel and Tourism, Flight Attendant.

-    The College for Engineering and Technology
      Course range: Construction, Installation Techniques, Woodwork and Furniture, Me-
     chanical, Motor Vehicle, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Aircraft Techniques,
     Transport and Logistics, Processing Industry and Laboratory Techniques.

-    The College for Adult Education and Training
     Course range: Basic Social Skills, Key Qualifications for Further Education, Dutch as a
     Second Language, Job Orientation, Re-integration, General Secondary Education.

Target groups of ROC Midden-Brabant are: youngsters at the age of 16-20 who have chosen initial
secondary vocational education and adults who are offered continuing training and re-training (for
employed or unemployed, disadvantaged people, immigrants etc.)

1.2. International activities
ROC Midden-Brabant feels that internationalisation is a necessary step in offering high quality
modern education and training. By participating in a wide range of international activities students
and staff can prepare themselves for the international and multi-cultural society of the 21st century.
These activities consist of work experiences for students and teachers, language training abroad,
study visits and exchanges, participation in pilot projects and projects in developing countries. In-
ternationalisation is part of the Innovation Services Department of ROC Midden-Brabant where a
full time central co-ordinator is appointed for this task. The four colleges have their own co-
ordinators for international activities (2-4 days per week) and a special office for work placements
both in the Netherlands and in other countries. Practical tasks are carried out by people working at
these offices.


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ROC Midden-Brabant encourages the international activities through co-operation with a large
network of partner institutes which extend over Europe and other countries. Yearly about 400 stu-
dents and 100 teachers take part in international activities. Approximately 100 students and 20
teachers will be involved in work experiences abroad in 2003 – 2004. ROC Midden-Brabant is lead
partner of a Leonardo pilot project and a mobility project and also of a Socrates (Grundtvig) project.
ROC Midden-Brabant is co-partner in one Equal project, two Leonardo pilot projects and one mo-
bility project and three Socrates (Grundtvig and Comenius) projects. In The Dutch Alliance, a na-
tion-wide network for internationalisation purposes, ROC Midden-Brabant is working together with
eight other ROCs.


            Tools                                 Description                       Language
   ROC Midden-Brabant        Leaflet with information about ROC Midden-            EN, GE,
    international leaflet     Brabant and its colleges, the Dutch system of         FR, ES,
                              Vocational Training and Adult Education and about     IT
                              the Tilburg region.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                             73
2. LEGISLATIVE AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

2.1. Vocational training and adult education in the Netherlands
Vocational training and adult education in the Netherlands is carried out within the framework of
the Dutch Adult & Vocational Education Act (1996). Under this Education Act secondary vocational
training and adult education were brought together in one qualification structure. Secondary voca-
tional education and training at ROCs offers students from the age of 16 a choice of more than 300
different vocational courses at four levels, through two learning routes. The adult education
courses are focusing on social sufficiency and citizenship, the mastery of Dutch as a second lan-
guage and general secondary education.

Vocational education in the Netherlands offers a choice between two learning routes: a full-time
college-based route and a work-based route. The main difference between these routes is the po-
sition occupied by the practical component of the programme. The college-based route includes a
work experience at a minimum of 20 per cent and a maximum of 60 per cent of the study period.
Typical of the work-based route is the idea of learning on the job, whereby the practical component
consists of 60 per cent or more of the study period.

2.2. Work experience as a compulsory component of vocational education
The learning of a profession in practice, known as practical work experience in the Adult & Voca-
tional Education Act, is a vital component of vocational education. The Act requires an approved
period of work experience for obtaining a certificate. By making work experience compulsory, the
Act aims to guarantee the relevance of the courses to practice, and thus strengthen the ties be-
tween education and the labour market. The national bodies for vocational training and the col-
leges have joint responsibility for this work experience. The national bodies ensure that approved
learning establishments offer sufficient good quality placements. The colleges are required to offer
courses to participants and work practice, and are responsible for counselling the participants.
They arrange the rights and obligations of all involved in a practice agreement, drawn up between
the parties.

The national bodies for vocational training recruit learning establishments and assess them accord-
ing to predetermined criteria. The over 150,000 establishments which complied with these criteria
are included in the registers of accredited learning establishments. These registers are publicly
available and can be obtained on request by the teaching institutions, from the national bodies.
The main criteria for accreditation are:
- whether the required attainment targets can be achieved in the work place;
- the professional skills and teaching qualities of the practice supervisor;
- the equipment of the work place;
- the willingness of the establishment to invest time in the training and assessment of the learn-
    ing results of the participant.

