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European work experience for better employability of young graduates 

 

 

EUROGRADES - "European work experience for better employability of young graduates", Leonardo da Vinci - Mobility project 2013-2014, LLP-LdV-PLM-13-CY-1671325  

 

In Cyprus, unemployment grew dramatically in the last year, affecting all sectors and levels of education. Youth unemployment has reached 27% in 2012; it is estimated that every fourth university graduate is jobless. 

 

The EUROGRADES project aims to improve employability of young university graduates by offering opportunities to acquire work experience abroad, improve intercultural communication and language skills, as well as strengthen their self-confidence and independence. The participants of the project have been recent university graduates with no previous work experience, or those that graduated up to 2 years ago and are currently unemployed. Potential participants (students in their last year of studies) have been identified and a selection process was followed in order to provide equal opportunities for everybody from the target group, evaluate motivation and readiness as well as match the needs of trainees and host companies.

 

      

 

Through the EUROGRADES project 12-week mobilities for 14 young graduates have been implemented in Wolverhampton, UK (4 placements) and Kaunas, Lithuania (10 placements). The mobilities were organised in four flows / groups – one to the UK in January-April 2014 and three to Lithuania, in September - December 2013, January-April, and April-July 2014. The project partners are intermediary organisations in the UK and Lithuania; their role was to discuss the aims and conditions of placements with host companies having in mind the interests and qualifications of potential participants that have been identified in Cyprus. Specific training plans for different roles in different host companies were also developed. 

 

    

 

The participants received preparation training (orientation and cultural preparation) in Cyprus before the placements commence; 20-hour language training was also provided by experienced tutors of the intermediary organisations in the UK and Lithuania. The placements were supervised and monitored by both intermediary and host organisations on a regular basis; at the end of the 12-week placement each participant received a certificate including Europass Mobility.

 

The work experience in a different cultural environment has contributed to participants' vocational skills, as well as "soft skills" including intercultural communication, language skills, teamwork and problem solving; by implementing real tasks in real companies, the participants in most cases were able to pro-actively pursue their career goals something that will help them find the employment they wish for.  

 

The project was the result of cooperation with both foreign partners in Lithuania and UK as well as local partners - universities in Cyprus (European University, University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology).

 

    

 

 

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