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Champs on Stage
- Champs on Stage Newsletter December 2011 : download here...
- Champs on Stage Newsletter July 2011: download here...
- Champs on Stage Newsletter April 2011: download here...
- Champs on Stage Newsletter June 2010: download here...
- Champs on Stage Newsletter February 2010: download here...
- Champs on Stage Update November 2009: read more...
- Champs on Stage Newsletter July 2009: download here...
- Champs on Stage Newsletter March 2009: download here...
- At the second edition of the AmCham Grand Gala Ball 'Champs on Stage' on October 29, 2008 - State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science Van Bijsterveldt acknowledged the role of the business community in preventing VMBO dropouts.
The speech of State Secretary Van Bijsterveldt is available on the website of the Ministery of Education, Culture and Science. Read more.
- TNT has given its support to Champs on Stage by becoming one of the main sponsors. A sponsor agreement for the coming 3 years was signed in 2008.
Unique Mentoring and Internship Program for Students in Prevocational Education
More than 1.6 million students are enrolled in secondary or higher education in the Netherlands. Every year, 51,000 students (of which 16,000 students in prevocational education or vmbo) leave school without obtaining an upper secondary qualification - a relatively high figure in the EU and OECD context. The penalties for not obtaining a baseline qualification continue to rise as the comptetion for talent becomes increasingly fierce in Dutch economy. Recently, education became compulsory up to the age of 18. This provides the ‘push’– but not the ‘pull’.
One of the main reasons why students drop out of school is that they have no clear idea of the opportunities on the labor market. In addition, they often do not realize the importance of continuing their studies and obtaining a degree or diploma.
The American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands wants to make a substantial contribution towards solving the problem of vmbo dropouts. To this end, we have joined forces with McKinsey & Company and Randstad HR Solutions to set up a specialist organization – aptly called Matchmaker – to organize and guide internships that will be characterized by mentoring and coaching. This program of internships, called Champs on Stage, targets vmbo students in their third year. The internships are designed to prevent dropouts by opening up new perspectives and opportunities that are directly related to students’ schoolwork and further studies.
The pilot of Champs on Stage was launched in Rotterdam in September 2007. During 2008 Champs on Stage will be expanded in Rotterdam and launched in Amsterdam.
Why take part in Champs on Stage?
Introducing students to the exciting world of work
The students get introduced to the daily structure of a workweek and an occupation; as a result they can make more informed choices about subjects and further education. They discover the importance of schooling and diplomas and develop an understanding of employment and labor relationships. In the role of employee, they are guided and supported by mentors. The mentors guarantee that this is a positive and stimulating experience; one that shows the students their own worth, opens up new perspectives for their future, teaches them to take responsibility, and gives them a sense of achievement. Schools get more motivated students, extended contact with businesses, a better overview of the labor market and, above all, internships of higher quality.
Introducing companies to the world of vmbo students
Various companies have signed up for the internship program. Besides reaping the usual rewards for taking part in a widely supported, high-profile social program, participating companies get a unique opportunity to meet and interact with future employees and their world. Employees who take part as mentors in this program receive training to improve theirs skills as coaches and role models.
Champs on Stage is widely supported by both local and national authorities.
This is not surprising, as the initiative is unique in many positive ways:
- Unique objective: This is the first large-scale program in the Netherlands that has as objective linking mentoring and internships in a long-term cooperation between schools and businesses.
- Unique approach: This is the first time an internship program is facilitated by a professional organization: Matchmaker. Matchmaker is a project team specially composed for Champs on Stage. Another unique concept is the one of the ‘duo internship’: each mentor coaches two students, who follow the internship together.
- Unique organization: The program has a strong, locally oriented organization, with the advantages of a national organization; flexible and ambitious.
- Unique support: There is a special training program and coaching trajectory for company mentors. Matchmaker takes care of most organizational and administrative tasks that schools and companies normally have.
You are kindly invited to also visit the Champs on Stage website if you wish to get more information on the program and on how to participate: www.champsonstage.nl.