From Merthyr to Majorca ... Trainee Hairdressers Blaze Trail; EDUCATION Students from Wales Encouraged to Work Abroad
Byline: Moira Sharkey
WELSH students can now broaden their learning horizons abroad thanks to formal agreements between European governments.
Five trainee hairdressers from Merthyr Tydfil are among the first to take part in the scheme which aims to encourage students to spend part of their on-the-job training in another country.
The hairdressing students went from Merthyr to Majorca to learn some Spanish styling techniques and boost their skills as part of a pilot scheme under the Vocational Education and Training (VET) mobility programme.
The purpose of the initiative, supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, is to increase students' employability by raising their self-esteem, knowledge, motivation and progression into further learning.
More students from Wales and regions of Spain and Italy will in future gain similar experiences thanks to memoranda of understanding signed this month by Education Minister Jane Hutt and her counterparts from Catalonia and Tuscany.
The aim is to greatly increase the number of mobility programmes which facilitate students to take their learning experiences across national frontiers.
Ms Hutt said: "Mobility programmes will enable Welsh students to share their experiences, skills and best practice with fellow European trainees in their specific fields. It is important for them to get an insight into workplaces abroad which will in turn give them a better understanding to how their own systems operate."
Among those taking part in the Majorca pilot was Emma Jones, 18, who said: "I really enjoyed my time in Palma. …