Thematic Networking: Farry celebrates the LLP in Northern IrelandPosted: December 8, 2011
We were really pleased to welcome Northern Ireland’s Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, to our latest Thematic Networking event which took place in Belfast on 23rd November.
The event was well attended with over seventy delegates from across the UK making the trip to Belfast to hear from Dr Farry, who spoke about how the LLP contributes to achieving Northern Ireland’s skills strategy. Michael Gould, Assistant Director of the Skills Division in the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, presented the skills strategy in more detail.
The event showcased LLP project experience in Northern Ireland as Anne Sweeney, Gingerbread Northern Ireland, and Lorraine Lavery, Belfast Metropolitan College, told delegates about their LLP stories. Anne works on the Restart project, which is transferring and adapting an established training package that helps lone parents to return to work. We were all excited about the difference the project has made to the lives of lone parents. Christina McCartan, who had taken part in the project, spoke about how the experience had enabled her to get back into employment and gain qualifications. From a different perspective, Lorraine Lavery spoke about the opportunities and experiences college tutors have had thanks to the Leonardo Mobility programme. Tutors, like Alan Serplus who talked about his placement, have been able to visit Finland, the Netherlands and, closer by, Ireland, where they picked up new methods, models and teaching resources that will help students in the months and years to come. The projects were able to use the opportunity to meet the Minister and discuss their experiences with him.
We also celebrated the launch of our Briefing Papers at the event. These are a series of short papers to reflect the lessons and celebrate the achievements of the programme in the key areas linked to the different thematic groups. You can download a copy of these for yourself.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who made the event a success; whether you crossed the Irish Sea or made a quick journey across land to contribute to the fruitful discussions which we hope will be a catalyst for future work!” said Rebecca Fothergill, Thematic Manager.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about our thematic networking related work in the future as we’ll be writing about the work of the different Thematic Networking Groups, our experience at a Grundtvig volunteering conference, our ECVET related work and much more.
Marguerite Hogg, from the Association of Colleges, has written about her experience of the Northern Ireland event and we’re really interested to hear your experience too.
We’ll be uploading pictures of the event to our Flickr account soon so make sure you look out for yourself!