Placement overview

Name: Joshua
College: Barking & Dagenham College
Vocational area: Finance & Accounting
Location: Mosta, Malta
  • It’s given my students much more confidence and increased their motivation now that they can see where they can go with their learning in real life. They have all returned inspired which makes teaching the curriculum so much easier.

    Joshua, BDC Finance & Accounting Tutor, Malta

The motivation

We thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for the students to build confidence, independence and life skills. We saw Erasmus+ placements as a great opportunity for students to have a cultural exchange and experience how the sector might work differently outside the UK. A big appeal of the placements was that they were based in Europe and didn’t push young students too far out of their comfort zone. This was particularly important as many of our students had never travelled before. We wanted to open their horizons, help them mature professionally and see things from a different perspective.

The placement

Developing the students’ soft skills was one our main priorities. We wanted students to develop confidence, teamwork, time management, communication skills and be able to set priorities. Through their placements, students discovered how to effectively communicate with their mentors and resolve any challenges with their employers. Many students were surprised at the differences between the UK and Malta in terms of how invoicing was done, which was a real eyeopener for them. They also got the opportunity to gain a more holistic experience of how invoicing is all pulled together from start to finish. 

Advice for colleagues planning a placement

Start planning well in advance and give yourself enough time to prepare! Do lots of research on the place that you’re going to and prepare the students as much as possible. Get them to practise budgeting and inspire them on how to get creative with their cooking while they’re on placement. I would also suggest setting a curfew while the students are on placement – this is hugely reassuring for both parents and the college and keeps students safe. At the same time, be as open minded as possible and encourage students to embrace the opportunity of being independent on their placement.

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The impact

My students have definitely benefitted from going on their Erasmus+ placements. Not only have they gained some valuable practical experience, they have also enhanced their soft skills which will be valuable throughout their lives and help shape their future. It’s given my students much more confidence and increased their motivation now that they can see where they can go with their learning in real life. They have all returned inspired which makes teaching the curriculum so much easier. 

Outcomes

  • Increased motivation
  • Exposure to cultural experience
  • Confidence building
  • Improved sector expertise
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