Leicester College News

Leicester College in Seville


Leicester College has recently been offering its learners a unique opportunity to travel to Seville as part of their course of study to undertake work placements and gain valuable work experience.

Over a two year period, Leicester College recruited students from it Tourism and Travel; Catering and Hospitality; and Sports programmes to undertake 2 week work placements in weeks in Seville, Spain. The funding for the work placements project was provided by the European Union’s Erasmus+ European Vocational Education and Training (VET) mobility programme.

Students were placed in local hotels, restaurants, tour companies, travel agencies, and outdoor adventure companies to provide opportunities for them to put into action the skills and knowledge they gained as part of their Leicester College study programme.

Participants have gained first hand sector specific work experience that enhanced their employability and broadened their horizons, in terms of onward progression in study or employment, and provided a competitive advantage in the local labour market. They all agreed that they gained knowledge, skills and professional experience that they would not have gained as part as their study programme.

In the reflection sessions after returning to the UK, all students agreed that they had a clearer idea about their professional goals and career aspirations and were more open minded about new challenges. A majority also indicated that they could imagine themselves working abroad in the future.

Vicky Morris is the programme lead for Tourism at Leicester College and spoke about the impact the placements have had on her learners and Leicester College more generally.

‘We sent out a diverse group of young learners – most of them female and many had never travelled abroad previously and those that had had never travelled without family members. It provided an excellent personal development opportunity for these students far in excess of anything they could have gained in Leicester’.

Khadra Abdullahi, a Professional Cookery Advanced Diploma student who recently returned from a placement in Seville:
‘The Seville trip was a great opportunity for me as I learned so much that will help me find a great job. I improved my communication skills and I never let the lack of communication stop me working and understanding’.

Dave Thomas, the programme lead for catering and hospitality is clear about the benefits to Leicester College and its students:
‘The prospect of spending a few weeks working abroad keeps the learners motivated and engaged. Preparations for each group of learners created a really positive environment in the department and preparations are already underway for the next group of students’

Offering students an international work placement provides prospective Leicester College students with an important incentive – where else would they have this kind of opportunity?’

This mobility project builds upon the success of a similar project run for Construction learners in Spain. The College is now planning to expand its activity so that it can offer mobility opportunities to more of its learners in different curriculum areas in the future.

Building on our experience in Seville, we are planning on also sending learners to Portugal in the upcoming academic year, broadening everyone’s horizons.

“I would encourage anyone given the opportunity to make the most of what’s on offer. It was an excellent was to experience a new city and learn some different skills that will set me apart at work. I was lucky enough to be offered a summer job in Seville after my work placement.”

Matthew Walker, Professional Cookery Advanced Diploma student.

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