The Vocational School “Fachschule für Heilerziehung” (FSHerz) in Hamburg / Germany, trains students to become carers for people with intellectual disabilities. The training we offer is a three-year, full-time course with a state recognized examination, EQF level 6.
The activities of Erasmus + in this VET-School are both open to students and to staff members. The activities of this project are meant as a strategic approach of internationalizing our vocational training for carers. We have been working with partner institutions in various European countries since 1998, enabling students from Hamburg-Alsterdorf to go abroad on work placements. Within the last 18 years our school has successfully built up contacts to enterprises in Romania, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, the UK, France, Spain, Latvia and Turkey.
Beneficiaries of this project in our school are students, teachers, the European project coordinator and our principal – as well as managers and staff members of the enterprises abroad.
The Erasmus+ project has four main activity groups: long-term and short-term students, teachers and graduates.
The students undertake a work placement in social enterprises for people with intellectual disabilities (such as residential homes, daycare centres, or sheltered workshops) in one of our partner facilities abroad. Teachers go abroad for their own training and to supervise our students and keep contact to the vocational training schools in the region.
The long term work placement is compulsory and is open to students in their second year of training. These learners have decided for the major field of intercultural learning: they prepare themselves in a so- called Europe class for 18 months before they go abroad. The training curriculum contains theories of intercultural learning in the areas of politics, society, education and care. They improve their knowledgein the key competencies and create an awareness of the intercultural differences. They also improve their knowledgeconcerning the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities, towards inclusion.
The second group of learners are students who have already done their VET traineeship in German enterprises and go for a work placement abroad additionally. In this group the students use the existing contacts in other European countries to make intercultural experiences in enterprises for people with disabilities. They learn more about different concepts and deal with these experiences. These short term activities are placements between two to four weeks. This is an optional activity.
The third group supports the professional staff of teachers. They go abroad between two to five days for job shadowing, to formulate quality standards and for mentoring our students abroad. These activities guarantee a good communication between the Vocational training school and the social enterprise abroad and ensure a high level of quality. These activities are also necessary to make sure that the internship of the vocational training keeps well adapted as a part of the educational course.
The fourth group consists of graduates in the first year after graduating. The goals are almost the same as in the second group. They stay up to 17 weeks.
The learning outcomes are formally recognised through a Europass mobility certificate. The work placements are monitored by the professional staff of the respective enterprise / facility and by teachers from our school.