28 May 2012
Wales’ Learners to Upskill in Europe
The prospects of college learners across Wales are set for a huge boost following the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme decision to award CollegesWales (UK) International €216,000 to develop the skills and employability of apprentices and full-time students through work placements in Europe.
CollegesWales (UK) International is delighted to have been awarded a further two years of Leonardo da Vinci funding, doubling the value of last year’s highly successful pilot project which came to an end last month.
The aim of the new project is to support twelve colleges across Wales in securing and supporting two-week and three-week work placements in Europe for full-time students and apprentices from Wales, working with partners across eight other European countries. The range of industries and types of work placements included in the new project will increase significantly, encompassing childcare, engineering, hair and beauty, catering and agriculture amongst others.
The project will build on partnerships developed through the pilot year of work placements. In addition, Wales’ colleges will also been given the opportunity to strengthen partnerships in their own right, which will aid the sustainability of future European exchanges.
Chief Executive of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, John Graystone, said: “I am delighted and proud that CollegesWales (UK) International has led such an impressive collaboration bid with so many partners both across Wales and Europe. We have made a good start over the last 12 months in developing work placement opportunities in Europe for apprentices from Wales. The next two years will enable us to build in sustainability and look at work placements in Europe as a core part of vocational education and training.
“A number of countries in Europe have already achieved a lot of success in developing the skills of their learners through international skills development programmes such as this one. I’m proud that, through the efforts of CollegesWales (UK) International, Wales, too, is now being added to the European map and that learners from Wales will have similar opportunities to their European peers and be able to learn for good practice in many countries. I’m particularly pleased that the bid was rated ‘excellent’ by the judging panel, making the proposal one of the best in the UK.”
Contact: Sylvia Davies on 029 2052 8384 or 07968 771913.
Notes to editors:
1. ColegauCymru / CollegesWales is a national educational charity that represents all 20 further education (FE) colleges and institutions in Wales. Its mission is to raise the profile of further education with key decision-makers to improve opportunities for learners in Wales. For further information about ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, and the colleges it represents, visit www.colegaucymru.ac.uk or www.collegeswales.ac.uk
2. CollegesWales (UK) International is part of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales.
3. In March 2011 ColegauCymru / CollegesWales heard that it had been successful in its first ever bid to the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme: Leonardo. The project bid's key aim was to facilitate work placements in Europe for apprentices from Wales. Today’s announcement relates to the second bid made by CollegesWales (UK) International for Leonardo funding. The new project will begin later in 2012.