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Newsletter 1 - 2013

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Why eBridge 2 VET Mobility? Expected products and results Main purpose Foreseen impact

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The partnership Starting Works Supported by EU Leonardo da Vinci Program

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The origin: eBridge To Mobility Project (2009-2011)

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Trends on VET Mobility Foreign Language and Intercultural Competencies in VET EU Policies

Supporting the Mobility of VET Students in Europe

Newsletter 1 - 2013

Why eBridge 2 VET Mobility?

According Europe 2020 Strategy, it is fundamental to provide students with the most suitable tools to understand and to live in the future labour market and one of the best ways is by learning on mobility. But reports about mobility during the vocational training coincide that the great challenge is learning a foreign language and intercultural skills. Students and teachers recognize that they dont participate in exchanges because of lacking language knowledge and cultural problems that would restrain them to understand the labour environment and common situations in the everyday life in a foreign country. The problem of the lack of competences in foreign languages and of intercultural skills of VET students that is faced by eBridge 2 VET Mobility is a common problem in all Europe. European educational policies consider that it is fundamental to provide students with the most suitable tools to understand and to live in the future European labour market.

Expected products and results

During 24 months, from October 2012 to September 2014, eBridge 2 VET Mobility will develop and test: e-Learning Portuguese, Polish and Latvian, Spanish language courses especially adapted to needs of VET students in mobility and additional linguistic supports. On line didactical and informative resources about cultural issues related with everyday life, culture and the labour environment in Spain, Portugal, Poland, Latvia, Czech Republic, and Turkey. A virtual Community oriented to the intercultural exchange and social learning, allowing the end users being active part in the learning by providing, updating and completing e-learning contents and informative resources.

Their most prominent feature will be the multilingualism and accessibility both on line and by specific applications for mobile devices. After a pilot exploitation and validation period, they will be placed at the targets disposal, both, directly and through education centers and education administration.

Main purpose
eBridge 2 VET Mobility Projects aims are: To facilitate to VET students and apprentices the acquisition of European language competences, intercultural skills and international openness with a view to participate in mobility programs. To encourage this mobility especially between Spain and Portugal and new members of the EU: Poland, Latvia, Czech Republic, and Turkey, in order to diversify traditional destinations offering a wider possibilities in countries with languages less used and known in Europe. To promote less frequented countries with less spoken languages as destinies for this mobility, all with the aim to widen the students opportunities to experience a mayor linguistic and cultural diversity and the horizons of international and labour experiences in Europe.

Foreseen impact
Foreseen impact of the project will be to contribute to facilitate VET students and apprentices skills related to European foreign languages, intercultural knowledge and international dispositions, to increase interest to participate in mobility programs and in new destinations European or third countries and to increase the awareness of stakeholders to facilitate support both during the preparation and placement of mobilities. The learning materials on languages and culture proposed by eBridge 2 VET Mobility will provide a comprehensive online assistance for EU VET students and apprentices dealing with mobility, that just is considered a solution to overcome language barriers as well as to develop self-confidence, adaptability, a sense of responsibility, employability and intercultural competence. It will contribute to diversify the actual tendencies of European Mobility, actually very centered between countries with similarities in their languages that is the case of Spain, Portugal and Italy or with preference for United Kingdom due English is the most extended language. In this sense, eBridge 2 Mobility will stimulate and facilitate mobility contacts between Iberian countries and new EU Members and Turkey, enlarging the European dimension of the Mobility.

Supporting the Mobility of VET Students in Europe

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Newsletter 1 - 2013

Supported by EU Leonardo da Vinci Program

eBridge 2 VET Mobility is a Transfer of Innovation Project supported by the Leonardo da Vinci Program in the framework of EU Lifelong Learning European Programme. Innovation projects have always been at the core of the Leonardo da Vinci Program. They aim to improve the quality of training systems through the development and transfer of innovative policies, contents, methods and procedures within vocational education and training. The Leonardo da Vinci Programme funds too other practical projects in the field of vocational education and training. Initiatives range from those giving individuals work-related training abroad to large-scale co-operation efforts. These include mobility initiatives enabling people to train in another country, co-operation projects to transfer or develop innovative practices, and networks focusing on topical themes in the sector. The people able to benefit from the programme range from trainees in initial vocational training, to people who have already graduated, as well as VET professionals and anyone from organisations active in this field. Leonardo da Vinci enables organisations in the vocational education sector to work with partners from across Europe, exchange best practices, and increase their staffs expertise. It should make vocational education more attractive to young people and, by helping people to gain new skills, knowledge and qualifications, the programme also boosts the overall competitiveness of the European labour market.

