This week, hundreds of young learners are joining Petroc and embarking on an exciting new chapter of their lives. And, thanks to the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, many of these 16-18 year olds will have the opportunity to train and work abroad during their time at college.
Petroc is one of the largest Further Education colleges in the country providing Erasmus+ funded trips and has been sending students to Europe for the past 25 years, to take part in aspirational work experience placements.
During the last academic year, over 160 learners from across many courses and campuses benefitted from ‘Petroc Go’ activities and travelled to a huge range of European countries. To name just a few, sports students undertook fitness coaching in the Netherlands, hair and beauty learners worked in a salon in Spain, catering students worked in kitchens across Gothenburg and the college’s volleyball academy trained in world-class facilities in Austria.
Maggie Palmer, who studies at Petroc’s Mid Devon Campus, travelled to Sweden as part of her teaching assistant course. She said: “I am very grateful to have had an amazing experience to visit Sweden as a TA and spend some time in a school there.
“The best part of my trip to Sweden was observing the vast differences between the Swedish and English schools and overall I have gained a valuable insight into another culture and thoroughly enjoyed this experience,” she added.
Petroc is delighted to have secured Erasmus+ funding up until 2020 to continue offering these fantastic opportunities, and in 2018/19 up to 200 learners will travel abroad as part of their course.
Planned trips for the upcoming year include outdoor education and public services students working on a ski resort in France, Motor Vehicle learners travelling to Barcelona to work in garages throughout the city and FdSc Animal Conservation carrying our marine biology work in Malta. Trips are also taking place to Sweden, Romania and the Netherlands.
Ruth Shippobotham, who project manages Erasmus+ activity at Petroc, said: “This year many learners will have the chance to work or train abroad, acquiring skills and experience they will take into their future careers. Despite the uncertainty over Brexit, the UK is committed to the Erasmus+ programme until 2020, so we hope to continue offering this opportunity to our learners over the next few years, if not beyond.”