Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year
from the Lifelong Learning Programme team at Ecorys
On the 29 November we held our Thematic Networking (TNG) event, focusing on active citizenship, employability and an ageing population within the UK. The opening update from Chris Walker, Director of the UK National Agency for Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes, included an overview of Rethinking Education, a new strategy launched by the European Commission as well as the latest on the next generation of funding programme.
This strategy was published on the 20 November and looks at how Member States can address skills shortages across Europe and impact, positively, on youth unemployment. Currently youth unemployment is at 23% across Europe but this is balanced with over 2 million vacancies that cannot be filled. By developing, and delivering, the right skills for employment it is hoped that Europe can reduce the skills gap whilst meeting targets for growth and education.
Within the UK, the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) aids the delivery and development of skills and education which helps to address a number of the key priorities of Rethinking Education. The project perspectives heard throughout the TNG event not only highlight how the LLP can address these priorities but also how it can help projects to increase employability and soft skills, support schools, recognise skills and contribute to active ageing. Read the rest of this entry »
Nearly 75 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills which makes it hard for them to get a job and increases their risk of poverty and social exclusion – this according to a European Commission literacy report produced by a high-level group of experts.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, says;
We are living a paradox: while reading and writing are more important and relevant than ever before in the context of our digitised world, our literacy skills are not keeping up. We urgently need to reverse this alarming situation. Investments to improve literacy among citizens of all ages make economic sense, producing tangible gains for individuals and for society, adding up to billions of euros in the long run.
The Grundtvig Learner Workshop action was no stranger to addressing literacy and broader language issues. Growing Rural Enterprise ran a workshop in 2012 which consisted of farming and countryside activities with an added language component. As the workshop progressed participants were encouraged to learn between 50-100 basic English words and phrases including good morning, hello, goodbye, good night, good afternoon, please and thank you. The rationale for this Learner Workshop was to increase participants’ wellbeing, positivity, confidence, self-esteem and social skills. Read the rest of this entry »
In my role I have the opportunity to find out about a range of projects you are involved in and I’m lucky to hear about some of the huge impacts our funding has on the lives of individuals. We want to support you all on your funding journey and help more of you to share the stories and impacts from your projects.
That’s why we have overhauled four of our Guidance Notes, to bring our advice right up to date. As well as programme information, these guides contain some useful programme team hints and tips. We have also included new case studies and a range of project tips, written by you, for you.
Learning Together is a guide to working with European partners and includes tips for managing your partnership and ideas for monitoring your activities. It is particularly relevant for people taking part in the Leonardo and Grundtvig programmes; however there are some useful ideas relevant to everyone involved or thinking about getting involved with any area of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP).
Over the last few months, the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) team have been busy with our Information Days, spreading the good word of funding and offering guidance, advice and hints and tips to budding project managers! From Glasgow to Brighton, we have been meeting with hundreds of participants as you attended our Taster Sessions and took part in our Workshops.
I am very excited about this opportunity. I can’t believe I’ve not accessed this funding before. I can see this funding support staff development as well as helping us with our informal learning support work.
Feedback from a Liverpool delegate
Those of you who have been following our Erasmus for All updates may be interested to know that the CULT Committee have published a press release about their recent vote on Erasmus for All. You can find the press release which contains a useful summary of the key changes the Committee supports here. The European Parliament will meet in January 2013 to decide whether to endorse the Committee’s approach.
Many of the projects we fund work closely with people that face social exclusion to ensure that they are not only included in their local community but that they also have the opportunity to learn throughout their lives. One of these projects is run by developing partners cic (dp) a social enterprise organisation that is led and run by people with long-term mental health needs working in partnership with diverse people who experience social exclusion.
Recently dp has been involved with a Grundtvig Partnership project called New Knowledge – New Life Quality, which looks at how dp motivates adult learners from diverse background to learn and develop craft skills, skills which many people from different cultures share, and will exchange and share these skills and experiences with their partners from across Europe.
Leading the evaluation aspect of the project, dp produced a tool called ‘body mapping’. Asking the question, ‘So What Changed?’ members were encouraged to use their own body silhouette to share what impact the organisation has had on their lives.