Leonardo da Vinci is a European Community programme which aims to support national training strategies through funding a range of transnational partnership projects aimed at improving quality, fostering innovation and promoting the European dimension in vocational training. Under these objectives the emphasis is on: lifelong training, the use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs), the pariticipation of SMEs and craft industry, support for the most vulnerable categories on the labour market, including disabled people, the principle of equal opportunities for men and women and strengthening the partnership between a wide range of players form all walks of life. A total of 31 countries are taking part: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemborg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey. The programme provides for five types of Community measures, which correspond to five specific types of activity.
Support for transnational mobility projects for people in vocational training, especially young people, and for those responsible for training. There are 3 possible options: Placements for people in initial vocational training, students and young workers; Exchange projects for trainers, occupational guidance specialists or mentors; Study visits for those responsible for vocational training including social partners. Placements last between 3 weeks and 12 months while exchanges last between a week and 6 weeks.
Support for transnational pilot project to develop and transfer innovation and quality in vocational training, including actions focusing on the use of information and communication technologies in training. Pilot project will provide special support to a limited number of thematic actions of particular Community interest.
Support for schemes to promote language and cultural skills in vocational training by means of two types of project: transnational pilot projects and transnational exchange projects. The pilot projects concern teaching material and innovative pedagogical methods tailored to the specific needs of each occupational area and economic sector. The exchange projects aim at improving the language and cultural skills of trainers and mentors responsible for the pedagogic supervision of people taking part in mobility programmes.
These aim to assemble, distil and build on European expertise and innovatory approaches, improve the analysis and anticipation of skills requirements, and disseminate the outputs and results of networks and projects throughout the Union.
This action includes comparison of data, surveys and analyses, observation and dissemination of good practice, in conjunction with the Statistical Office (Eurostat) and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP).
How can MCAST students benefit from the Leonardo da Vinci programme?
Students in vocational training, like MCAST students, are highly prioritised in the Leonardo da Vinci programme, as are any young person in initial vocational training. MCAST students are invited to take active interest in the setting up of a project, which needs to stem out of their study programmes. The main action of interest for MCAST students is the Mobility placement. This EU programme funds the travelling costs, insurance and part of the subsistence costs of the project.
How can MCAST staff benefit from the Leonardo da Vinci programme?
MCAST staff is also a priority for the Leonardo da Vinci programme sine they are directly related to the provision of vocational education and training. MCAST staff has a wide variety of actions to choose from. The exchange projects under the Mobility action are popular because they are versatile and can be adapted to whichever idea the teachers or directors have in mind. More specific mobility projects, like the Language exchange projects, are targeted at language teachers.
On the other hand, pilot projects, transnational language pilot projects, and reference materials are aimed at staff that is willing to take action in developing innovative methods and material for VET.
CEDEFOP, is the European agency that helps European policy makers and practitioners make informed choices about vocational training policy. Cedefop can provide MCAST staff with the latest information and trends in Vocational Education and Training in the European Union. Cedefop, among others, organises study visits, conferences and exchanges of information. Cedefop study visits are an excellent opportunity for Directors, Deputy Directors and Senior Lecturers to visit a foreign country and see things from a different perspective and more objectively; to create networks and to promote mutual understandings between different education systems. In Malta, the contact person is Astrid Jenkins at the Leonardo da Vinci National Agency, Education Division, Floriana.
More detailed information is available from the following web sites:
Leonardo Malta Web Site
EU Leonardo Web Site
CEDEFOP Web Site
The following are completed projects with the participation of MCAST Staff and Students