Erasmus+ International Work Placements make a difference to Vocational Learners from Ireland.
Léargas Erasmus+ Impact Study on International Mobility Placements for VET Learners from Ireland
Léargas’ study of the impact of Erasmus+ international work placements on vocational learners was based on 29 projects and over 1200 learners who took part in Erasmus+ between 2014 and 2016. The study found that 95% of participants were satisfied with their placements, and gained knowledge and skills they would not have gained at home.
Erasmus+ placements increased participants’ confidence, intercultural skills and professional opportunities by taking them out of their local areas and into an international workplace.
Charis Hughes, Léargas Impact & Research Officer
An Erasmus+ work placement can be profoundly transformative for a vocational student. The experience of surviving – and even thriving – away from their homes and support networks builds self-confidence and independence, and helps to expand career horizons. These short-term placements can have a long-term impact!
Organisations that took part in Erasmus+ projects increased their connection with local employers, developed their international networks, and in some cases changed their curricula in response to their learners’ experience in the international workplace.
The study identified key elements of a good quality project, including: clear communication and mutual exchange between partners; listening to authentic feedback from participants; providing customised work placements; involving participants’ community or family in the experience; and integrating the work placements with the QQI Work Experience module.
Recommendations included: funding vocational language preparation in successor programmes; supporting cultural preparation, with a particular emphasis on European values; establishing a network for participating vocational organisations in Ireland; and carrying out follow-up studies to trace paths of progression and longer-term impact.