The ROC has to ensure that the rights and obligations of all parties involved in work placement are
laid down in practice agreements, which are signed by the ROC, the participant and the learning
establishment. In the work-based routes, apprenticeships, in which the practical period covers 60
percent or more of the course hours, the relevant national body is also required to sign the agree-
ment, in evidence of the fact that the learning establishment is accredited. The practice agreement
at all times covers the following:
- the duration and specifics of the placement;
- the supervision of the participant;
- the description of the attainment targets which must be achieved in the placement;
- evaluation as to whether the attainment targets have actually been achieved;
- the possible early termination of the agreement.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                            74
2.3. National attitude towards work experience
The idea about work experience and apprenticeship in the Netherlands is rather positive. Students
and their parents believe that learning on the job floor is much more effective than only theoretical
education. Educational institutes are discovering now the real advantages of the Adult & Vocational
Education Act. However teachers still are afraid to handover part of their responsibility to the prac-
tice tutors in the companies. Trade unions strongly believe in the values of work experiences, but
employers tend to live from day to day. In the positive economic situation of the last decade they
offered more places for students and trainees than the ROCs could offer, now the economic situa-
tion is getting less positive and more people are available on the labour market they seem to offer
also less possibilities for students on work placement.

2.4. Specific regulations for work experiences in other countries
The search for good placements is not limited to the Netherlands but there are no special require-
ments or regulations for work experiences abroad. The majority of national bodies for vocational
training even have foreign learning establishments in their registers. Some national bodies have
developed tools for the 'remote' accreditation of foreign work placement addresses.

2.5. Different target groups
In the Netherlands there are no significant differences between the approach to work placements
for students, unemployed people and employees. However, work experiences of employees who
are still following courses in the ROCs are seldom seen. ROC Midden-Brabant organises most of
the work experiences abroad for the students in initial training.

2.6. National bodies
As mentioned above, work experience has been regulated in the Adult & Vocational Education Act.
The ROCs together with the national bodies for vocational education are responsible for it. Each
sector or branch of industry has its own national body. Their umbrella organisation is called COLO.

            Tools                                  Description                       Language
   Information for foreign  Explanation about vocational education and              EN
    partners and companies   training in the Netherlands. This information is also
    1                        available on the internet at www.dutch-vet.nl
   Information for foreign  Explanation about work experience as a                  EN
    partners and companies   compulsary component of vocational education
    2                        and training. This information is also available on
                             the internet at www.dutch-vet.nl
   Information for foreign  Information about the role of the National Bodies       EN
    partners and companies for vocational education and training and their role
    3                        in work experience. This information is also
                             available on the internet at www.dutch-vet.nl
   Information for foreign  Information leaflet from ECABO, one of the              EN
    partners and companies National Bodies for Vocational Education
    from one of the National
    Bodies




WEM Comparative Report                                                                             75
3. PREPARATION OF PRACTICAL PLACEMENTS ABROAD

3.1.    Encouraging students
Students are encouraged to take part in a work experience abroad already when the enter ROC
Midden-Brabant. Our institute feels that an international work experience is a fine tool to attract
young people. In the second year of their curriculum the students will get more information from
their personal tutor and the Work Experience Office about their work placement in the 3rd or 4th
year. The international co-ordinator of the college is involved in providing the appropriate informa-
tion about the possibilities of a work experience in another country as he pays a visit to each differ-
ent class. Also written information is given and students who are showing real interest are invited
to attend presentations by students who just have returned from a work experience abroad. The
Dutch National Agency has delivered a videotape about work placements in foreign countries. An
important means is the fact that a work experience abroad won‟t cost the student too much be-
cause of the Leonardo funding and that he or she will get back with a lot of positive experiences
and competences.

3.2.     Selection of suitable candidates
Work experiences in other countries are possible for all students in all courses. As students mostly
have to be selected in the school year before they will go abroad the prediction of their study re-
sults is a relevant selection issue. In most cases the personal tutor of the student will hold a de-
tailed interview with the student about personal motivation, self confidence and attitude. Language
competences must be clear, for most countries English will be enough, but German is necessary
for Germany. Interested students must agree with the regulations set out by ROC Midden-Brabant
for the work experience period.

3.3.    Special target groups
Until now it has been rather difficult to involve special target groups like immigrants and students of
level one and two in work experiences abroad. Only rarely those types of students do take part. Via
own contacts of Dutch companies we try to send trainees to sister companies in other countries.
This year five students in the retail sector will probably go to another country for their work experi-
ence.

3.4.    Agreements and contracts
All students who will go on work experience will have to sign a practice agreement, which also has
to be signed by the ROC and the learning establishment. This also counts for work experiences
abroad. ROC Midden-Brabant therefore has translated these practice agreements in three other
languages (UK, DE and F). Further the student involved (or his parents if the student is not 18
years old yet) has to agree to and sign a form in which all financial and administrative details have
been laid down. It covers issues like the Leonardo funding, insurance matters, evaluation of the
work experience and the deliverance of a report by the student.

