SWIRL – Student Work Experience in Real Life


Although it has decreased the youth unemployment rate is still very high in the EU. There is a necessity to rekindle workers and young people to a dynamic and positive attitude towards the possibilities of enterprising behaviour, networking skills and pro-active attitude.

Educating students to take initiative and investigate the opportunities of their networks themselves, rather than waiting for others to take the initiative, will increase employability. SWIRL addresses this need by the key focus on Student Initiated Company Assignments. In addition SWIRL turns the personal network of young people info a professional one.


The SWIRL project enhances the development of teaching and learning methods and contents, to ensure students gain appropriate competences for future working life and make learning more attractive. SWIRL supports new forms of working through new forms of learning: letting VET students collect, execute and present real-job tasks using the latest pedagogical and digital tools. Concretely, SWIRL aims to:

  • Empower VET students and boost their confidence and self-esteem by letting them realise the power of their own networks. SWIRL connects the students personal identity to their professional identity.
  • Develop students competences for future working life by increasing their sense of responsibility, networking skills, entrepreneurial mind-set and pro-active attitude.
  • Increase the pool of work based learning opportunities for students.
  • Develop VET teachers’ educational and pedagogical skills by enabling VET school teachers to work with their students on Student Initiated Case Study Collection in cooperation with externals and by offering them the knowledge, tools and network to set up the SWIRL programme.
  • Use students network to develop and increase the VET-Business partnerships.
  • Increase the quality of the execution of Company Assignments by students by truly engaging the student on a personal and professional level.


  •  SWIRL is primarily aimed at students in VET colleges. Student from all fields of education will participate in the SWIRL programme, creating a cross-sector approach and allowing students from different backgrounds to learn from each other. During the lifespan of the project, 240 students will participate in the programme.
  • Secondly it is aimed at VET teachers and VET colleges. 12 VET teachers will participate in the SWIRL programme.
  • In addition target group of the SWIRL project is businesses and business representative. 250 people from the world of work will be involved in the SWIRL programme.

Activities & Results

During the lifespan if the project, SWOT will undertake several activities, ensuring that students gain appropriate competences for future working live. SWIRL will develop the following tangible products:

  • Student Initiated Biz-Edu Alliance – Set-up Toolkit.
    A practical toolkit for vocational schools describing how to set up an integrated regional network of world of work stakeholders.
    Student Initiated Company Assignments – Pedagogical Teacher Guide.
    A hands-on and practical applicable manual describing the SWIRL programme itself, and a step-by-step way how to implement in a VET college.
  • Student Initiated Company Assignments – Student learning materials.
    A practical handbook for students describing what the SWIRL programme is about and it plans the steps to 1) collect company assignments with companies, 2) carry out an assignment for a company and 3) present the assignment to the company.
  • Student Initiated Company Assignments – Company Handbook.
    Describe and facilitate the SWIRL programme for companies and the world of work that are involved in the SWIRL programme.
  • SWIRL Online platform & Community.
    The SWIRL online platform is where everything comes together. It will be the centre and also the main legacy of the project.



  • Bridging to the future LTD (United Kingdom)
  • Instituto Anaptixis Epicheirima Tikotitas Astiki Etaireia (Greece)
  • C4G – Consulting and training network – LDA (Portugal)
  • Stichting Business Development Friesland (The Netherlands)
  • Agrupamento de Escolas José Estevao (Portugal)
  • EfVET (Belgium)


Start: 01/09/2017 – End: 31/12/2020


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