A practical toolkit for vocational schools describing how to set up an integrated regional network of world of work stakeholders
Student Initiated Company Assignments – Pedagogical Teacher Guide
Student Initiated Company Assignments – Student learning materials
Student Initiated Company Assignments – Company Handbook
SWIRL Online platform & Community
SWIRL - Student Work Experience in Real Life - is an Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership project which focuses on promoting cooperation between companies and vocational schools and enabling students of vocational schools to enter the life of work. The aim of the project is to create a school-business alliance through the students’ own networks and their own initiative. The students investigate their own networks to find work opportunities and assignments from real companies. The SWIRL model brings students, teachers, companies and other local stakeholders together in an innovative way. SWIRL is complementary to the internship and apprenticeship programmes already in place at VET colleges, and broadens the work-based learning opportunities for VET students.
In the SWIRL project, vocational students are empowered and given a spark to collect, execute and present real-job tasks from real companies. Teachers support and guide this process by using the latest pedagogical and digital tools. A collection of student – initiated company assignments is produced in the project. The project aims at strengthening the vocational identity of young professionals and helping them acquire soft skills, such as sense of responsibility, and networking and problem solving skills. Moreover, the project improves students’ presentation and communication skills. The result is a better employability of young people.
The innovative and effective partnership are led by the coordinating partner Sedu, Seinäjoki Joint Vocational Authority for Education, from Finland and the other partners are Bridging to the Future Ltd from the UK, G4G Consulting and Training Network from Portugal, Institute of Entrepreneurship Development IED from Greece, Sichting Business Development Friesland from the Netherlands, Vocational Training School Agrupamento de Escolas José Estevão from Portugal, and EfVET organization from Belgium.
Sedu provides high quality vocational education and training in South Ostrobothnia Region, in Western Finland. With our 5000 full-time students in initial vocational education and 10 000 students in further education courses, we are one of the biggest VET providers in Finland. Sedu also offers a wide selection of tailor-made in-house trainings for companies and their personnel. All our vocational education and training is designed for both young people and adults with or without previous vocational qualifications. Furthermore, Sedu provides preparatory vocational education and training for young people in transition phase from secondary school to vocational education.
Sedu provides initial vocational qualifications in the following sectors: Social Science, Business and Administration, Arts and Crafts, Social Services and Health, Natural Resources, Tourism, Catering and Domestic Services, Technology and Transport Sector. In addition, Sedu organises education and training for further vocational qualifications and specialist vocational qualifications.
We believe that creation of open and flexible learning environments and individual study paths are essential for the motivation of students and the key to successful learning. We also promote international study opportunities for students and staff members: nearly 200 students and 100 teachers or other staff members participate in international exchange every year. Sedu also hosts large number of visitors and exchange students from around the world. At the moment we have international partner organisations in 29 countries.
In our everyday work we cooperate with • Companies in the framework of work-based learning • Companies and other organisations by offering them staff training and development services • Regional development organizations by participating actively in their activities as partners and experts • Other service providers in integration of immigrants by providing courses in the Finnish language • Employment sector by providing employment training and career guidance.
As an acknowledgement of excellence, in 2014 Sedu won a national quality award from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. In 2015 Sedu received Erasmus + VET Mobility Charter (2015-1- FI01-KA109- 009223) as a proof of our successful work in student and staff mobilities.
Ms Kirsi Lounela
+358 40 830 2246
Manager of International Affairs
Ms Tanja Rajala
+358 40 868 2082
+358 40 868 0333
Coordinator of International Affairs
Our Cluster of school is situated near the Portuguese Coast, serves a population of 2 700 students, 200 teachers and 75 staff. Thus, the José Estêvão Schools group will, as its mission, takes on the success of each of its students, in each moment of the educational and training course, promoting the development of their skills in a harmonious development of their capacities, to exercise an active, responsible and entrepreneurial citizenship, based on the notion of social service. In fulfilling this task, the José Estêvão School Group seeks to provide a wide range of education, from kindergarten to post-secondary education.
BDF, a non-profit organisation founded in 2002 in Leeuwarden, is the linking pin between business, education and local governments. Regionally in Friesland as well as internationally.
European networks help entrepreneurs with international ambitions. BDF is official partner of the two main European business support networks: Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and European Business Innovation Center Network (EBN). In addition BDF organises international trade missions, matchmaking and exchange events and support entrepreneurs with soft landing programs to successfully enter foreign markets. In 2010 BDF set up the Inqubator Leeuwarden. It is now the hotspot in Friesland for (student) start-ups and professionals to turn a good idea into a new business. Finally BDF is involved in several European projects which aim to develop interesting courses, methods, products and tools for businesses.
