Thematic Networking Update: active citizenship, employability and an ageing UK

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.

Rethinking Education

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 »


Supporting the UK…part three

Each year we produce a series of publications showing how the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes provide funding for projects and activities all around the UK. These publications are sent directly to elected policymakers and key stakeholders to help raise their awareness of the good work done by the programmes in their country. This year, we would like to share them with you on our blog.

This is the third post in the series looking at the funding we give to organisations in Wales. Read our other posts on Supporting Northern Ireland and Supporting Scotland.

Supporting Wales

Deeside College in North Wales is just one of the organisations benefitting from funding provided by the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes.

Engineering apprentices from East Wales enhanced their professional skills in papermaking whilst undertaking work placements in Germany, thanks to a Leonardo da Vinci Mobility project run by Deeside College. To increase the benefits of their work placement the apprentices undertook German language and cultural training. The placement gave them the opportunity to widen their skills and improve their future prospects. Read the rest of this entry »


Thematic Networking: Learning From Each Other

Recently we wrote about our  forthcoming Thematic Networking event. At each of these events we invite a range of decision-makers and education professionals from across the UK to attend and look in detail at recent policy developments during the day.

As part of each event we hold a series of workshop sessions that look, in detail, at four cross-cutting themes. The discussions during these workshops will inform future decisions with the wider professional networks of the group, both in the UK and across Europe. While attendance at these events is by invitation only, everyone who recieves funding from our projects can still get involved by reading, and disseminating, the outcomes from the event. Read the rest of this entry »


Supporting the UK…part two

Each year we produce a series of publications showing how the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes provide funding for projects and activities all around the UK. These publications are sent directly to elected policymakers and key stakeholders to help raise their awareness of the good work done by the programmes in their country. This year, we would like to share them with you on our blog.

This is the second post in the series examining how the funding our programmes provide helps organisations, educators and learners in Scotland.  Read our first post in the series:  Supporting Northern Ireland.

Supporting Scotland

Scotland is extremely active in the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes. Organisations in the country have been awarded over 12.3 million euro since the Lifelong Learning Programme started in 2007. In 2011 the country was awarded nearly 4 million euro which equates to around 13% of the total amount of UK funding and 9% of the total number of projects funded across the UK. As Scotland’s share of the UK population is approximately 8%, the country is performing well. Read the rest of this entry »


Thematic Networking event: active citizenship, employability and an ageing UK

You may have read Emma’s recent post on Older People’s Day on the 1 October and the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012). What does an ageing population mean to the UK? What does it mean for employability and active citizenship? Our next Thematic Networking event will look into this topic in more detail from a UK perspective.

The forthcoming event, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London on the 29 November, will bring together over 60 policy makers and Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) project practitioners. Delegates will have the opportunity to hear from Brian Keating, from the Department for Work and Pensions , on work currently being undertaken on active ageing by the UK Government. Read the rest of this entry »


Defining a future of European education

Over seventy project practioners and policy-makers came together to discuss a future education and training programme at the latest Thematic Networking (TNG) event.

The ‘Defining a future education and training programme’ event brought a range of stakeholders together to hear about the European Commission’s Erasmus for All proposal and to hear the views of a panel of experts. The panel included Nicola Archer (Department of Education), Iverene Bromfield (Angus College), Mark Ravenhall (NIACE), Madeleine Rose (Ecorys) and Simon Williams (British Council). Read, and contribute, to the views raised in the discussion: http://llpukecorys.com/2012/06/21/erasmus-for-all-your-views/

Delegates were also able to hear the inspiring story of StreetGames, who have used Leonardo Partnership funding to compare community sport across countries to improve their own programmes.

The afternoon session provided delegates with an opportunity to break out into the separate TNG workshops.  Sara, at her first TNG event, recently blogged about her experience. More information about the discussions and actions raised in the other groups will be posted shortly.

The event report is available to download and provides an executive summary of the event: http://www.transversal.org.uk/eventreport

If you attended the event we’d love to hear your views of the event, and also your ‘must have’ soft-skills that an employee should have.



Briefing Decision-Makers for the Future

On the 29th May, I got my first taste of a Thematic Network Group event. These bi-annual events look into key areas affecting both formal and non-formal learning.

Erasmus for All

The plenary session was a very lively question-time style debate, which centred around the Erasmus for Allproposal for the next generation of programmes which will be launched in 2014. Within the proposal is the consolidation of the current programmes, with a dedicated Sport and Youth strand. This streamlined approach will have a new name (a moot point for many) but regardless of the final form the proposals take, what was clear to me is that the passion for learning in that room was in abundance. Read the rest of this entry »


Enhance your CPD with European funding

At the last Thematic Networking Event in Belfast, Thematic Networking Group (TNG) 2 discussed the findings of the Briefing Paper exploring how the LLP supports Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in the Further Education (FE) sector. TNG 2 members, including the chair of the group, Faye Hindle-Lewis, and myself did not expect to learn that every year the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes fund around three years of CPD time for FE staff across the UK! Read the rest of this entry »


National Apprenticeship Service Seminar: Apprenticeships, the International Context

Leonardo Mobility gives young apprentices valuable experience with world leading European employers

On 8 February I attended the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) Seminar comparing international models for apprenticeship schemes, which took place as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2012.

Despite my slightly bleary eyes, as I’d opted to travel to London from Birmingham on the day, I was glad I’d arrived bright and early as it gave me the chance to chat to plenty of people, from organisations such as BT and Pearson Work Based Learning, before the presentations began.  On explaining that the Lifelong Learning Programme had been given the opportunity to run a workshop on the benefits of providing European placements to apprentices, I was met with genuine interest and enthusiasm – definitely a good start to the day!

Read the rest of this entry »


Thematic Networking: The Value of Volunteering

Volunteering is as much a benefit for the volunteer as it is for the wider community. That was the message expressed by delegates at the November 2011 Grundtvig European Conference on Adult Learning which I attended.

Volunteering provides people with a unique learning experience and a chance to share their knowledge with others. The conference highlighted how the Grundtvig programme supports these opportunities. 2011 was the European Year of Volunteering and my Thematic Networking Group, Group 4, looked at these benefits and how volunteering can help people with fewer opportunities to access education and training.

Read the rest of this entry »


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