This year’s Erasmus+ Annual Conference took place online on 22 and 23 September 2020. The event which hosted over 200 delegates focussed on the positive impact of the Programme over the last seven years.
The event provided an opportunity to hear experiences from across the education sector, to share best practice and to take a closer look at individual case studies. ColegauCymru International Coordinator and Project Manager Siân Holleran, along with other sector experts also took part in a panel discussion to highlight and review the systemic impact of the Erasmus+ Programme on the further education (FE) sector in Wales since its launch in 2014. This cycle of funding will end in 2020 and so the Conference was also a timely opportunity for organisations across the UK to celebrate the achievements of the Programme.
Enabling life-changing training and study opportunities
During the period of 2014 - 2020, ColegauCymru has succeeded in obtaining funding of over €7million for FE learners, apprentices and staff from colleges across Wales to undertake work placements, training and study opportunities overseas. We have been successful in developing a strong network of over 40 European partners who collaborate with the sector to provide an enriching and, in some cases, life-changing opportunities for the participants.
Broadening future aspirations
Research undertaken by ColegauCymru over a four-year period shows that participating in Erasmus+ programmes broadens learners’ future aspirations. Experiences have increased learners’ job prospects, their capability to working with high responsibility tasks and provided the prospect of working abroad in future.
There are a number of examples of the value the Erasmus+ programmes have brought learners from across Wales, none more so than a Travel and Tourism learner from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai. She undertook a 2-week work placement in a wine chateaux near Bordeaux, saying
“I have learnt new skills and this experience has made me a more confident person with a desire to work abroad in the future. I was very nervous at the start, but I learnt that I could do it and this has increased my confidence greatly.”
Despite the success of the Conference and of the Programme over the last 7 years, ColegauCymru continues to be concerned that the UK’s participation in future Erasmus+ programmes is still uncertain, which will undoubtedly put the opportunities that it currently affords learners in Wales in jeopardy. ColegauCymru calls on the UK government to remain a full participant in Erasmus+. We are committed to continuing to work with government colleagues and other partners to ensure that this happens.
Read more about the Conference:
Erasmus+ Annual Conference 2020