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22 May 2022

Funding available for Longford projects to apply for Erasmus+ programme

Erasmus+ proposals welcome from education, youth and sports groups in Donegal

With the Government announcement that international youth work can resume this month and 70% of the 2021-2027 Erasmus+ budget pledged to fund mobility projects, travel and transnational placements will continue to be a cornerstone of the programme as Europe reopens post-pandemic.

That’s according to Léargas, Ireland’s National Agency for the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, which is inviting applications from Longford for Mobility and Partnership projects ahead of approaching deadlines in October and November.

Léargas says that funding is available to support projects for organisations active in education, training or youth work in Longford, and highlights the results of a recently published impact report on European work placements for vocational learners.

The report, ‘Tracing the impact of European work placements on the skills, attitudes, education and career paths of vocational learners from Ireland’, finds that the financial support from European programmes such as Erasmus+ enables vocational learners to take up work experience abroad which they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. In addition to supporting social inclusion, the report also found that:

92% reported a ‘positive’ or ‘highly positive’ experience of their transnational vocational work placement.
68% gained practical professional experience on their placement.
64% learned elements of their professional they could not otherwise learn in school or college.
64% encountered work cultures and environments that were different from Ireland.

More than two-thirds of respondents also stated that because of their placements, they would not be afraid to work (66%) or study (68%) abroad.

Lorraine Gilligan, Executive Director of Léargas, said: “The Erasmus+ programme offers a unique, life-changing opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to explore Europe through exchange and peer-to-peer learning, and we’re delighted to see the experiences of vocational learners highlighted in this report.”

Léargas Communications Manager, and author of the report, Charis Hughes, said “European work placements have had a profound impact on vocational learners from Ireland. For many, it is their first experience of living and working away from home and offers them a vital taste of independence. These placements enable learners to ‘road test’ their vocational area, and either confirm or change their choice at an early stage of their career. European placements make learners more culturally aware and more willing to live and work in other countries. In fact, many respondents reported how this first-hand experience of being ‘alien’ in a different country, culture or work environment also helped to increase their empathy towards those in similar situations at home in Ireland.

The Further Education sector in Ireland is extremely diverse, involving people of all age and backgrounds. This European Union funding and support, combined with the support vocational learners received from their sending organisations, opens up European opportunities to many who may never have otherwise had them.”   

One respondent to the report stated: “As I am a mature student of 50 plus, I would never have had the opportunity to go otherwise. I loved it. [It] gave me great confidence. Should I have that opportunity again, I could gladly take it.”

Applications for Erasmus+ Mobility projects close on Tuesday, October 5. Applications for Erasmus+ Partnership projects close on Wednesday, November 3.

Further information about Erasmus+ is available at: https://www.leargas.ie 

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