The Grass IS Greener on the Other Side

Cooperation and teamwork is more important than ever as we seek to create opportunities and lasting experiences in the fields of education and training. Ecorys UK’s Birmingham office houses some of the delivery team for the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, in partnership with the British Council. On July 4 the team were able to apply the principles of the new programme in its annual commitment to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Office attire was left at home in exchange for garden greens as staff spent a day volunteering at Ackers Adventure.

'Chip off the Old Block' Ecorys UK staff hard at work maintaining the public footpaths.

‘Chip off the Old Block’ Ecorys UK staff hard at work maintaining the public footpaths.

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Celebrating National Women in Engineering Day

“Education and experience with the correct attitude will unlock a world of choices for your career.” Jacqui Snow, apprentice.

Jacqui Snow is a mechanical engineering apprentice who took part in a Leonardo Mobility project in May. Jacqui and a group of five other apprentices travelled to Mannheim in Germany to do a two-week work experience placement with the German company MVV. Germany is one of the leading countries in the world for engineering and Jacqui was keen to find out where many of the “best products, vehicles or inventors have been created.” Whilst on her mobility placement, she took a leading role in the MVV apprenticeship workshops, developed her German language skills and helped to make a beach buggy.

Jacqui and her fellow apprentices with their beach buggy mid-build

Jacqui and her fellow apprentices with their beach buggy mid-build

The placement, organised by City College Plymouth, allowed Jacqui to build on her technical knowledge acquired through her qualifications: a BTEC in Mechanical Engineering and an Advanced Apprenticeship in Manufacturing, Technology and Science. Jacqui also felt that the project developed her communication skills, essential for employability such as team building activities and being confident with presentation skills.

Jacqui says:

“This programme has strengthened my CV and has given me experience of working in engineering across European countries… (It) has proven that I can work to a high standard within a team, as well as being a team leader… I have learnt a great amount about myself, including how to develop my workshop working techniques and I will be able to talk about this in interviews with future employers.”

Jacqui currently holds an unconditional place to study Mechanical Engineering at Plymouth University from September – a real success story!

If you are, like Jacqui, a female engineer taking part in a project funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme, don’t forget to get involved by tweeting us your stories @erasmusplusuk!


Four things we’ve learned from Adult Learners’ Week

Adult Learners’ Week led by NIACE celebrates adult learning and its impact on social cohesion, economic vitality and social mobility. From events to inspiring stories there are many activities taking place this week. So here are five key things from this year’s 23rd annual event…

1. Remember the European perspective

NIACE is the UK national coordinator for the European Agenda for adult learning and aims to raise awareness of adult learning and give a higher profile to EU activities – such as the Erasmus+ programme. You can find out more about how to access funding for Adult Education mobility projects and Strategic Partnerships on the Erasmus+ website.

2. Don’t stereotype social media

Grundtvig Partnerships ETNA project

Broadening horizons: the ETNA project

This year’s event hashtag was #ALW14 and learners have been using social media to share their Adult Learners’ Week activities, photos and news. Under the LLP the Grundtvig Partnership ETNA project has showed social media has no limits. Turner Contemporary Gallery worked with five partners to expand their work with the blank canvas group. Based in one of the UK’s oldest seaside resorts, Margate, it brought together participants of all ages to help tackle the town’s ageing population feeling isolated and suffering age stereotypes. The group took part in digital photography, social media and film making workshops alongside activities which boosted participants’ confidence and empowered them to communicate using IT.

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VQ Day, Erasmus+ and One Apprentice’s Story

banner-vqday

Earlier this week was VQ Day, an opportunity to celebrate vocational qualifications and their impact on individuals and the UK economy. Lots of activities took place including an awards ceremony to mark great achievements in vocational education and not forgetting a digital message from the Skills Minister to VET learners across the UK.

There were also plenty of ways to get involved online, either by sharing your story in the VQ Day Yearbook, joining the Roll Call or tweeting using the hashtag #vqday. Here in the Erasmus+ UK communications team, we thought we would highlight some of the real life examples of those who have taken the vocational qualifications route to further their career.

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Vine is the way to grow

Vine may be more commonly known as the climbing growth of plants – but in the world of social media the now Twitter-owned Vine app has over 40 million users and has grown a viral trend of its very own. So, we thought we would share how we have been using this social media tool… Read the rest of this entry »


New Erasmus+ Newsletter

We are excited to announce the launch of our new monthly Erasmus+ e-newsletter! Read on to find out how to get all the latest programme news, event sneak-peaks, inspiring project stories and much, much more directly to your inbox…

Read all about it!

newsletterAfter the brief warm spell last weekend there’s no doubt we’re well into the new year, and the new programme. So for all the latest information about the integrated Erasmus+ programme we’d like you to stay in touch with us by signing up. You can even receive news alerts specific to your sector if you opt to receive project information for a particular field.

Don’t worry – we’ll still be letting you know all the relevant news for your Lifelong Learning Programme projects. But it was an emotional time in the comms team this week as we sent the final Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal e-flash.

So, to continue to receive Erasmus+ and LLP news you will need to sign up to our new newsletter to ensure you receive communications from us!

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Today is Europe day!

Happy Europe Day! As the rest of Europe joins to mark this annual event, we thought we’d share how we have been celebrating the new programme and looking ahead to the successes Erasmus+ can bring over the next seven years.

What is Europe Day?

Europe Day, or Friday 9 May, celebrates peace and unity in Europe. It also marks the anniversary of the historical Schuman Declaration, which contained a proposal to outline the beginning of what is now the European Union. To celebrate, the EU’s institutions are opening their doors to the public in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg cities.

But here in the UK we have also been celebrating – and what better way to do so than with our delivery teams which just so happen to be named after the three European cities.  This week we took part in a number of activities (including cake baking), on a sunny afternoon in Birmingham and raised money for our charity of the year, the Youth Cancer Trust. This was not only to celebrate Europe Day, but to welcome some new colleagues to the Birmingham Erasmus+ team as they join the programme at a busy and exciting time with applications now received under both Key Action 1 and Key Action 2 for the 2014 Call.

montage

Our teams: Strasbourg, Luxembourg… and Brussels!

The benefits of Erasmus+

The focus of employability and skills from the LLP has continued into Erasmus+ to support youth employment and improve Europe’s competitiveness. One real life example of this can be seen through sports travel company, AMsportstours Leonardo project, where participants from AMsportstours’ soccer schools undertook a two week work placement at the Olympic Institute in Stockholm. Learners gained hands-on experience in a motivational environment and developed their coaching skills while increasing their performance level.

“I completed the two week placement in May and this for me was the experience of a lifetime, the progress I made in two weeks is unbelievable…” – Robbie Lang, Mobility participant

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