The partnership
The partnership is integrated by 7 entities from 6 countries: ITURBROK and MESCOMP, 2 companies from Spain and Poland experts on ICT and e-learning. SENECA, ALETHEIA and CENTRU EUROPEU DE LINGUAS, 3 Adult Education centers from Latvia, Czech Republic and Portugal specialized in language and culture training and offering services to support mobility of students and cultural exchanges. LANBIDE HEZIKETAREN LAGUNAK (LHL), a Spanish association oriented to VET improvement and innovation. PROJINAL, a mobility agency from Turkey, also acting as consultant for educational authorities.

Starting Works
Partners started to work on the 1st October 2012. The first kickoff meeting was held on Pamplona (Spain), the 15th and 16th November 2012, where the partnership was officially created and the work plan for the first phase of the project was agreed. After, and during the following months, the partners have been working on the revision of products to be transferred from eBridge1 project and the development of the concept of the on line language courses and cultural information related to Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic and Turkey. A technical proposal has been prepared too just to develop the Content Management System (CMS) that will support the on line delivery of both products. Partners carried out a research about the needs of language skills, intercultural knowledge and international disposition abilities of VET students and young apprentices. A report has been prepared presenting the main conclusions.

For further information, please visit: en.htm

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Newsletter 1 - 2013

The origin: eBridge To Mobility Project (2009-2011)

eBridge 2 VET Mobility has been approved as Tansfer of Innovation project to receive the funding of the EU Lifelong Learning European Program. It said that it is based in the adaptation and valorization of the result of a previous project, named E-Bridge to Mobility, that was develop between 2009 and 2011. It received too the support of the EU Lifelong Learning European Programme as a Development of Innovation project. The promoter was the Warsaw Academy of Computer Science, Management and Administration, from Poland.

The most significant projects products were educational products: On line e-learning courses in English, German and Spanish and cultural information about culture, labour and daily life; Mobiles applications containing lexical content (vocabulary and phrases with audio files to be installed in mobile phones, Screensavers containing animated screens connected with the scenarios of lessons, Pictionary, a glossary in pictures (photos or illustrations), enriched with audio files presenting pronunciation of words in a particular language, connected with topics covered by the language courses; and Basic Law providing the users with forms and documents needed when changing the country of residence. And e-community of people interested in mobility have been developed and involved in the process of evaluation with some success. Specific technological products including a website, an e-learning platform, interactive forms, screensavers software, an e-mobiles package and WEB 2.0 functionalities have been developed. They consisted of applications facilitating the learning process with support of ICT by stationary and portable computers, the Internet, wireless and mobile facilities, including mobile phones, different means of electronic communication, and WEB 2.0. tools. The high quality of didactical and technological products developed, the good results of testing activities with targets and the successful learning approach applied to language and intercultural issues have been considered by the actual partnership of eBridge 2 VET, Mobility as excellence instruments to be adapted as training resources on foreign languages and interculturality for VET Students and young apprentices in Mobility stages. To know more:

E-Bridge to Mobility project addressed the needs that appeared on the EUs labour market after accession of new Member States in 2004 and 2007. The E-bridge to mobility project was intended for EU citizens who want to be active participants in European mobility either with a view to accessing better job or educational opportunities, for personal reasons or simply for their own pleasure. The project targeted Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish and Slovakian nationals (source countries), who are planning to visit England, Germany and Spain for either a short-term or a long-term stay. A basic didactic objective of the project was to create tools enabling learning these languages and facilitating the process of adjustment to reality of everyday life in these countries.