BDF has effectively developed curricula, courses, and learning materials for students and support tools for teachers on various topics. Both online and offline. BDF also regularly plays host to groups of international students. Through the KA1 programme of Erasmus+ we support VET schools who are keen to provide their students with an interesting, educational, practical and fun experience in another country. Finally, BDF is an experienced partner in Erasmus+ project development, management and support. Depending on your needs and capacity available within your school or university, we can take on the full development of a proposal or support you where needed.
BDF is an experienced partner for project proposal development and project management of European Commission financed programmes such as INTERREG Europe and INTERREG North Sea Region, but also Erasmus+, Horizon2020, COSME and UrbAct. For various governments BDF has performed evaluation of policy instrument effectiveness and efficiency. Also for the development of future policy measures BDF is a well-positioned to research the needs of SMEs and schools to get to know governments could facilitate them the best way. An example is UpGradeSME. Together with the Municipality of Leeuwarden BDF joined this INTERREG Europe project. Through this project local governments and business support organisations work together to optimise policy measures on SME internationalisation stimulation. Existing policy measures will be shared across Europe and evaluated. After analysis they will be improved and implemented.
Bridging to the Future (BTF) is a private investment and consulting company located in Birmingham and London, in the UK. Established in 2008, BTF’s goal was to empower and support entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds such as migrants, refugees, LGBT, and women by investing in startups, small businesses and social enterprises. To further this mission, in 2010 BTF opened up the research and development side of the business to help develop more entrepreneurs from minority backgrounds. This arm of the company designs, tests and delivers training programmes to further economic independence for individuals, organisations and communities. In addition to this, BTF is the founder of ONE1 (www.one1.community), an online support community for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, innovators and leaders to connect, share and learn from like minded people around the world.
The Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED) is a Greek Organization committed to the promotion of innovation and the enhancing of the spirit of entrepreneurship. By recognizing entrepreneurship as a crucial factor for the development and cohesion of societies, we develop research and are in a position to provide innovative solutions that facilitate the growth of healthy entrepreneurship and promote employment. In order to achieve our goal, we adopt an anthropocentric approach and cooperate with social, academic and business partners from Greece and abroad, aiming at producing and transferring know how, promoting entrepreneurial culture and enhancing the effectiveness and viability of enterprises.
Our activities are based on the premise that enterprises and particularly SMEs constitute traditionally the backbone of European economies and therefore also constitute a significant factor in the attempt to reduce unemployment and lead to a wider social prosperity.
We strongly believe that education is a powerful mean for promoting entrepreneurship and sustainable economy. In this direction we design and develop educational courses and materials addressed to various target groups.
iED’s professionals coming from a wide range of disciplines, equipped with skills and experience, combine their competences and expertise to conduct any type of business research. In this frame iED constitutes one of the biggest Business Research Organizations in Europe.
Having implemented more than 100 European and National projects, we have acquired unique insight in practical aspects of project management.
“When you support a business, you support a dream”. This is one of our favourite quotes, which all these years we are trying to achieve it through reliable business guidance in startups and SMEs in all stages of operation.
The vision of iED is the facilitation of all the necessary preconditions required for the creation of an environment that will cultivate entrepreneurship and subsequently, social and economic cohesion and development. In order to meet this end, we invest in innovation and aim to offer custom-made, realistic solutions to enterprises and individuals in order to strengthen business culture and provide viable solutions to problems and challenges related to entrepreneurial activities.
iED is a multidisciplinary and fast-growing organization with leading presence in the fields of european project management and business support. iED aims to be Center of Excellence in the field of Entrepreneurship across Europe. We work intensively at the research and development of new project ideas. In this frame we continuously extend our project partner network and work in new and challenging european programmes.
iED’s team consists of like-minded, specialized, team-working individuals whose focus is excellence and innovation. One of the main iED’s goals is to transfer the expertise gained by the implementation of european projects to the corresponding target groups (SMEs, Startups, unemployed, consultants etc.)
169 Iroon Politechniou str. 41223, Larissa, Greece
+30 2410 626943
EfVET (BE), is a European association promoting quality and innovation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training throughout Europe. They will develop the Dissemination and Sustainability Strategy and lead the project Dissemination.