3.5.    Insurance
ROC Midden-Brabant has taken care of insurance of its own risk: whatever happens, the institute
can never be responsible for reluctant behaviour of its students or faults of the learning establish-
ment. Furthermore, international jurisdiction says that the employer is always responsible for the
safety and health of the employees and the same counts for trainees and students on work experi-
ence. Students are strongly advised never to sign any declaration in which they would accept such
responsibility themselves. According to Leonardo regulations all students will have to make sure
that they have insured private medical care, luggage damage and theft (so called travel insurance).
In many cases students have already such an insurance through their parents. Students are re-
sponsible for taking care of this insurance themselves. ROC Midden-Brabant is searching out sev-
eral possibilities to make special agreements with insurance companies.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                               76
3.6.     Payments and bookings
Before the work experience abroad will take place the student involved will have to estimate the
costs of his work experience by means of filling in a form that ROC Midden-Brabant has developed
for this purpose. This form will be discussed with the international co-ordinator of the college. If the
budget is agreed the student will receive 50% of the money he will probably need during the work
experience period into his bank account. In most occasions ROC Midden-Brabant will buy the flight
tickets in advance. Accommodation costs could be paid either by ROC Midden-Brabant or the stu-
dent himself.

3.7.     Other financial matters
In the Netherlands students get a specific amount of money from the government for using public
means of transport. When they are abroad for their work experience, they will get money back in-
stead of their train and bus season-card. They also will get money from the government when they
are not living at home anymore. With work placements longer than three weeks this is the case.
Per month students will then get ± € 150 extra. This means that Leonardo funding is more than suf-
ficient for each separate student. One student will need an average of € 1.000 for the whole work
experience period. (Work placement periods will last from three till 24 weeks, the average lies be-
tween nine and ten weeks)

3.8.    Accommodation
The hosting partner will take care of suitable accommodation for the students on work placement in
almost all cases. It might concern a stay with families, but more likely separate apartments, stu-
dio‟s or special small houses belonging to the learning establishment involved. Mostly ROC Mid-
den-Brabant will pay for the accommodation in advance, but sometimes the students will have to
pay for the accommodation first and will get the money back later. ROC Midden-Brabant is never
signing any contract with house owners: the student is responsible himself and therefor he has to
sign the contract. The accommodation will be evaluated after return of the student.

3.9.    Pedagogical and language preparation
The Dutch students who will go abroad speak and write sufficient English and German to fulfil their
duties in the learning establishments and to cope with situations in daily life in many countries. A
smaller group of students is able to speak and write French or Spanish. In specific situations stu-
dents are prepared to another foreign language like Italian or Finnish. With the students the per-
sonal tutor will discuss the tasks and contents of the actual work placement. Reflection on and
evaluation of the tasks will be discussed as well.

3.10. Intercultural preparations
Students get special assignments to prepare themselves for the different culture in which they will
have to live for some weeks. They have to visit certain websites to explore practical matters like
currency, public transport and restaurants. The students are invited to attend the presentations by
students who have already been returned from their work experience abroad in the same country.




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3.11. Different backgrounds of students
Of course ROC Midden-Brabant reckons with certain differences between students, especially
when younger students or students of lower levels are concerned. More guidance is given, both in
advance and during the placement. In a special occasion a Moslem girl wearing a head-scarf was
placed in Munich. This was discussed by us personally in Munich in the preparation phase.

             Tools                                Description                     Language
   Invitation letter for   Information for students about the advantages of a    NL
    students                work placement in another country which is meant
                            to encourage them to take part.
   Video tape              Video tape about work experience abroad to            NL
                            encourage students, produced by the Dutch
                            National Agency for the Leonardo programme
   Information for staff   Written information for teachers and course           NL
    involved                leaders about the process of WE abroad
   Practice agreements     Official practice agreements in four languages.       EN, GE,
                            These agreements are part of the official contract    FR, NL
                            between the student and ROC Midden-Brabant
                            which is necessary to get payment for the student
                            from the Dutch Ministry of Education.
   Practice agreements,    A description of special conditions which belong to   EN, GE,
    further conditions      the official practice agreements                      FR, NL
   Student agreement form Agreement with the student in which all financial      NL
                            specifications are stipulated and also insurance
                            matters and other duties of the student
   Student budget planning Financial format to be filled out with the students   NL
    form                    and to plan the budget of their WE
   Preparation of students Examples of cultural and language preparation         NL




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         78
4. PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

4.1.    Selection of suitable partners
Suitable partners are found mostly in the existing networks of ROC Midden-Brabant, but if there is
no partner institute in a certain country or region, partners could be found through databases or na-
tional agencies. In few occasions special study visits have been made to other countries, like this
year has been done to Finland. The companies or learning establishments are found through the
hosting partner institutes, but also through the intermediation of the national bodies for vocational
education in the Netherlands.

