Archive for Train the Trainers

Bavarian Hospitality

Project Partners meeting in Bavarian Guesthouse

Bavarian Hospitality at its Best

A week ago we experienced Bavarian hospitality at its best in guesthouse Zehmerhof where Ingrid and her family looked after our project meeting from the 6th to 8th April 2011.  We were treated to two beautiful days weather and our hosts organised lunch in the garden on both days which helped us all to concentrate on our project. 

Bavarian case study of rural tourism accommodation:

Our host Mrs Ingrid Eisenmann provided us with a presentation on how their 9 hectare family farm developed since 1973 in to a 25 room guesthouse & apartments today. Mrs Eisenmann married in to the family farm business in 1996 and came from a background of working in the financial sector.  The majority of employees are members of the farm family and Mr. Eisenmann farms a poultry unit with 8,000 chickens.  In 2003 they built the apartments for self-catering guest accommodation and to their dissappointment visitor numbers was low. 

In 2008, the local Therme was built near Erding which brought a new type of tourist to the area who required accommodation for shorter stays (the Therme is one of Europes largest water based spa facilities which caters for all the family).  The family then experienced an increase in demand for accommodation with breakfast and their self-catering apartments.  They upgraded and expanded their reception area to make their accommodation more comfortable for their guests.  In order to increase their guest numbers further they developed their website and began offering packages which included entrance tickets for the Therme.  Since then their business has taken off and they are happy with their income from the tourism enterprise.

I will not forget the friendliness of our host and the high standards of their accommodation & food.

Spring Sunshine in Bavaria

Partnership agrees that sunshine has helped project to progress!

Partnership Meeting:

Personally for me, this was perhaps one of the most enjoyable meetings of our project todate.  All the remaining tasks for our project have fallen in to place through the dedication and hard work of all the partners equally.  Our partners from Babes-Bolyai clarified that their accreditation has been officially approved and how they are preparing to deliver the course next autumn.

Dr. Anja Hensel-Lieberth from the State Leadership Academy for Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry provided an insightful presentation on how our project syllabus has been adapted for delivery on a pilot basis.  This course will be presented to a working group who have been working on Europes first Certificate for European Consultants in Rural Areas (CECRA).

This was followed by a presentation by Mr. Wein a colleague of Dr. Hensel-Lieberth and also a senior member of the International Academy of Rural Advisors (IALB) who have been instrumental in developing CECRA.  He clearly highlighted the main objective of CECRA as being the development of a standardised training for agriculture advisors and related stakeholders throughout Europe. 

Our project partners received these presentations enthusiastically and we are going to explore opportunities for the implementation of our train the trainer programme in rural entrepreneurship through CECRA and IALB.  In addition, we are organising a meeting to bring together a number of key European stakeholders in the fields of rural tourism / entrepreneurship, certification and agriculture advisory to a meeting on the 27th May 2011 in the Netherlands. 

We  have developed a worthwhile training programme and are interested in hearing from organisations that we can collaborate with in the future.  I will add more details about our plans in the coming days and we welcome your feedback.

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Project Dissemination?

What does project dissemination mean? For others who work in the commercial world and not funded through EU cooperation projects would call it marketing or promotion or publicity.  For me it is all of these and perhaps a little more in the case of our Leonardo Partnership Project.

We have been lucky of enough to be supported through the EU Leonardo Programme and for me it is important to inform others of the work that has been undertaken as a part of our project.  Dissemination is an important element of any project and it is essential to ensure that as wide an audience as possible knows about our work, Leonardo opportunities and potential for future collaborations.

Sometimes, project partners are not familiar with the need to communicate beyond the realms of the immediate project partnership.  This blog has provided a platform for our project partners to communicate and as means of showing others the benefits of our project.  Sometimes each partner needs encouragement to conduct their own dissemination activities, in their own languages. 

Our Romanian colleagues have added details to there own website in the Hungarian language and also had an article publicished in a local newspaper in the Romanian language. The collective efforts of the partners ensures that our project is widely disseminated throughout the EU and within each partners countries. See some of our partner dissemination activity links below which are related to the recent launch of our ‘train the trainer’ programme:

In Romania: ‘Train the Trainer’ in Antreprenoriatul Rural a fost lansat

In Romania:  newspaper article regarding Tourism Training Centre.

