Almond Vocational Link Ltd, as a host organisation, received eight trainees from Elektrėnai Vocational Training Centre and Visaginas Business and Technology Vocational Training centre in Lithuania for a mobility placement project in Plymouth, in the framework of Erasmus Plus. The project entitled “European Menu” was aimed at ECVet learners who currently study in the catering and hospitality field and was coordinated by Kaisiadorys School of Business and Technology (Lithuania). Our company organised the group’s stay in Plymouth and successfully found suitable businesses for unpaid internships.
The group was escorted by a tutor, Jolanta Jasiukaitienė, who stayed in Plymouth for the duration of this project. During her stay, Jolanta visited all of the work experience placements, spoke to the supervisors and met with some of the host families. She also attended all events and cultural trips organised by Almond Vocational Link Ltd.
The pedagogical aim of the project was to advance the mobility of the students in the European Community and to increase the attractiveness, quality and efficiency of vocational educational systems and future chances of employability in the European Labour Market.
During their stay in the UK, the beneficiaries had the opportunity to put in practice all the competences, skills and knowledge that they acquired during the time of their studies and to achieve new professional competences. They learned how to behave and respect the internal rules of an organization, working in a team and social and intercultural skills.
“Mazena understood every job given and proceeded to complete it with enthusiasm and skill. Even on busy services she helped where she could and was a joy to work with.”
“Jakaterina took the kitchen in her stride and although Mazena had to help with translating at times, once I showed her a task, she was able to replicate it perfectly. Again, a big help to the team and a joy to work with.”
Work placement supervisor about Mazena’s and Jakatarina’s work.
It is more and more important to raise the awareness of the young generation for the importance of technical professions in the context of the European Labour Market. With the vocational training in the UK, the students had the opportunity to combine the theoretical knowledge gained at the School with the practical experience in a working environment.
I like my work placement , my work is very interesting. I would like to come back here. I like Almond and I’m very happy I visited Plymouth. All the trips were very interesting , I’m happy and thank you so much! I want to come back ! Agne
I am very thankful for all the work the students have done.
Work placement supervisor about Agne’s, Rimantas and Jovile’s work
The group included 6 trainee chefs and 2 trainee waiters who for a period of three weeks worked at Plymouth Restaurants and Cafes.
Tasks performed by the trainee chefs:
- General food preparation, peeling, slicing, chopping of vegetables, meat and seafood
- Preparing breakfasts
- Making salads, soups,
- Keeping the kitchen tidy and orderly
- Preparing restaurant’s specialties
- Breading fish
- Making ice-cream
- Keeping the kitchen tidy
Tasks performed by the trainee waiters:
- Laying the tables
- Taking orders
- Serving breakfast
- Serving lunch
- Serving drinks
- Keeping the restaurant tidy
It has been a pleasure to have had Lina working with us working with us for the past two weeks. She has shown a great initiative whilst working on the restaurant floor, and fitted well into our team. Lina even took a menu home to familiarise herself with the food and followed instructions well. I have received positive feedback from both staff and customers that frequent the establishment, who have commented on Lina’s bright and friendly manner. I feel that she needed to build her confidence to serve behind the bar but my colleague said when she did try, she did it well. As stated before, it has been a pleasure to have her working with us.
Work placement supervisor for about Lina’s work
During their stay, the students were living in host families. They shared their rooms and received every day breakfast and cooked dinner or lunch, depending on their shift pattern. This accommodation type supported the participants with the verbal communication. All accommodations were as close as possible to the work places and the students could travel by local transport.
My bed is very comfortable and I live in a nice area. The house is clean, I spend most of my time in my bedroom and living room. My relationship with my host family is very good, we talk every evening , that improves my English.
The group arrived in Plymouth on the 17.10.2015 in the afternoon at Bretonside Bus Station and Almond Vocational Link was there to meet and greet them. They received their welcome packs and were introduced to their host families, who took them back to their new homes. Welcome meeting was scheduled for Monday, 19.10.2015 for 09:00 am, and it was followed by a cultural walk around the City Centre and Plymouth’s historic waterfront locations. On the following day, all students started their work experience placements. Due to the nature of the hospitality trade, the working times varied and some of the students were required to also work on Saturdays. This was compensated to them by having an additional day off during the week.
Cultural Trips and Social Events
Every week on Thursdays between 16:00 and 17:00 hours all our students come to our office for their one-to-one meetings. Due to the working hours of this group, we had to be flexible and some of the students came on their days off instead. They completed evaluation forms and Almond staff went through the completed forms together with each of them.
On Thursdays, they had the opportunity to take part in our Language Café. During these events, they could socialise with students from other countries. The Lithuanian Erasmus Plus students took part in a traditional British tea party in a local tea room, Halloween pumpkin carving event and Bonfire night celebrations on Plymouth Hoe. Weekly social activities are included in all our packages.
Additional Cultural Trips for this group included a visit to National Marine Aquarium followed by a trip to Mount Edgcumbe, and a day trip to the world famous Eden Project, near St Austell, Cornwall.
End of Programme
On Thursday, 05.11.2015 at 14:00 we had the final one-to-one meeting with the group in our office. The students completed their final evaluation forms to give Almond Vocational Link feedback for the work delivered. We would like to thank you all for such great comments, this group was an absolute joy to work with. All the students received Certificates of Completion as a reward for all the hard work they have put in during their Erasmus Plus work experience. Well done!