Oh Vienna, UK EuroApprentices are up and running

Our first four EuroApprentices have been appointed and are raring to go in their new roles promoting Erasmus+ opportunities. 

The first four UK EuroApprentices were recruited in April and quickly got a taste of what is to come in their new roles when they jetted off for the 2018 EuroApprentices Network Annual Meeting in Vienna from 28 to 30 May. UK National agency Project Manager Amy Yardley accompanied them on their first official engagement.

Apprentices Annual Meeting in Vienna

No sooner had Leicester’s Fred Brant and Coral Allen Henderson, Jamie Moore, from Bolton, and Rebecca Finn, of Smethwick, learned that their applications had been successful than they were packing for the trip to Austria.

In their new roles the quartet will use their own experiences of Erasmus+ work and volunteering experiences in Europe to promote the benefits of participation in the programme across the UK vocational education and training (VET) sector.

However, for their time in post, initially a year, they are also part of the European-wide network of EuroApprentices and the Vienna event was an ideal opportunity to meet some of their peers for the first time.

The EuroApprentices Network aims to nurture strong connections between its members across the continent by holding annual meetings funded through Erasmus+ Transnational Co-operation Activities (TCA).

Forty-five young people from eight countries (UK, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic and Finland) gathered in the Austrian capital to share their stories as well as learn relevant and new skills.

Creativity and interactive learning

This year’s network meeting was designed to improve participants’ communication skills through a series of interactive learning sessions.

After an introduction from our Austrian Erasmus+ National Agency hosts and some icebreakers, day one featured a session about project planning from EuroPeer Joscha Wirtz.

Joscha Wirtz giving a presentation on project planning

The second day saw an intense mix of workshops and activities, which the EuroApprentices had signed up for in advance, including tips on creating and delivering effective presentations from UK ECVET expert Paul Guest, of Orientra Consulting.

Pauline Feierabend and Marc Schlote, from the German National Agency, led a session on making videos for social media with EuroApprentices working in competing groups to create their own film. The winner was the group which gained the most likes. The videos can be seen by searching #euroapprentices on Instagram.

During the evening the whole group, dressed in EuroApprentice t-shirts, ventured into the streets of Vienna and organised a ‘freeze-mob’ – suddenly standing still for 90 seconds – to raise awareness of the project.

On the final day, the young people could visit local schools and businesses to share their Erasmus+ experiences or work together to create further awareness-raising activities in the city centre.

Presidential seal of approval

The undoubted highlight of the three days, however, was the opportunity everyone had on the second afternoon to meet the president of Austria, Dr Alexander Van der Bellen.

The president made a short speech, remarking that he hadn’t previously been aware of Erasmus+ opportunities outside of higher education, and was then happy to spend time speaking to the EuroApprentices and posing for selfies with them.

EuroApprentices taking a selfie with Dr Alexander Van der Bellen, the president of Austria

Widening horizons

The EuroApprentice Network aims to empower young Erasmus+ beneficiaries to share their stories and enthusiasm about learning and working abroad. The UK quartet returned from Austria with news skills and eager to champion the exciting international opportunities for career development and benefits of exploring different cultures.

You can stay updated with EuroApprentices’ activities by following #euroapprentices on social media.

For news on the next UK EuroApprentices recruitment call, keep an eye on our website.