How to facilitate long-duration mobility according to beneficiaries and the ECVET experts

Throughout 2020, the ECVET experts have continued to invite comment and input from mobility stakeholders on the form and nature of long-duration international mobility.

ECVET logoAs a relatively new phenomenon in the field of VET - where there is a tradition of mobility lasting weeks rather than months - a number of challenges had already been identified in relation to issues such as assessment and recognition, relevance of learning and the timing and duration of mobility.

Responding to this, practitioners were invited to comment on how these challenges were actually being faced and addressed.

Understanding current practice in long-duration mobility

Despite a hiatus in the summer as a consequence of Covid-19, ECVET experts in the policy and training sub-groups delivered a series of targeted consultation activities in order to better understand the state-of-play of long-duration international mobility. A survey of Erasmus+ beneficiaries invited input on the size and significance of ErasmusPro mobilities and on types of participants (e.g. apprentices, VET learners, recent VET graduates) and host partners.

A relatively low response rate of 19% was not wholly unexpected given the timing of this activity and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The dataset was small but useful, however, and extended across a wide range of stakeholders, providing an important insight into the early-stage implementation of ErasmusPro by UK mobility practitioners.

More in-depth interviews took place involving 50% of survey respondents and a wider expert and stakeholder consultation exercise followed, including a round table event, through which additional clarity was provided on how long-duration international mobility is actually being addressed by those delivering VET mobility programmes.

Positive perspectives

The resultant report on quality in long-duration international mobility presents lessons learned from the experiences of those actively delivering ErasmusPro mobilities within the Erasmus+ programme. The report, which is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2021, takes a refreshingly positive attitude to addressing the problems and challenges of long-duration international mobility, with each of the identified challenges addressed through outlining possible measures and responses.

For example, recognising the increased demand on employers as sending and receiving organisations, the report focuses on the value and importance of stronger, mutually-beneficial partnerships in which there is a need for a greater level of trust on all sides. Other, equally important aspects of long-duration international mobility are addressed in this short but particularly well-timed report and we suggest that you keep an eye out for this when it hits your screens in the new year.

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