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Community Based Ecology and Conservation
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CONTEXT The primary rationale for the Community-Based Ecology and Conservation (CBEC) Project is to support VET learners who are undertaking community development qualifications within an ecology or conservation context by providing access to work experience ‘mobilities’ based in Spain as part of the Erasmus+ programme. Central to the rationale of the project is the importance of engaging with and educating local stakeholder communities to the success of ecology and conservation focused programmes and activities. The key objectives of the CBEC Project are to provide vocational and career development benefits for the participants, including: • Enhanced awareness and understanding of the role of community development within the ecology and conservation sector • Development of specialist knowledge and practical skills • Improved employability and workplace skills • Development of vocational, personal, intercultural and linguistic skills • Progression into employment and/or further study within the community development, ecology and conservation sectors The project will also include activities relevant to the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET), as participants will be current learners who will be supported in undertaking assignments during their mobility experiences that will contribute towards units of the qualifications that they are studying PARTICIPANTS Participants will be VET learners who are working towards vocational qualifications for the Community Development sector and will either have a background in conservation and ecology or be currently volunteering or working in relevant roles. We anticipate that participants will be typically young people aged 19-23 who have developed some relevant experienced-acquired skills through volunteering or work experience within their local communities and wish to undertake a qualification to further develop and formally recognise these skills. 8 participants will undertake 3-month mobilities to Spain, supported by an Accompanying Person ACTIVITIES The project is based around partnerships between Capacity Ireland and a group of community focused ecology and conservation organisations in Spain that will act as ‘Host Employers’, providing work experience placements for project participants. Work placement activities will enable participants to put their skills and knowledge into practice by gaining practical, ‘hands on’ experience, engaging local communities and working on local ecology and conservation programmes. This will enable them to develop their vocational skills in and gain work experience in order to maximise their opportunities for labour market integration and career progression. Core work experience and learning programmes will be complemented by ongoing language support and a programme of social and cultural activities. METHODOLOGY Project methodologies focus on supporting learners to develop experience-acquired skills for their vocational area and learn by working alongside established professionals in their chosen field. We have worked with the project partners on previous, successful Mobility Projects and have well-established methodologies and mechanisms for supporting the training objectives and professional development aspirations of participants from the relevant target groups. RESULTS The project will also provide significant beneficial impacts for the participants in terms of labour market integration and career development. Based on our experience of delivering successful Mobility Projects, we expect over 60% thirds of participants (5 out of 8) to move into sustainable employment in their chosen field after completing their Mobility Placement, with a further 25% (2 out of 8) progressing onto further training for Conservation, Ecology or Community Development sectors. IMPACT The project will help to build the capacity of partners to participate in transnational activities and European projects in general and the Erasmus Plus programme in particular. The project partners will also work to respond to relevant policies and initiatives. For example, providing training and mobility opportunities with Community Based Ecology and Conservation will enable the project to respond to the focus of the Europe for Citizens programme on encouraging citizens to become actively involved in the process of European integration. LONGER TERM BENEFITS Over the medium to long term, evaluation and dissemination activities offer potential to engage with VET providers and enterprises within Conservation, Ecology and Community Development sectors more widely across the EU and thus inform developments in VET provision at the local, national and European level.
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4 Partners Participants