The last few weeks have been full of catch ups here at aspire-international as many of our projects have used the start of the new year as an ideal point to arrange a transnational meeting. This has included the kick-off meetings for the NewT4S and Future Time Traveller projects, as well as the third meeting of the DECODE project and a visit to the European Commission to discuss another new project, SMART LMI. It was great to see so many familiar faces (as well as a few new ones) at these meetings as we caught up with colleagues from across Europe.
The kick-off meeting for NewT4S took place in Charleroi, Belgium at the offices of the project coordinator AiD. This project looks to build on the great success of Experience for Training, a project we recently completed and involves many of the same partners. During the meeting we discussed plans for the initial project research, as well as the expectations of partners for the study visit due to be held in Bradford at the end of May. Whilst we are excited to be further developing the ideas from Experience for Training, NewT4S is also exciting for another reason as it is the first time we have worked on a French speaking project!
The NewT4S meeting was not the only time that we visited Belgium this month – as we also attended a meeting at the European Commission in Brussels to discuss the SMART LMI project. We are the coordinators of this project which aims to develop an innovative LMI and skills check tool for use across the European guidance community. The meeting in Brussels was an opportunity for us to meet key stakeholders from the Commission, as well as the coordinators from the other projects funded by the same call. It was a really inspiring few days and we are looking forward to our own kick-off meeting with project partners in Bradford next month.
Whilst the French-speaking contingent from aspire-international were in Belgium, other members of the team travelled to Romania to discuss the progress of the DECODE project, which is exploring the use of ICT in education. Indeed, the project is entering a busy and exciting phase of activity. Having just finished research on the quality measures used in schools to assess ICT adoption, partners are about to launch a European-wide survey on the digital skills of teachers. This survey aims to better understand how teachers engage with ICT, as well as highlighting areas where training needs exists. The results of the survey will then feed into a training course which partners are also starting to develop. This should be available in the autumn and will focus on helping teachers to up skill in a range of ICT and digital issues. Keep an eye on our social media for the survey launch, as well as further information on the project.
Finally we travelled to Italy for the kick-off meeting of the Future Time Traveller project. The meeting was hosted by CIAPE at their Rome offices and was a chance for the partners to discuss what we want to achieve over the 3 years of this project. The consortium involves several organisations who are new partners for us and so it was also a great opportunity to put faces to names and hear more about these organisations’ work. In terms of Future Time Traveller itself, the project is very exciting as partners will build and develop a virtual world which will transport young people to the year 2050 in order to explore the jobs and skills of the future. This fits with lots of our other project work (in particular Level Up), as well as the wider work of aspire-igen through initiatives such as Future Jobs. The meeting was a great success and we even got time to have a quick look around St Peter’s Square in the Vatican in between partner meetings!