From education to employment

Students discover a world of opportunities with international work placements

Students at Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) have started to undertake work placement trips to France, Spain, Italy and Malta as part of the Government’s Turing Scheme.

The first batch of trips have seen travel and tourism, business, catering and hospitality and hair and beauty learners taking part in international work placements linked to their industry area.

The placements have been an opportunity for students to explore the world and broaden their horizons as they develop a global mindset for their future careers. Students undertook placements in a range of jobs, from tour guides on bicycles to working in hotels and restaurant kitchens.

Speaking about his trip to Spain, Business student, Jake Jones said: “I really enjoyed the placement; I think that the experience was valuable because of how individual it was. Once I had my placement, I had to get there myself and work with new people in a new environment and this helps build confidence in the workplace. The work itself was interesting and the location was amazing!”

Travel & Tourism student, Emelia Fearn also benefited from her trip to France working in a hotel. She commented: “I really enjoyed the Turing trip to Marseille and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I found the whole experience allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. The placement was relevant to the career I want after I leave college, which gave me insight into what to expect from the industry.”

Meanwhile, Catering and Hospitality student, Kam Gill visited Italy and said: “Visiting Salerno was an experience like no other! I worked at a bar called TOC TOC and the staff were some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with; they treated me like family from the beginning. Not only did I learn different recipes and ways of cooking, but they also taught me about their culture. Salerno is such a beautiful city that prides itself on its fresh food and hospitality; it certainly lived up to that! I know we all learnt different things whilst we were out there, not just the culture, but about our capabilities and ourselves.” 

The Government’s Turing Scheme is enabling BSDC to send 100, Business, Catering and Hospitality, Hair and Beauty and Travel and Tourism learners to France, Spain, Italy and Malta over the next two years. Students are embarking on fully funded international work experience placements, approximately three weeks in duration. The College has also been granted a smaller number of two to three month graduate internships in the same countries.

Ann Walton, International Manager at Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “The trips have been an opportunity for students to develop some of the softer skills covered in our skills promise, such as communication, team work and professionalism. Not only have students undertaken work experience, but they have also gained important life skills and a sense of independence.

“Developing an international mindset is a fundamental part of the learner journey here at BSDC, and this experience will empower learners with new skills and a global outlook, improving their chances of securing future job opportunities.” 

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