LCFE has been heavily involved with Leargas and their Erasmus + Programme this year with many exciting connections being created.
Erasmus Plus is an EU Funded programme that provides funding for both student and staff mobility throughout Europe and 2019 has seen LCFE continue its involvement in the project.
In February, six students from both the Marketing and Tourism courses spent 3 weeks on work placement in Rennes, France, which was funded by Leargas – the National Agency for the Erasmus Plus programme.
LCFE has been sending students to Rennes for almost 20 years as part of our partnership with Lycee de la Salle. This year’s Tourism students worked in various restaurants and hotels. And the Marketing students worked in shops, gaining invaluable experience in digital marketing and language skills.
Leargas quotes the objectives of Erasmus as “ones which are closely tied with the Europe 2020 strategy of achieving a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020 for all of Europe’s citizens. Fundamental goals for Erasmus+ include improving key competences and skills, and fostering partnerships between education and employment.”
These goals were certainly achieved by the programme run in the college this year. LCFE Erasmus Plus Coordinator, Ann-Mare Dillon added that in addition to these benefits, the students come back with a renewed confidence. The opportunity to spend 3 weeks living in a different country affords the learners the opportunity to experience and appreciate different cultures. The learners’ French linguistic skills were greatly improved and this will certainly benefit the learners in gaining employment in the future.
As part of the partnership with Lycee de la Salle, LCFE welcomed 4 French students to Limerick, where they are currently undertaking a 4 week work placement in local businesses and crèches.
Previous to this, LCFE welcomed 12 students from South and City College, Birmingham to Limerick in October. The students worked for 2 weeks in the areas of IT, Business and Science.
The programme is not just limited to learners. Staff mobility is also an important element of the initiative. Erasmus also looks at improving and modernising the quality of teaching across Europe. Funding is provided for staff to participate in mobility in a different country, participating and shadowing teaching practices in the host country.
In February 4 staff members from LCFE spent 4 days in South and City College Birmingham, in departments relevant to their specific areas. All participants agreed that the time spent in Birmingham was hugely beneficial, and they gained a great insight in to current practice in various institutions.