Cymoedd learners benefit from Italian Work Experience

A group of learners from Coleg y Cymoedd travelled to Italy to participate in an Erasmus Programme. The ten learners studying on the Level 3 ICT course at the Aberdare campus were allocated work placements in a number of Italian organisations near Pisa, North West Italy to experience the culture and language.

To plan the trip, staff at the Aberdare campus had worked closely with a partner college in Italy – CSCS.IT, based in Pistonia, Tuscany. The identified placements on offer ranged from an Architect’s office to a printing company but all placements included various computer related activities.
The Erasmus Mobility Project Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion has provided opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, and gain experience abroad which enabled this educational trip to take place.

The educational value of the Erasmus trip is evident but it also provides the learners with an opportunity to experience valuable work practices in a different culture to their own. This has encompassed expanding their Italian language skills in day-to-day situations, which has greatly increased their confidence and self- esteem. For many this was their first visit to a European country, which will hopefully give the learners a new thirst for travel, in the future.

During the two-week placement whilst the main focus was on gaining employment experience the staff arranged a programme of cultural activities including visits to Florence, Pisa and Lucca which are renowned for their Renaissance art and architecture adding a deeper dimension to the student experience.

ICT lecturer, Michaela Jones said” The learners were a credit to themselves and the college whilst they attended their work placement and on all the cultural visits that we made. I hope the learners enjoyed the experience and that they will continue to travel into their adult lives”.

Seventeen- year old Sam Portingale from Abercwmboi, is studying on the Level 3 ICT course at Aberdare campus and was part of the group that travelled to Italy. Sam was allocated a work placement at Le Fotocopie a Printing Organisation, which gave him the opportunity to use various print equipment to compile hardback books and fashion T Shirts. Sam said, “We had a fantastic time and I enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish”.

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