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 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 Erasmus+ ambassadors, 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 network generally contribute towards giving 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 grown substantially. Currently, the National Agencies in Austria, Belgium Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Germany participate in the network. EuroApprentices – Erasmus+ ambassadors in VET 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 International EuroApprentices 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.
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.
LTA Activities in 2022
The LTA started in 2022 with a Kick-Off Meeting in Prague, where the participating National agencies started to prepare the International EuroApprentices Meeting i2022. In June 2022 the Spanish National Agency hosted the Online Social Event. More than 30 EuroApprentices from 8 different countries participated in the event and exchanged about different topics and their experiences. In September 2022 the Czech national agency hosted the International EuroApprentices meeting in Prague during the Czech presedency. Further information and impressions can be found in the box below.
On 22nd and 23rd of September the "International EuroApprentices Meeting" took place in Prague. 60 EuroApprentices, Erasmus+ ambassadors in VET from eight countries took part in the event. For the Erasmus+ ambassadors it was the first f2f-meeting after three years of pandemic. The international meeting serves to create a European community of Erasmus+ ambassadors in VET and to train the ambassadors in different skills which they need for their engagement as ambassadors.
The event started with some icebreaking activities and a European fair where each participating country shared information about the regions oft he EuroApprentices and some typical food. On the 2nd and 3rd day the ambassadors participated in different workshops on topics such as self presentation, media literacy, European values, video making for social media. In the afternoon they had the chance to visit different companie as Prague Airport, Kozel Brewery and different VET schools. The evening the ambassadors enjoyed a guided tour through Prague and a boat trip.
On Friday the event closed with a team-building-escape room.
During the meeting the Erasmus+ ambassadors gained new competences, learned about the different VET systems in Europe, improved their language skills and met a lot of new friends all over Europe. Thank you to the Czech national agency for hosting and organising this wonderful event! The next International EuroApprentices Meeting will take place in Portugal in 2023.