4.2.    Hosting partners and intermediate partners
ROC Midden-Brabant has chosen not to work directly with companies but in all occasions with a
hosting partner school. We feel that this guarantees a safer situation: the partner institute will take
care of finding the right work placement and accommodation and will be responsible for the tutor-
ing and guidance of the student. As hosting institute we also work together with a few private in-
termediate companies who take care of work placements at camping sites in France. In the latter
situation, the intermediate agency or company will pay the students for their work and takes over a
lot of work from our ROC.

4.3.    The role of the companies
During the work experience the learning establishments are responsible for the actual work proc-
ess of the student. We ask all companies to nominate one contact person who will be the practice
supervisor of the student. This supervisor will guide and evaluate, give assignments and look after
the student. In many cases students will be working independently for part of their work experience
after some days. Companies may expect from our students the same as what they might expect
from students from their own country: carrying out operational tasks with some help. In interna-
tional work experiences they will have to help more because of the cultural and language differ-
ences, but the will get back things like a better understanding of the international labour market
and development of their own personal.

4.4.     The role of the partner school or an intermediate institute
This role has already been described above. These hosting partners also take care of language
training in some cases and will monitor the work experience from their side. In some occasions
these hosting partners will be the main contact for the students, but this could also be the personal
tutor at the sending institute, or the practice supervisor at the company.

4.5.   Selection of partners concerning different target groups
As mentioned before, only in specific situations we reckon with differences between the target
groups.

4.6.    Information materials
Hosting partners will get the CVs of the students and a description of the contents and outcomes of
their course. We also provide a checklist of tasks and assignments to be fulfilled by the student
and some information about practical details (contacts, insurance etc.) Further information is given
about the vocational education system in the Netherlands and about ROC Midden-Brabant.

4.7.    Partners offering the right placements
As hosting partners are selected from the existing network of ROC Midden-Brabant or have been
visited by our contact persons, they know what the contents of the courses of ROC Midden-
Brabant are and what should be expected from suitable companies. Results of the evaluation
phase will make sure that the hosting partner and the company have offered the expected place-
ment.




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4.8.   Agreements and contracts
A practice agreement contract has to be signed by the learning establishment or company. The
hosting partners only will send in a letter of intent or agreement. As they are mostly long time part-
ners, we will work with them on the base of mutual confidence.

             Tools                                 Description                       Language




WEM Comparative Report                                                                              80
5. THE ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE

5.1.   The management of the work placements
The three vocational colleges which are part of ROC Midden-Brabant each have their own co-
ordinator for international activities. Furthermore in the Offices for Work Experience in each college
people are appointed for practical tasks like filling in forms, preparing the practice agreements etc.
The personal tutor of the student is involved as far as the selection and guidance of the student is
concerned. The team leaders or heads of faculty have a responsibility for the contents of the work
placement. On the central level the overall co-ordinator of international activities is steering the
whole process.

5.2.    Tasks, assignments and work programme for the students.
The students have to fulfil a number of practical tasks: filling in an application form and their CV as
well as the agreement about financial and administrative matters. Then students will have to go to
their personal tutor to discuss further details and have to attend these presentations by students
who already came back from abroad. During the placement they will have to write a weekly report
which should be sent by e-mail to their personal tutor at our ROC. They have to write a final report
about their work experience and take part in an evaluation meeting. The also have to take care of a
presentation for other students, parents and people from companies and institutes.

The actual assignments and work programme of the students during the work experience period
depend on the course which the students follow: for each course and part of the qualification struc-
ture in the Dutch vocational system a fixed number of tasks and assignments is agreed and laid
down.

5.3.    Formats and checklists
As mentioned before a declaration has to be filled in by the student in which he or his parents state
that they agree with all financial and administrative details of the work placement. Further we use a
checklist with tasks and assignments to be used by the practice supervisor of the learning estab-
lishment. Also evaluation forms are used (see under Evaluation).

5.4.   Communication with the students
E-mail communication is used in most occasions when the students are abroad. In special cases
telephone conversations will take place. A digital platform will be used next school year as an ex-
periment for a small group of students.

5.5.    Guidance and tutorship from the foreign partners
There is a contact person in the hosting institute. This person will have been responsible for finding
the right work experience company and suitable accommodation. This contact person will guide
and monitor the student during the stay abroad and act in case of troubles. He or she will also
communicate with the co-ordinators at ROC Midden-Brabant and with the practice supervisor of
the company. This supervisor will guide the student on the work floor. He is expected to make sure
that the student will fulfil all assignments that are agreed. Both persons will also take part in the
evaluation process.

5.6.    Guidance and tutorship from the sending institute
Personal guidance by e-mail is offered to the students by their personal tutors or by special teach-
ers who have been appointed for this task. In many occasions students will be visited by teachers
from ROC Midden-Brabant once. This happens in all occasions were more than 2-3 students have
been placed in the same region. For these visits ROC Midden-Brabant does not get any money
and therefor these visits are paid from our own fundings. We feel namely that it is very important
for our students and for the hosting institutes and companies that a representative from our ROC is
paying a visit to them.


