LTA EuroApprentices - Long Term Activity for young Erasmus+-Ambassadors
The new programme generation Erasmus+ has started at a challenging time. The number of mobilities has decreased due to the covid-19 pandemic and the impact of Brexit. Almost two cohorts of VET learners have missed out on the chance to go abroad due to travel restrictions and uncertainty.
Thus, in order to boost the VET mobility, the LTA calls for Erasmus+ ambassadors, who are strongly needed, to share their experiences and to motivate new generations of VET learners to go abroad. The Initiative aims for to enhance the visibility and the impact of mobilities. The initiative also contributes to the priorities of the programme, especially to participation in democratic life and Inclusion and diversity. By being a member of the network, young people actively engage in a political and social life within the European Union. The initiative supports active citizenship and fosters social competences. The participants are not only ambassadors for Erasmus+, but also stand for the common mutual values and the citizens‘ positive understanding of the European Union. Furthermore, the programme seeks to promote equal opportunities, access for all, inclusion, diversity and fairness throughout all of its actions. Organisations and the participants with fewer opportunities themselves are at the heart of these objectives. The EuroApprentices-Initiative represents a diverse group of participants with various backgrounds
Background of the LTA
In 2017 the National Agencies for VET in Erasmus+ in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Italy established a European Network of Erasmus+ funded apprentices and VET learners. The EuroApprentices generally contribute towards giving the apprenticeships and learning mobilities an individual face and a personal story and thus, help to increase the number of mobilities of apprentices and to magnify the attractiveness of VET.
The European Network started with a TCA event in Germany in June 2017. Over the last years the network has increased substantially. Currently, the National Agencies in Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Germany all participate in the network. EuroApprentices is a sectoral bottom-up ambassador initiative, which strengthens on the one hand the visibility of learning mobility in VET and on the other hand social commitment, European values and active citizenship of VET learners. Using the powerful alumni message the EuroApprentices-Initiative promotes inspiring opportunities and strengthens Erasmus+ in VET. The national agencies recruit and train the apprentices, promote the initiative in their respective countries and organise on a rolling basis the yearly European Network Meeting.
The established European Network brings former Erasmus+ participants in VET together with the aim to disseminate their individual success stories of learning mobility abroad. The EuroApprentices enhance the visibility of Erasmus+ in their living environment, motivate other VET students, companies and VET providers to participate in the programme by illustrating their own experience of learning abroad and its benefit for their personal and professional development.
Activities of the Erasmus+ Ambassadors (EuroApprentices)
The EuroApprentices use social media to share their Erasmus+ experience. They are willing to be invited for example by enterprises, VET schools and training centers to report about their stay abroad. Furthermore, they plan and carry out voluntarily various activities in their local or regional environment for networking, information and motivation. They also participate in events on European level e.g. the VET Skills Week.
The network started on a small scale in Spring 2017 with five EuroApprentices per participating country. The number of EuroApprentices grew and differs from country to country. In Germany e.g. there are more than 60 EuroApprentices since 2019. Their profiles can be found here as an example https://www.na-bibb.de/euroapprentices.
Objectives of the LTA
The LTA is a continuation and development of the existing EuroApprentices Network. The following goals are to be achieved:
- The LTA creates a European community of Erasmus+ ambassadors in VET.
- The LTA facilitates capacity building of Erasmus+ ambassadors in VET.
- The LTA develops the initiative/network.
- The LTA prepares relevant aspects for a future Erasmus+ alumni structure in VET.
- The LTA strengthens Inclusion and Diversity within the network.
Management and Activities of the LTA (Status Quo October 2021)
The LTA includes various events and content-related work packages.
LTA-Coordinator: NA BIBB (DE)
CO-Organising NAs: FI, AT, ES, CZ, PL, IT, PT, MT
Formats of Participation
Two different formats of participation are possible in this LTA:
- NAs that actively contribute to the organisation of LTA activities in their country and co-organising activities organised by other NAs and sending participants.
- Being new members NAs can contribute by sending participants and/or co-organising (planning and organisation, sending NA staff as trainers/moderators) events organised by other NAs. Later it is important that the NA is prepared to host the LTA-activities.
Additionally, all participating NAs are expected to take part in the general steering meetings which will presumably be organized once a year as one f2f meeting and two additional virtual meetings. The meetings include one strategic meeting which especially works towards the development of the LTA and the network. The hosting of the steering meeting will rotate between the NAs. Participation in sub-group meetings that focus on specific events/activities or sectors may be defined individually.
Furthermore, all participating NAs are expected to have a national network of ambassadors and to train their ambassadors.
Next Steps and Status Quo
The LTA will begin in the first half year of 2022. Some of the important activities in 2022 are fixed and new national agencies are welcome to get to know the network and its activities. The Kick-Off meeting of the LTA will presumably take place in Spring 2022 as a f2f-meeting (if feasible) and will include the preparation for the European network meeting.
The next European network meeting will be held in Prague in Autumn 2022. This event will highlight the importance and the impact of mobility in VET and bring ambassadors from all over Europe together.