November 11, 2015

“I attach great value to the experience of our supervisors”

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ruthWe attach particular importance to the safety and care of the participants of our junior language courses. Our supervisors go through a multi-stage selection process. Here we examine their general fitness, and particularlarly their experience in dealing with children and young people and also their willingness to highest commitment.

In an interview with Ruth Lopez, responsible for the selection of our tour guides and staff members at International Projects, you will learn how our supervisors are trained and how we guarantee an age-appropriate supervision.

RUTH, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING FOR IP AND WHAT ARE YOUR TASKS IN THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT?

Ruth: “I have been working already for IP 5 years, and in the Human resources department I recruit applicants for our staff positions in summer centres in UK, France and Germany, mainly from Spain, but other nationalities as well.”

WHEN RECRUITING A SUPERVISOR, WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU?

Ruth: “First of all experience working or volunteering with children, if the applicant has been doing this for a long period of time, or regulary lately, means that they like to work with children and that they know how to deal with them, their needs and what involves to work with kids.

Secondly a good command of english, we are an international company with international teams, where the main speaking language is english, aditonally in our UK centres the only speaking language with children is english.

Intercultural experience it is as well important, either becaue they have had experiences abroad or they are in contact with international enviorements in their country. And obviously our staff has to be open, friendly, flexible and patience.”

HOW OLD ARE THE SUPERVISORS AND WHAT ARE THEY DOING IN THEIR NORMAL LIFE?

Ruth: “Most of our supervisors have an average age between 21 to 27 years old. In their normal life they are mostly university students who work or volunteer with children in school holidays and summers, or teachers who want to still work with children in their summer holidays in a different enviorement than a school.”

DO YOU KNOW WHY PEOPLE ARE WORKING FOR IP AS A SUPERVISOR?

Ruth: “They want to have an international experience. There are few companies as IP which offers the posibility to work abroad in an international team and with kids from many different nationalities. At the same time they have the chance to use their language skills in a native atmosphere, and gain an intercultural work experience which is very valuable in this global world.”

DO ALL THE INTERNATIONAL MEMBER OF STAFF SPEAK ENGLISH LIKE THEIR MOTHER TONGUE?

Ruth: “We demand a high level of english for all positions, but we ask for proficiency skills for our amnagement staff which are the ones in contact with office, universities, providers, etc in place, and they should have a level of english close to native.”

HOW DO YOU TRAIN THE SUPERVISORS?

Ruth: “The applicants for management positions, should attend an Assesment centre for a weekend, where we asses their capability to develop the duties in ecah position and provide them with some initial training.

We provide a 4 day general training every year in Germany which all new staff have to follow to be able to get a job offer.

This is a complete training where we tought them our philosophy, structure, protocols, as well as how to develop their duties according to their specific positions, mainly in a practical way with many games, role plays and events which emulates the running of real summer centre, and we can asses as well if their are suitable for their positions.

Aditionally, a trainer is in each centre at the beginning of the season, before the first students arrive, to help to set up the centre and provide a destination training which will teach them the specific things from each location. This trainer remains in the centre for a few days once the students arrive, to make sure the team follow our procedures and develop the duties sucessfully.”