WEM Comparative Report                                                                              81
5.7.     Europass
All students who have been abroad for their work experience will receive the Europass. The stu-
dents themselves are responsible for filling in the pass in the right way. As soon as we will have a
digital Europass, this will be a task of the Offices for Work Experience in each college.

5.8.    Other institutes in your country
ROC Midden-Brabant is member of The Dutch Alliance, a foundation of 8 ROCs for internationali-
sation purposes. Together we exchange work placements, partner data and good practices. We
also work together with the national bodies for vocational education in the Netherlands.

5.9.    Hosting foreign students
We do host foreign students and we would try to manage these work placements in the same way
as we would like our foreign partners to do for our students. Of course we are trying to reckon with
the different approach which the sending partner might like to put into practice. Students have to
be relatively fluent in at least English or German. The costs of our efforts are mostly paid by our-
selves.

5.10. Budget
Students get funding from the Leonardo programme. As said above, we have Leonardo funding for
the 4th year now. ROC Midden-Brabant is paying for the rest of the work: co-ordinators, visiting
students etc.

5.11. Financial administration
Both in the central services department and in each of the colleges one of the financial administra-
tors has been appointed for handling the budget and the expenses related to the work placements
abroad. These financial administrators work closely together with the international co-ordinator of
the college. Each year those persons come together once or twice in order to evaluate and to im-
prove the situation in the next year.

             Tools                                   Description                    Language
   List of assignments       Lists and formats with assignments and other          EN
                              things to be fulfilled by the student at a work
                              placement meant for hosting partners and
                              companies




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6. EVALUATION AND VALIDATION

6.1.    Evaluation with the students
Students are evaluated by the hosting company and therefor a form has been developed which
covers the assignments and tasks stipulated by the course which the student follows. Also other
key skills have to be evaluated like communication, IT-skills, efficiency etc. When the student has
come back he will have to deliver his final report in which he reflects on what he has learned from
the work at the company, but also from the fact that he has lived in a different culture and in an-
other country.

In a personal conversation with his tutor the work experience is evaluated as well and finally
evaluation takes place during the presentations to be made by the students.

6.2.   Evaluation with the partner organisations
Questionnaires are sent to the hosting partner school and to the company in which the students
have been placed. In these questionnaires the partners look back at the whole process of the work
placement

6.3.    Implementation of the results
As the work experience abroad is part of the regular programme of the student it will automatically
effect his learning process. Other more personal developments like language competences, open
mindness etc. have not been measured until now.

6.4.   Validation and accreditation
As mentioned, students will get the Europass and all work placements have to gain accreditation
by the national bodies for vocational education.

6.5.    Quality assurance
Until now a quality assurance system has only been applied in an implicit way during these mobility
projects. This means that through evaluations and improvements a plan-do-check-act process has
been followed.

           Tools                                  Description                       Language
   Evaluation form for the   Students are asked to evaluate the work               NL
    students                  experience, the role of the company and the role
                              of the hosting organisation
   Questionnaire for the     The hosting partner is asked to evaluate the whole    EN
    hosting partners          process of the work experience that has taken
                              place
   Questionnaire for the     The company is asked to evaluate the student‟s        EN
    hosting companies         performance and to evaluate the whole process of
                              the work experience that has taken place




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7. DISSEMINATION

7.1.    Internal dissemination
Internal dissemination takes plays during the presentations held by the students. Results and re-
ports will be placed on the ROC website. In the ROC Midden-Brabant internal magazine „Intercom‟
reports and photo‟s of the students are placed.

7.2.    External dissemination
Dissemination beyond our ROC finds place through our website and through exchanges of good
practices in The Dutch Alliance.

             Tools                               Description                     Language




WEM Comparative Report                                                                         84
                                                      Annex 8




                         WORK EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT



                              NATIONAL REPORT


                                    PORTUGAL




Leonardo da Vinci programme
WEM - 2003
Pilot project: I-02-B-F-PP-120118

Ana Ribeiro

MundiServiços
Lissabon, Portugal




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1.      INTRODUCTION

The present report is the result of the search and application of the script supplied by ROC, the co-
ordenator entity of this fase of the WEM project.
In Portugal attending to the specificity of MundiServiços, two institutions were chosen with quite
different characteristics. A Professional School financed by Prodep (An Educative Development
Programme for Portugal), supported by the European Comission and the Catholic University of
Lisbon.
The professional School is located in Aveiro, in the centre of Portugal. The interviewed person was
identified according to specific experiencies in the international exchanging projects.
The Catholic University situated in Lisbon and the identified interlocutor was also chosen according to spe-
cific experience as Assistant Coordinator of the Professional Insertion Cabinet.


