Posts Tagged rural tourism training,

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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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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RTITN General Assembly 2010

The last RTITN General Assembly meeting was held in September 2007 in Hungary.  This planned meeting will help to re-establish the focus of the network and hopefully find ways for increased cooperation between all members.  We have received interest from a number of members in relation to our General Assembly meeting which will be held in the Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Ireland on the 26th and 27th May. 

The invitation is open to all current members to attend this meeting. I have outlined some of the activities that have been planned as part of our General Assembly below.  This meeting is being organised to coincide with our Leonardo Partnership project meeting and further details about the costs for members will be sent by email early next week. 

Draft GA Agenda:

Wednesday 26th May

7.00 to 11.15   Arrive Dublin Airport

11.30               Depart Dublin Airport by coach to Athlone

13.00               Arrive Athlone Institute of Technology (www.ait.ie) where lunch will be served.

13.30 – 14.30   RTITN Board Meeting meeting

13.45               Tour of Athlone Institute of Technology’s Tourism, catering and hospitality department

 14.30 – 17.30  General Assembly meeting: details will be sent to members via email.

 Note: All members are requested to submit any proposals in respect of new project ideas for inclusion in our workplan / training plan in advance of our GA meeting.

Thursday 27th May

 9.00 to 13.00                Training Workshop

–          Examples of andragogy tools in practice based on the theme of PART-RTi ‘Train the Trainers’ programme

–          Interactive training workshop which will be delivered by trainers from 3 RTITN member countries

–          The workshop will be include open discussion about adult training techniques across EU and other member countries (more info on workshop)

13.00             Lunch

14.00             Leonardo Project Partners attend academic standards and quality committee to defend accreditation of ‘Rural Tourism – Trainer the Trainer Course’

15.00 – 16.00   Official Launch of RTITN’s Accreditation of the ‘Rural Tourism – Train the Trainer Course’

We are inviting all RTITN member country Ambassadors who are based in Ireland to attend this launch and we hope to entice a senior Irish Government Minister to launch this training course.

17.00   River Cruise on Shannon followed by dinner

It has taken some time to finalise details for our General Assembly and this could not have been down without the support of Athlone Institute of Technology.  This is an excellent opportunity for our network to grow and re-focus our plans for the future.

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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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Leonardo Partnership kick off meeting

We are busy making final arrangements for our Leonardo Partnership project which will kick off next week on the 1st October and we are looking forward to welcoming our partners to both counties Cavan and Monaghan.  We are excited about the prospects of getting work underway to acheive our aim of gaining accrediatation for our rural tourism train the trainers programme.

In addition, we are also making final plans for the Leonardo da Vinci contact seminar which will commence in Malahide, Dublin on the evening of the 27th September 2009.  We are impressed with the wide range of organisation coming from througout Europe and indeed within Ireland.

I am looking forward to meeting with all potential partners and i hope you enjoy your visit to Ireland.

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Programme for Accreditation of Rural Tourism ‘Train the Trainer’ (PART-RTI)

I am pleased to announce that as a result of all our hard work at the beginning of this year that our application for a Leonardo da Vinci Partnership Project has been successful. This Partnership Project includes members from across the EU with partners from the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania and two partners from Ireland.

The awarding of this project from Leonardo da Vinci is welcome and will enable our Network to offer additional benefits to our members through accredited training.  We will be a good position to commence our project immediately because the majority of project partners are familar with each other through our network of Rural Tourism Trainers.  The aim of our Partnership Project is the ‘Accreditation of Rural Tourism International Training Network (RTITN) rural tourism ‘train the trainer’ programme in each of the partner countries to meet national standards and to achieve international recognition’.

Final details are currently being agreed with Leonardo, but tentatively we are planning to hold our first meeting in Cavan / Monaghan, Ireland on the 1st and 2nd October 2009.  We are looking forward to progressing this project, developing our network and offering further rural training initiatives to interested parties in the near future.  We will make further information available through this blog in the coming weeks and months.

With the support of the Life Long Learning Programme of the European Union

With the support of the Life Long Learning Programme of the European Union

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Leonardo da Vinci Contact Seminar 2009

RTITN are awaiting feedback from Leonardo in relation to the success or otherwise of our application under the Partnership Programme.  We have communicated with the National Agency in Ireland and they anticipate news on these applications in the coming week. 

The National Agency in Ireland are organising a Contact Seminar in September to promote opportunities for project applications under a number of themes which may be of interest to past and present RTITN members.  The Leonardo da Vinci contact seminar will be held in the Grand Hotel Malahide in Dublin between September 27th and 29th, 2009. The aim of the Dublin Contact Seminar is to welcome representatives of organisations from as many participating countries as possible who wish to find international partners and get involved in future projects supported by the Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

This Leonardo da Vinci (LDV) Contact Seminar will be multi-themed and address issues such as:

  • New skills for new jobs: anticipating skill needs
  • Developing competences for teachers, trainers and tutors
  • Strengthening links with the world of work
  • Developing the spirit of enterprise
  • Needs, challenges and best practices in apprenticeship training

These themes complement the work of RTITN and this could be used as an opportunity to formulate a new project application.  I would welcome your thoughts and please feel free to add your comments here. 

If interested in this opportunity, I would recommend that you check the following contact seminar information online and complete the application form as soon as possible.

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