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Newsletter 1 - 2013

Trends on

VET Mobility
Reports about mobility during the vocational training coincide that the great challenge is learning a foreign language and intercultural skills. Students and teachers recognize that they dont participate in exchanges because of lacking language knowledge and cultural problems that would restrain them to understand the labour environment and common situations in the everyday life in a foreign country. Spain, followed by Portugal, is the European country with the fewest VET mobility: less than 3% of VET students participate in these kinds of programs (Ministery of Educacin 2010) and just 41% of them receive a previous preparation (WSF 2007). In the case of Portugal, the corresponding numbers are 4% (Eurostat, 2009) and 43%. The majority of mobility is addressed to English speaking or Latin language speaking countries. This indicates that for diversification, the knowledge of other languages and other countries should be aided in the vocational training. The Move-iT study (CINOP, 2006) affirmed that employees and employers of 33 European countries considered the acquisition of multi-cultural experiences and better language competencies as key aspects for the internationalization of the labour force and the lack of foreign languages and multicultural skills as serious obstacles in VET mobility. The study also revealed that Germany, Spain, Italy, Great Britain and Sweden are preferred destinies, but it has been detected a growing interest in the new member states of the UE (Poland and Lithuania) and Turkey. In Germany, there exists the concept of an international occupational qualification (Borch et al. 2003), considering language skills, intercultural knowledge and international dispositions as basic and key qualifications to permit mobility in the field of work (Cologne Institute for Economic Research, 2009). Green Paper Promoting the mobility of young people (COM(2009) 329/3) and the Europe 2020 strategy (COM(2010) 296 final) stress that these competencies should be provided through motivating the mobility during the formation and that it is important to provide that countries with minority languages can also be destinies of this mobility. In 2010, the European Youth Forum (COMEM 0354-10-FINAL) also recommended the VET education schools to increase the quality of their education programs with a view to guarantee that its students acquire these transversal skills. Finally, it is important to consider that of the benefits of the modern business world is that it allows participate in a multicultural working environment. This occurs quite commonly in the Anglo Saxon world but it has now extended to Asia and many other parts of the world. Working in a multicultural environment is hugely important, and allows grow and develop both on a professional and a personal basis. There is no doubt that Europe needs qualified human resources to understand an increasingly diverse internal market and to manage diversity both in the public and private sector, and to encourage much needed internationalization of the European economy.

Competitive Advantages of Cultural Diversity in Companies

More and better ideas. Greater problem solving ability. A more inclusive working environment. An increase in creativity and innovation. A greater ability to recruit and keep highly qualified employees. A greater knowledge and understanding of different markets and consumer preferences. An improvement in customer service. An improvement in corporate image. An improvement in social commitments.

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Newsletter 1 - 2013

Foreign Language and Intercultural Competencies in VET EU Policies

With regard to appropriate measures to enhance transnational mobility and competences in existing VET structures and policies, European governments have defined a number of concrete short-term objectives for the period 2011-2014 in the Bruges Communiqu: The lack of language and intercultural competences is the main reason recognized by European VET students and teachers for not participating in exchanges and mobility opportunities. Just the final report Future Skills Needs in Micro and Craft(type) Enterprises up to 2020 , financed by the European Union and edited by the FBH Cologne (January 2011), concluded that foreign language competence is therefore crucial to promoting economic competitiveness and for personal and social well-being and cohesion. To encourage a greater number of VET students and VET professionals to participate in transnational mobility. To encourage local and regional authorities, as well as VET providers, to develop an internationalisation culture and strategies, including cross-border mobility; To address legal and administrative obstacles related to the transnational mobility of apprentices and trainees; To encourage professional chambers, business organisations and other relevant organisations to support the host and sending enterprises in providing appropriate conditions for apprentices and trainees in transnational mobility; To ensure the provision of language learning and intercultural competences in VET curricula; To make optimal use of other EU tools (e.g. EQF, EQAVET, Europass) for enhancing the mutual recognition of qualification and competences.

Future Skills Needs in Micro and Craft(-type) Enterprises up to 2020

As it is explained in this document, the promotion of multilingualism has therefore been an important aspect of European education and training policy and nearly half of EU countries report that foreign languages are part of VET curricula in their countries. The following two broad trends were identified in the study: Foreign languages are included in VET programs where these are deemed to be appropriate to the qualification, for example in such areas as hospitality or tourism. At least one foreign language is a compulsory part of the VET curriculum at some stage, in particular in smaller countries such as Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands as well as most of the new Member States (Cyprus, the Baltic States, Poland, Slovakia).

It is for that eBridge2 to VET Mobility is strong connected with the acquisition of these key competencies, due to the fact that the linguistic and intercultural transversal competencies are considered basically to guarantee Life Long Learning in all European education policies and in the European 2020 strategy.

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eBridge2 VET Mobility Partners


LHL / Lanbide Heziketaren Lagunak (Spain)

MESCOMP S.A (Poland)

Spu Kultras Centrs Sneca (Latvia)

ALETHEIA s.r.o. (Czech Republic)

Centro Europeu de Lnguas (Portugal)

Projinal Education Consultancy (Turkey)

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This Website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained there in.