1.1.    Professional School, financed by Prodep and Portuguese Catholic University –
        Economical Sciences and Enterpreneurial College
Main education areas are:
 Secretary;
 Management/Accountancy;
 Computering;
 Social-cultural animation;
 Health and Safety;
 Electrical systems;
 Marketing and Public relations;
 Professional school where main training areas are:
     - Secretary;
     - Accountancy;
Marketing and Public Relations.
All the areas which are taught are of interest for the training.
The pupils can start their studies at the professional school as soon as they finish 9th Standard.
Only the pupils over 18 can participate in the abroad trainings.
The school has now 242 pupils, 13 internal teachers and 13 workers not belonging to the teaching
staff.

Catholic University
Main education areas are:
 Administration and Management;
 Economy.
College, where the main training areas are:
- Consultancy
- General Stand and Investment.
All the areas which are taught are of interest for the training.
The target groups are the newly graduated and the pupils.
More than 1000 students and more than 50 teachers.




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1.2.    International activities
The purpose is to let know different cultures. To promote the social/cultural interchange. To let
know about the external working world. Opening of mind and personal development.
By applying to Leonardo programmme and getting finance for placements for students.
6 pupils in 2000/2001
10 pupils in 2002/2003
A support teacher for the pupils and a language assistant are affected to th student.

The policy is the promotion and the projection of the Portuguese Catholic University into the foreign
countries.
The aim is to achieve the best position of the university on the ranking of the Management and
Economy European Schools.
The University participates on the Erasmus/Socrates programmes and have a programme for the
summer and the newly gradauted trainings.
The best enterprises and schools on the ranking level are contacted by the University.
The University only gets related to the enterprises and schools which answer to the students
interests.
The main placement countries are England, France and Spain.
15 pupils in 2000/2001
12 pupils in 2001/2002

There is no teachers affectation to the newly gtraduated trainings or summer trainings. The
university maintains only contact between the newly graduated or the enterprise where he is going
to train.
As to what concerns the Erasmus/Socrates programme each pupil has a responsible teacher, a
kind of tutor, in the origin country as well as in the country of destiny.




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2. LEGISLATIVE AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

2.1.           Vocational training and adult education in Portugal




                              University          Tecnical Studies
                                                 (Bachalor degree)
       3 to 5 years 3 years
       3 to 5 years 3 years




                                                 Entry: 18 /19 years old
                              Superior Studies   Finish: 22 or 23
                                                 Access to Master Studies and Doctor


                                                 Entry: 15 to 16 years old
                              Secondry School    Finish: 18 to 19
                                                 Access to University
       5 years
       5 years




                                                 Entry: 11 years old                   C
                                Pre Secondry     Finish: 15 years old                  O
                                   School        Access to Secondry shool              M
                                                                                       P
                                                                                       U
                                                 Entry: 6 years old
                                                                                       L
       4 years
       4 years




                              Primary School     Finish: 10
                                                                                       S
                                                 Access to Pre-secondry school
                                                                                       A
                                                                                       R
                                                                                       Y


                                                       Starting: 3 years
                              Kindergarden                 Finish: 5
                                                   access to primary school




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2.2.  Work experience as a compulsory component of vocational education
Doesn‟t exist in Portugal.


2.3.     National attitude towards work experience
National placements can be found out, mainly in the big size companies. But they are financed
intirely by the State. Companies don`t have to pay aditionaly. Sometimes the Companies recurr to
this kind of placement when there is the need of extra help. It is not seen as strategic to have
placement as a start of a professional function. International placements are far more difficult to
get. But even this can be different from sector to sector.
In this recession year, having the possibility of getting free collaborators, the enterprises are more
open but there is still great difficulty. In the Erasmus programmes this question is not put.


2.4.   Specific regulations for work experiences in other countries
Nowadays school only promote trainings for the students. On the future, it is intended to extend to
the working students and unemployees, since there are classes for workers and unemployees.
The university only promotes trainings for the newly graduated, summer trainings for the pupils and
Erasmus for the pupils. It does not contemplate the employees.


2.5.    Different target groups
In the trainings for the newly graduated and summer trainings there is no specific rules on behalf of
the university, but a contract signiture can be needed or a protocol between the enterprises and
the pupils or newly graduated.
In the Erasmus there is a written agreement/protocol between the Eduaction institution´ s and the
education institution of destiny.

2.6.  National bodies
Camões Institute;
Erasmus and Sócrates programme;
ICEP – Contact Programme.


Tools                       Description                                              Language
 Site with Information for Explanation about the placements from Camões             PT
   students and companies Institute, Sócrates / Erasmus Programmes and               EN
                            Contact Programme (ICEP).




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3. PREPARATION OF PRACTICAL PLACEMENTS ABROAD

3.1.   Encouraging students
Presentations to the students who could eventually participate on the project. Through the
testimony of the students who had been under the experience.
The students are encouraged to participate through the presentation of the enterprises and
programmes, but the pupils´ testimony who have already participated is the main engine.


