1.1 Finding suitable partners and internships
Make sure available work places are suitable for the students’ learning pathway. If the hosting partner is a company a suitable workplace should be provided which meets the needs and profiles of the participants. If the hosting partner is a college a suitable workplace will be provided with collaborating companies
Short term benefits:
Trainees will improve competencies and skills
Trainees will experience real world work situations
Trainees have the opportunity to improve their language skills
Hosting partner will have extra quality human resource
Employees have opportunity to improve knowledge about other cultures and languages
Long term benefits:
Improves employability for trainees
Hosting partner is able to recruit quality workers for the company
Hosting partner is able to feedback to vocational education and training colleges
A letter of intent is sent to the potential hosting partner, describing the project (See examples in Coordinators’ Tools section)
The hosting partner decides whether the proposal is feasible and may propose changes. At the stage telephone or email are considered the best form of communication unless it is the first collaboration of partners, when a preparatory visit is recommended if financial viable
It is advisable that the terms and conditions of the activity be put on paper (in the letter of intent) so as to avoid misunderstandings.
No personal data about the participants is exchanged at this stage, as the final selection has not yet taken place.
1.2 Reaching the actors
School/company staff, trainees and parents need to be informed about the student’s placement possibilities, framework conditions and criteria, funding, general organisation procedure, etc. The coordinator will set guidelines for all persons who are or want to get involved in an internship.
The Coordinator aims to provide perfect placements which match the trainees’ needs and expectations with those of the company. This will include finding appropriate accommodation. caring about language and cultural aspects and obtaining funding for travel and subsistence
As possible sources of funding, sometimes local, regional or national authorities have special budget lines for the financing of mobility projects; another, very common source of funding are the EU-promoted programmes, such as Leonardo da Vinci for IVET or Erasmus for Higher Education. National Agencies are the competent bodies that should be addressed for applications.
These actions are necessary to make sure that the participants (students, apprentices, workers) are well informed about all aspects of the internship so as to have the possibility to take part in European mobility and make a successful placement abroad.
The coordinator collects information by checking websites, reading information material, attending information events, contacting persons from platforms, national agencies, intermediary organisations, potential hosting colleges and companies and/or other organisations to discuss possibilities. Then, the coordinator informs the school and company staff through web platforms, conferences, and information events, (Level 1) The coordinator of a sending college/company informs the workers, apprentices, trainees (and their parents if minor) through parents' meetings and intranets. (Level 2) All coordinators guide potential participants via email, telephone and talks.
Level 1) Web site for all the target groups containing information about:
What pathways are available for an internship program
Participating countries and how to get there
How to finance the internship
Level 2) Meeting with target groups; information about the following subjects needs to be delivered:
Good practices with examples
Information about the objectives of internship
Information about application procedures
Presentation by former internship trainees
1.3 Application of Trainees
Is the process by which the potential participants express their desire to take part in a mobility project.
To collect the necessary information and choose an appropriate participant in a mobility project.
By completing necessary documents before a certain deadline, which can vary between different sending partners.
1.4 Selection of Trainees
Process of choosing the most suitable participants according to quality criteria set by the sending organization.
This process is necessary since there might be more applicants than available placements and it is desirable to give this opportunity to trainees who will gain the most from this opportunity.
By applying certain criteria established by the sending partner.
Although each sending organization will have its own selection criteria, the final selection is usually based on the information provided in the letter of application and personal interview, the evaluation of the teaching team and the academic results.
In general, it is considered that the trainee with the best academic results is not necessarily the best suited for the internship abroad, other personal characteristics such as open-mindedness or self-confidence being considered as important.
1.5 Matching Process: Finding Suitable Workplaces in Companies
During this phase the coordinators of the sending and hosting partner have to match the trainee profiles with the potential placements provided by the companies.
When the matching is successful, there are mutual benefits for both parties.
If there is a poor match between the skills and expectations of the trainee with the needs and expectations of the company, there will be no satisfactory outcome of the internship.
The procedure to match trainees and workplaces. Can be initiated by either the sending or hosting partner.
The coordinator of the sending partner sends all available information about the trainee to the hosting partner: training pathway, trainee's profile, CV (Europass).
The company investigates and gives feedback to the sending partner about possible matches of trainees and available workplaces. Alternatively, the company provides information about the tasks within available workplaces for the trainees.
The sending partner and the hosting partner agree on the matching.
The chosen workplace is proposed to the trainee.
The organisation of the practical arrangements concerning the period of internship, which include accommodation, travelling, insurance and agreements.
It is important to have a flexible organisation, provide security, meet legal requirements, provide a good basis for a successful cooperation and to secure the quality of the entire internship process.
The coordinator of the sending partner takes care of:
preparing a timetable
social security aspects
accident and public liability insurances.
insurance and information about p.p.e. (personal protection equipment)
internship agreement between sending partner, participant and company
if necessary, internship contract between sending partner and participant (with the parents if under-age)
accommodation (in coordination with the hosting company)
local transport (in coordination with the hosting company)
1.7 Preparation and Training
The sending organisation informs the trainees about practical arrangements and work placements. The coordinator/tutor prepares them for living and training in a new culture in another country, which might include language courses.
For the establishment of new partnerships, preparatory visits are an option allowing to know each other better before taking the final decision of actually carrying out the internship.
To inform the trainees so that they are well prepared for the internship abroad. To avoid misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations.
The trainees can be informed through several means
Information at parent meetings.
Providing job descriptions to the trainees.
Information about cultural differences.
Interviews with former internship trainees.
Language courses are considered of great importance for the trainee's self confidence and eventual success of the experience