Reporter 457, 23 October 2000

Euro fund opens doors

The University has secured £1.3m of European Social Fund support under the Objective Three programme to widen access to education and training. Five applications from three departments, for projects worth a total of £3m, won 45 percent funding from the programme.

Three of the successful bids were tabled by the Office of Part-time Education (Opted). One, labelled Dart, is an innovative action-research project to develop degree-level learning packages in business studies, supported with information technology. Aimed at the small business sector, the scheme will offer about 100 free student places, with a researcher identifying the sectorís training needs.

The Future Option scheme, a partnership between Opted and Park Lane College, offers guidance, advice and business training for up to 150 small-business clerical and secretarial workers on a portfolio of courses.

Optedís third successful bid was for the third phase of its Optimise programme, targeted at lone parents and carers and helping with childcare, travel costs and placements for work-related certificate or degree courses.

Tony Donajgrodzki, director of part-time education, said: "Each of our bids has been successful and everyone here is delighted. Optimise is a unique programme and this enables us to extend its reach."

The Department of Mining and Mineral Engineering won support for a recycling enterprise training programme aimed at underpinning the knowledge base in the regionís waste management industry. The fifth successful bid, Skills for Steel, an accredited learning programme tailored to the steel sector, was prepared by the School of Continuing Education.

The Objective Three programme exists to support the adaptation and modernisation of training and employment, promoting lifelong learning, adaptability and entrepreneurship.

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