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.”
We thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for students to build confidence, independence and life skills. The Erasmus+ placements gave students the chance 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.
Developing the students’ soft skills was a main priority. 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 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 gained holistic experience of how invoicing is 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.
My students have gained valuable practical experience, and 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.
Exposure to cultural experience
Improved sector expertise
Collaboration and partnership is at the heart of what we do.
If you would like to find out more about the way we work, get in touch.