As a National Agency we’ve learnt a lot running the ECVET Experts project. Since January 2012, over 70 organisations have met with Experts across the UK for free to learn more about the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). They have been able to discuss how ECVET principles can be implemented to recognise learners’ achievements.
If you’re starting out on your Leonardo Mobility journey, thinking about how you can keep up-to-date with current practices, or wanting to improve your established systems our top tips on implementing ECVET could be useful to you.
Top Tip 1: Plan, plan, plan!
It’s really useful to identify learning outcomes that you expect to be achieved during placement. If your learners are working towards a qualification have a look to see if there’s any specific units learners can undertake, or work towards.
Keeping good communication open with your learners and partners is another top tip. You might already have a Partner Agreement in place but have you thought about stepping it up to a Memoranda of Understanding? This is an agreement between you and your partner about procedures, methods of assessments and can cover more than one mobility period. Training Agreements can also be exchanged for, or made more in line with, a Learning Agreement between the learner, partner and your organisation setting out what will happen, the expectations of the learner and what they should expect in terms of assessment and recognition and validation. Have a look at our ECVET-Mobility glossary for more on the differences between ECVET and Leonardo Mobility documents.
Erasmus+ the new education, training, youth and sport programme, aims to improve the skills and employability of Europe’s generations, through providing a range of mobility opportunities to study and train abroad. To take you through some of the key changes to mobility in the new programme, we thought we would ask an experienced promotor to share the benefits they have already seen from adopting organisation-led mobility, and some of the other new features of mobility in Erasmus+…
“We see prints but are they too big to be an Arctic fox? Could it be a wolverine…?” Leonardo Mobility projects provide many opportunities for staff, job seekers and apprentices with opportunities to enhance their skills. We take a look at one project which offers unique European work placements in the field of ecology – so wrap up warm and join us as we travel to Norway and hear some participants experiences after taking part in a breeding programme for the elusive arctic fox…
AMBIOS, a group of professional environmental scientists and educators is currently running its sixth Leonardo Mobility project. With partners from six countries working in ecology and wildlife conservation the project provides mobilities for participants to gain practical skills and experience in up-to-date ecological practices. This leads to enhanced educational, practical and language skills as well as aiding career development. A range of mobilities are on offer from barn owl tracking in Hungary to locating bison at the Mammal Research Institute in Poland.
What did the placement involve?
This particular mobility placement, in conjunction with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norway’s leading institution for applied ecological research, saw a group of hardened participants travel to take part in an Arctic Fox reintroduction programme in Oppdal, central Norway, where the ‘Vulpes lagopus’ are native to the arctic parts of the northern hemisphere.
The 2013 mobility Start-Up Seminar took place in Birmingham with experienced promoters and a special panel discussion on successfully managing a mobility project.
The event was a chance to meet and network with other successful mobility promoters whilst meeting some of the Ecorys LLP team at the same time. The seminar also provided guidance on managing your grant and monitoring and record keeping requirements.
Whether you were able to attend or not, you can view all the documents from the event online including the 2013 summary doucment which gives an overview of the current projects represented at the Start-up Seminar last month, designed to help you identify relevant projects for your organisation. It also provides a breakdown of the projects grouped by vocational field.
Every year we fund UK organisations to send vocational trainees to undertake work placements in another European country. Thanks to Leonardo Mobility funding, thousands of participants have benefitted from a period abroad. This experience is often life-changing for participants as it can boost their confidence, independence and open their eyes to new opportunities. But what about participants’ professional skills, how can these be recognised?
The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) is a set of principles that can be used in any overseas work or volunteering placement. It aims to help recognise the skills that a participant has gained so that they can count towards a qualification in their home country. You may have read our ‘Using ECVET in Leonardo Mobility‘ post that explained how you can implement ECVET principles.
Here at Ecorys, we support Apprenticeships in many different ways through our work on the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes.
In 2013, we have gone one step further and we have recently welcomed our first Apprentice, Tenisha Jeffers, into our Lifelong Learning Programme team! Tenisha is studying Business Administration at Birmingham Metropolitan college and has joined us for 12 months as an Assistant Administrator to the Leonardo team.
We do really enjoy hearing from our projects, particularly when it’s good news! We have recently been sent updates by two colleges whose Leonardo achievements have been recognised with external commendations. We thought you might like to hear about them too…
Today is officially the first day of spring, the time where the roots have bedded down and the first shoots start appearing. This might be a rather tenuous link but it started me thinking about the opportunities for growth and how the lifecycle of our projects enable new branches to sprout and develop.
Growth is a priority under the EU2020 objectives with sustainable and inclusive growth a focus. Continuing on the theme of growth, I thought I’d highlight some of our projects that look at the greener side of things. Many of our projects focus on conservation, nature and the environment, working to help communities and individuals through green-centered education. Looking first at Leonardo, the 2011 Mobility funded Parks & Gardens Apprenticeship Scheme, organised by Cardiff Council, provided apprentices with a new understanding of the techniques and processes involved in horticulture: Read the rest of this entry »
Pride: It’s day one of National Apprenticeship Week and we are proud to be supporting apprentices from across the country through the Lifelong Learning Programme!
Growth: This year’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrates a new era for apprentices, looking at how individuals develop through their apprenticeships and the impact this has on themselves, the employers and wider society. Read the rest of this entry »