An overseas work experience scheme for Harrow College and Uxbridge College (HCUC) students has led to a host of new opportunities including summer work, guest talks, and branded assignments.

Hair, Beauty, Sport, and Travel & Tourism students made such a positive impression during their placements on the Greek island of Crete, that several employers signed up to continue working with HCUC.

Employers including Manolis Travel, The Artemis Hotel, Rethymno Water Polo Club, Alana Restaurant and After Express Hair Salon were involved in providing placements under the international Erasmus+ scheme.

The two-week work placements in Rethymnon, Crete involved 20 students from Level 2, Level 3 and Higher Education courses who were chosen following a rigorous application and assessment process.

The placements included roles in:

  • Hair and Beauty salons
  • Top level hotels and restaurants,
  • Excursion companies
  • Professional sports clubs including water polo and football.

Our students worked in a variety of placements including being part of the reception team in a four-star hotel, working on excursion sales, as salon-based hair/beauty practitioners and personal trainers in a private gymnasium.

HE students also stepped up and took over as Student Leaders in the six days where no staff were in resort. The Greek agent has called us the “Best UK group ever” saying “…your learners are so professional, punctual and well guided – they are a pleasure.”

Travel and Tourism student, Shaikh Abdul Kadar said “this experience has made me a truly better person and I learnt more about myself that I did not know”.

Lara Shwani, a Hair and Beauty student said “It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I have already been told at my workplace that I have improved since they last saw me.”

Liam Plumridge, Head of Employability at HCUC, said: “This was a fantastic and life affirming experience for our students and is just one example of the type of experience you simply do not get in schools, or even at many colleges – it adds a tremendous richness to our study programmes.

“You can tell the impact the experience has had on the students - they have all grown hugely both professionally and personally. HE leadership skills development has been of particular benefit, and it was brilliant that they got such a hands-on opportunity to take on roles that only paid staff would normally do.

“The learners received outstanding feedback from the employers on their professional conduct, punctuality, and high standards, and were a real credit to the college.”

A number of the employers have also agreed to sit on HCUC’s employer panels following the scheme, giving input to curriculum and course planning, and other activities at HCUC.

The colleges will continue to provide equivalent overseas work experience opportunities, including placements for 80 students from across the college in 2022-23, under the new Turing scheme. The Turing scheme will carry forward any remaining funding for the scheme post-Brexit.

Take a look at our students enjoying their work-placement experience:

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