3.2.    Selection of suitable candidates
On the case of trainings for the ppupils of the Secretary course there were 10 vacancies for 24
pupils. The pupils were selected according to the final averages they had in their courses and in
case there was a draw they were selected by the diligence at classes. There are also cases of
pupils who are not motivated for the training.
There are also criterious of selection such as couse average, area of interest, personal attitude,
etc..


3.3.     Special target groups
In this case there is no pupils with special educative needs.


3.4.   Agreements and contracts
There are contracts imposed by the programme.
The only work contracts or protocols that can happen are those of the enterprises´. These ones
involve exclusively the pupil or the newly graduated and the enetrprises in case of the trainings for
the newly graduated and of the summer ones.
For the Erasmus Programmes there is a protocol which is signed by the pupil and a responsible (
parents ) and the University.


3.5.     Insurance
The school takes care of the insurance. The school works along with an insurance company and
when the trainee moves, the school extends the insurance cover, so as to get immediate medical
assistance.
In the trainings for the newly graduated and summer trainings the enterprise where the pupil is
placed is the one who takes care of the insurance.
In the case of Erasmus Programme if the pupil is a child of Public Workers, he benefits from Euros
111 or Euros 128 ( which is the more comprising one ) from the Social services which the parents
benefit.


3.6.    Payments and bookings
The projects are financed by Leonardo, but it is the school who advances the money and takes
care of the bookings.
Questions like the booking of flight tickets are taken care by the enterprise which will later receive
the amount of the pupil in case of the trainings of newly graduated or summer trainings.
In case of Erasmus Programme it is the pupil who takes care of the bookings and who pays it. He
can use the scholarship money which is given to him for that purpose.




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3.7.    Other financial matters
Lodging, internal travelling booking.
Abroad, a person waits for the pupils but the partener has budget limitations.
No other financial matter is taken care by the university. All theses questions are taken care by the
enterprise and the pupil in case of the trainings for the newly graduated and the summmer
trainings.
In case of the Erasmus Programme the College is only intermidiate with the Rectory, answering
only to the questions like the prediction of scholarship receiving.
The scholarship is meant to compensate partially the travelling costs.


3.8.     Accommodation
The lodging is chosen with the help of the partner entity on the foreign country, who will supply all
the necessary informations, generally there are photocopies and photos of the room, dimension
and furniture and available household appliances.
This question depend on the entrprise. Either the enterprise takes care of the accomodation or it is
the trainee who ends up in charge of it. Both situations are foreseen on the salary package.
It is the Education Institute of origin who communicates the institution of destiny and generally
accomodates the pupils living in the student´s residences.
If it does not exist, the institution of destiny treats it with a particular.
The accomodation payment is entirely in charge of the student.


3.9.    Pedagogical and language preparation
The students attend language classes according to the country of destiny. The cultural part is part
of the programme contents of language classes. Generally the pupils have preparation classes
once a week from November to May. There are support hard-books, key sentences, cultural films.
There is no other kind of pedagogical preparation or linguistic one.


3.10. Intercultural preparations
When the pupil doesn´t have cultural preparation there are adaptation problems. The school
considers less an hour per week, but as the pupil´s schedule of this school is filled with 8 hours
classes per day it is not possible to increase the schedule.
There is no other inter cultural preparation.


3.11. Different backgrounds of students
Unill this moment this is only worked out with the students, but the cultural and linguistic
preparation will be the same with other groups that eventually come to work.
Theses differences are not taken in account.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                               91
4. PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

4.1.   Selection of suitable partners
The search of the appropriate partner is always the most difficult task. The most usual is to find a
school and as it knows better the region, it tries to find enterprises that will receive the trainees.
Data basis is consulted in the internet where school exist for the potential partners, afterwards they
are contacted by mail or e-mail.
The education ministery also gives a great contribution in the search of partner schools.
The university goes in search and is searched. All are welcomed and the team work experience is
very positive for future experiences. The university´s good name is a great door for the access to
the best schools and enterprises.


4.2.   Hosting partners and intermediate partners
It depends on the country of destiny, generally the work is done with other schools, but for Spain
the work is directly done woth enterprises: generally contact the enterprise and ask informations.
The university works directly with other universities for the Erasmus programme. For the newly
graduated training and the summer trainings no intermediates are used.


4.3.   The role of the companies
A contract is signed and a compromise letter. The great demand of the enterprise is generally the
domain of the language. Generally the enterprise demand for educated, polite people, who obey,
but usually don`t have great expectations as to other specific skills.
The enterprises believe in the preparation, on the trainees´ value. But there is a total gap between
technical and practical skills.


4.4.   The role of the partner school or an intermediate institute
The partners find the entrprises but they can also send addresses and later the enterprises can be
contacted by the schools.
There is a closer contact with the schools which is not the same with the enterprises, with the
enterprises only a contact is made and put it in contact with the trainee.