In English: Local newspaper in Ireland: Rural Entrepreneurship in AIT

National Rural Network blog article in Ireland

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Train the Trainer in Rural Entrepreneurship Launched

Professor O' Cathain acknowledges support of Leonardo & contribution of all project partners

Train the Train in rural entrepreneurship is launched

The ‘Train the Trainer’ module in rural entrepreneurship was launched in Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), Ireland on the 27th May 2010.  At an international gathering of the Rural Tourism International Training Network the module was launched by the President of Athlone Institute of Technology, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin.

This training module is unique in a number of different ways, mostly because the team that developed the module are from various organisational backgrounds and countries.  This team of academics and rural development agencies have worked together to improve the standard of training available in rural areas for enterprise development beyond the remit their normal daily duties.  It was also unique to have the experience of defending this training module in front of an academic council in Athlone Institute of Technology.  This was done in the spirit of partnership and as a team which worked well together. 

This accredited ‘train the trainer’ rural entrepreneurship module will provide a vocational education training which will embody the competences of rural entrepreneurship and establishes clear guidelines on the competences of an effective rural entrepreneur trainer.  We will continue to seek accreditation in the remaining partner countries and will endeavour to raise awareness about this course as tool for rural development accross the EU and beyond.

AIT highlights support for the Train the Trainer in rural entrepreneurship module

Project Partnership acheives accreditation for training module

Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin complimented the work of the partnership and highlighted the core thinking behind this module by saying that; ‘At the heart of this Train the Trainer module is recognition of the needs of rural entrepreneurs for short, focused training programmes to develop the knowledge, capabilities and skills of their staff. By equipping rural entrepreneurs to offer training to their own local communities it invokes a powerful model of peer-to-peer learning. Such an approach is cognisant of the learning which people do everyday in their jobs and builds on that experiential process.’

We are interested in attracting further interest from potential partners whom may wish to have this course delivered in their area.  Initially we hope that this training may prove to be attractive to LEADER companies.  We will add some case study examples of how rural entrepreneurs in Ireland and Quebec, Canada have benefited from pilot versions of this programme todate.

International RTITN member from Quebec, Canada delighted with module launch

At the launch, the speakers included John Toland and Mary Mullen from Cavan-Monaghan LEADER and Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin from AIT.  All speakers acknowledged the valuable support of the Leonardo Da Vinci Programme in this project.

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‘Train the Trainers’

RTITN is dedicated to developing training materials and programmes which are appropriate for trainers to deliver modules to rural communities, farm families and rural tourism entrepreneurs.  We strive to develop and deliver training which will enable the rural participants to develop and operate successful tourism enterprises.

As Chairperson of RTITN, I have been directly involved in two of the three ‘Train the Trainers’ programmes which we have delivered; firstly as a trainee  in Austria in May 2007 and as a trainer with Michèle Zufferey in Hungary in April 2008.  Both of these training programmes were delivered over five full days and included farm visits to tourism entrepreneurs in the region.  Emphasis is placed on the need to ensure that the trainer has an ability to relate to the needs of the rural participants and to keep them actively engaged in the training.  It is a challenge working with adults as trainees and it is also rewarding to receive comments back from participants whom have put the learning in to practise after returning home.

Trainers visit tourism farm in Kozard, Hungary

Trainers visit tourism farm in Kozard, Hungary

Personally, I enjoy working with the trainers, rural development activists, tourism enterprises, rural communities and all stakeholders in this sector.  Rural Tourism presents an opportunity for communities in rural areas to maintain their farm family and generate an income.  Our approach in delivering the train the trainer programmes is about putting the participants first and ensuring that they gain the knowledge/skills neccessary to acheive success.

As a result of the RTI-TN ‘train the trainers’ programmes we have quailified trainers accross Europe and internationally, whom have been active in delivering this training in their home countries.  This provides RTI-TN with an invaluable human resource, which will form the basis for the further development of our network and to benefit more rural communities everywhere.

RTITN Trainees at Eva Schiffer rural tourism farm in St. Nikolai, Austria

RTITN Trainees at Eva Schiffer rural tourism farm in St. Nikolai, Austria

In 2009, we are working toward gaining accreditation by national bodies and possibilly EU bodies for our training.  Coupled with this we hope to deliver further ‘train the trainers’ programmes.  If you were a participant on one of our ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes, we would like to hear from you.  This may be your opportunity to become active in the Network and we would like to know what you are doing now?

In 2008, we also delivered a training programme in Georgia and I hope to add a post about this course in the coming week.

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