Posts Tagged Athlone Institute of Technology

Invitation to Launch of Train the Trainer

Our plans have come together for the launch our ‘Train the Trainer’ (Rural Entrepreneurship) programme in Athlone on Thursday 27th May at 15.00 hours.  We have colleagues from a number of tourism organisations and training institutions from eight European countries and Canada coming to the launch and other related events.  We have invited Ambassadors from each of the countries, Fáilte Ireland, Leargas and Government to our launch.

We are excited about this launch as it is a cumulation of work that has been ongoing for the last two to three years.  Within the context of our current Leonardo project this is an important milestone and we are working towards accreditation in a further three EU countries.  This module is ideally targeted at either 1. rural entrepreneurs who wish to offer training to their wider local communities in the skills of rural tourism/entrepreneurship or 2. trainers who currently operate in the public/private sector to become proficient in training adults in rural areas.

As a network of organisations from a wider variation of bodies internationally we are focussed on developing training to meet the needs of communities specifically within the rural tourism sector.  During our planned meeting we will also be endeavouring to develop initial plans for new projects.  Some ideas include online learning, training for ecotourism and accreditation of training modules which be delivered by our trainers.  With this in mind, we are interested in welcoming new members who wish to become in developing these ideas in to projects for the future.

Since this programme of events is happening in Ireland, we welcome anyone who is involved in delivery of tourism related training or involved in delivery of the LEADER Rural Development Programme to come along to our launch.  Equally you may be interested in attending our training workshop, which will be delivered by trainers from Bulgaria, Ireland and Romania on the morning of the 27th May.

If interested in attending, it is essential that you email John Toland from Cavan-Monaghan LEADER immediately. There are limited places left for the workshop.

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Partners Meeting 3 – Bavaria

Our project had its third partners meeting on the 26th and 27th January 2010 in Freising, Munich, Germany.  Our meeting was hosted by our colleagues from the Bavarian State Research Centre of Agriculture and the meeting was held in the most wonderful setting of Kardinal-Dopfner-Haus in the town of Freising.

Our Bavarian colleagues provided us with an insight in to the operations of the Bavarian State Research Center of Agriculture and how their training systems are implimented.  Their Director Dr. Viktoria Lofner-Meir presented an overview of the Research Centers work on the first day of our meeting. This was complimented by a workshop facilitated by Mr. Pablo Asensio the following day on how the ‘train the trainer’ course could be intergrated into their training systems.

"Pablo Asensio gets everyones attention"

Now I have your attention!

It is a rewarding experience to work on a Leonardo project and step outside of your normal comfort zone to work with colleagues on a EU wide basis.  The project has jumped forward with a more defined timeframe of what will be achieved by certain dates thoughout 2010.  Alot of work was undertaken by each of the partners since our last meeting with a view to seeking accreditation for our train the trainers programme.  Each of the partners filled in the gaps in respect of how the accreditation system for vocational education training is managed in their countries. 

Athlone Institute of Technology led the majority of the interactions at this meeting and focussed all partners on the agreement of Irish accreditation template.  Indepth discussions on this topic issued and a rough draft was agreed.  It was clear that this accreditation template was a work in progress document and further input will be required from all partners before the end of March 2010.  Our aim for May 2010 is to have our train the trainers course gain accreditation through the Higher Education & Training Awards Council in Ireland.  This will require significant effort from all partners and we are confident of achiving this aim.

As the lead partner, I was looking for ways to improve our partners communication and maintain an up-to-date record of all partners contributions to our work in progress.  Thanks to Sean Connell from AIT we have brought all partners in to the 21st century through Google.docs.  His workshop which was held during our meeting was a challenge, espeicially as the google default kept bringing some of us to the German version.  Everybody enjoyed it and found it worthwhile.  Its just a case of getting everyone to use it now.

Partners are introduced to Google.docs by Sean

Clear timeframes for delivery of our project aims have been established by 3 of the possible 4 partners involved in seeking accreditation.  In summary, the project is progressing at a pace which is much faster than I would have envisaged after the first meeting held last October!

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Project Partners second meeting in Romania

The second meeting of the PART-RTi Leonardo Partnership Project was held on the 10th and 11th of December 2009 in rural Translyvania, Romania.  Our meeting was held in the beautiful rural location of Sâncraiu (Kalotaszentkirály) village, approximately 50 kilometres West of the Cluj-Napoca city.  We were well looked after by our host Mr. István Vincze-Kecskés who offered us excellent hospitality in the village. 

During the festive holiday period time is devoted to family and other activites are forgotten for a few weeks and that included this blog!  It is the begining of a new decade and within our project partnership we are fast approaching our next project meeting in Bavaria.  So the time has come to update this blog and I am delighted to report that our 2nd meeting was a success.  Collectively all of our project partners have become familiar with the project objectives and are working towards our agreed goals.

Rural Tourism Partners meet in Translyvania, Romania

Partners discussing national accreditation systems in Europe

Whilst this was our second meeting we were still getting to know each other and were clarifying the project objectives.  It is a priviledge to have the opportuity to work with a diverse group of professionals from accross Europe in the field of rural tourism.  At each meeting there are always new challenges and it is not easy to come to an agreement on certain tasks.  These challenges are presented in the form of communication difficulties through the language of our project which is English.  Those of us for whom English is our first language have to keep reminding ourselves to slow down and ensure our points are being understood.  There are always a few new faces at each meeting and this presents another challenge in trying to maintain the focus of the project on track.

During the meeting, we gained knowledge from each other on how the accreditation systems of each of the partner country operates.  There are many similarities and some obstacles to overcome, but we all agreed that we would work as a team towards the development of a common syllabi.  Our aim is to have our rural tourism ‘train the trainer’ programme acheiving national accreditation standard in each of the partner countries. 

The main priority for the partners for the next meeting is to reach a consensus on the Irish accreditation template which has been led by Kevin McLoughlin from Athlone Institute of Technology.  In addition, we will be agreeing the timeframe for accreditation delivery in each of the partner countries over the coming year and half of our project.

2nd Meeting Group Picture of Partners in Romania

Project Partner Countries include Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Romania

We are now at the stage where we will be inviting national and international silent partners to participate in our project.  We are seeking further guidance from international experts and wish to raise awareness about our project among those involved in Vocational Education Training and organisations who promote high standards in tourism training.  We will be sending out emails over the coming weeks, but if you have an interest in our work please post a comment here.

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