4.5.     Selection of partners concerning different target groups
The school sends letters for contacts but it prefers a professional school because it is of the same
activity and thus easy to communicate with.
The only criteriorn which is taken in account is the areas of interest of the pupil.


4.6.     Information materials
A projects´ summary is prepared with the pupils´ CV, trainings´ objective, tasks that they can
perform at the enterprise, evaluation process (with tempplates) at the end of the training,
certification in the europass.
At the trainings for the newly graduated, the university has to supply, if asked, curricular
informations and grades.
A summary of the project is prepared, with the pupils´ CV, trainings´ objectives, tasks they can do
at the enterprise, evaluation process at the end of the training.




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4.7.    Partners offering the right placements
Activity which the pupil can perform for which he is prepared, but the enterprise is the one who
manages the work. There is a tutor in the professional school in the foreign country who visits the
enterprise and evaluates the training (There is a responsible person in the national school, another
one in the enterprise and yet one more in the employees entity.
In the trainings for the newly graduated and summer trainings there is no way of providing these
contents.
In the case of Erasmus there is a tutor at the welcoming institution who evaluates the training and
there is a responsible person at the institution of origin.


4.8.   Agreements and contracts
There are contracts in the two institutions.


Tools                        Description                                           Language
 Specimen Standard Contract                                                       EN
 Placement Agreement                                                              EN
                                                                                   FR




WEM Comparative Report                                                                            93
5. THE ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE

The management of the work placements
Ana Ribeiro – Coordinator of the project.
GIT – Professional Insertion Cabinet
UNIVA – Active Life Unity


5.1.   Tasks, assignments and work programme for the students.
They are not responsible for that.


5.2.  Formats and checklists
They both use Evaluation forms.


5.3.    Communication with the students
Telephone, e-mail, personel telphone, enterprises´ telephone or lodging telephone, there is a
teacher responsible for the pupil in the country of destiny.
E-mail.
At the country of destiny there is a teacher who´s responsible for the pupil, in case of the Erasmus.


5.4.   Guidance and tutorship from the foreign partners
To give the necessary attention and to be present.
To be present and support whenever necessary.


5.5.    Guidance and tutorship from the sending institute
In case of the Leonardo Programme personal guidance is offered to the students by their personal
tutors.
In the Erasmus Programme the students don´t have any kind of guidance or tutorship.


5.6.    Europass
In case of Leonardo Programme a download has been made through the Internet and sent by mail.
In the Erasmus Programme they don´t use the Europass.


5.6.   Other institutes in your country
There are no other institutes working together in work placement in foreign countries.


5.7.  Hosting foreign students
They both host foreign students.


5.8.   Budget
Leonardo. 19.860 € of budget.
In the Sócrates / Erasmus no own or other funds for the trainings for the newly graduated and for
the summer trainings.
For the Erasmus Programme there is a scholarship meant for the mobility, costs,lodging, food.




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5.9.    Financial administration
There are demands of a specific accountancy, hence it has to have permanent contact with the
financial department.


Tools                      Description                                      Language
 Europass                                                                  PT
 Evaluate Forms                                                            SP




WEM Comparative Report                                                                   95
6. EVALUATION AND VALIDATION

6.1.   Evaluation with the students
Evaluation documents are filled. Certificates of presence are attributed.

As to what concerns the Erasmus Programme evaluation documents are filled by the trainee and
by the orienting person. In the newly graduated trainings and summer trainings the testimony of the
trainee is evaluated.

6.2.   Evaluation with the partner organisations
In Leonardo Programme no evaluation is made.

As to what concerns the Erasmus Programme evaluation documents are filled by the orienting
person.
In the newly graduated trainings and summer trainings there is no evaluation on behalf of the
enterprise.


6.3.    Implementation of the results
The pupils make a final report.
In the Erasmus Programme the pupils make the final report.
In the newly graduated trainings and summer trainings tere is no other way of guaranting the
implementation of the results.

6.4.   Validation and accreditation
Through the Europass ( where grades are attributed to the personal and professional qualities).
As to what concerns the Ersmus Programme through the reports of the orienting person - tutor. In
the newly graduated trainigs and summer trainings there is no other guarantee.

6.5.   Quality assurance
In Leonardo Programme they work with a quality system.

In Erasmus Programme they don´t work with a quality system.




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7. DISSEMINATION

7.1.    Internal dissemination
It is announced at the social communication, a pupil who has been under that experience is invited.
These experiences are published in different media, in internet. The school and the pupil make the
spreading all together.

In the University, a pupil who was under that experience is invited. The school and the pupil make
the spreading all together. Spreading news about good practices and experiences in different me-
dia, internet in the site of the University.

7.2.   External dissemination
The external dissemination finds place through the press and the school web site.




WEM Comparative Report                                                                          97

				
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