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2019 Summary

It’s been a busy but rewarding year for the aspire-international team, and we are really proud of all we have accomplished!   Our main function is to deliver transnational projects in the fields of post-16 education and career guidance, but we also promote the benefits of international work, study and volunteering at career events across […]

Stand Out in a Global Market 2019

On the 25th of October, we hosted the seventh annual ‘Stand Out in a Global Market’ event in Leeds – a day showcasing a variety of international opportunities and their benefits to young people across Yorkshire and the Humber. This event is unique as it combines a variety of international pathways: volunteering, vocational training programmes, […]

Introducing Global Local

Global Local is a 2.5 year Erasmus+ KA2 project which will promote the benefits of students moving outside their local area for education and work. This will be achieved by challenging the idea that this kind of mobility is only accessible to a minority of young people from privileged backgrounds. Seeking mobility options – whether […]

Introducing Mental Health+

Mental Health+ is a two-year Erasmus+ KA2 project which will establish requirements for positive mental health provision in Vocational Education and Training (VET) across Europe. This will be achieved through the creation of governance and benchmarking tools and resources which will enable VET organisations to understand and improve their approach to mental health. Although there […]

DECODEd – Saying Goodbye to DECODE

This summer, we completed the 3-year DECODE project. This project helped teachers from Italy, Finland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom increase their level of digital competence and better integrate ICT into their daily practice. The main output of the project was the development of an interactive online training course that: • provided teachers with […]

My Summer Placement at aspire-igen

My name is Ana Tokos, and I’m a politics and criminology student at Loughborough University. This summer, I’ve taken on a placement at aspire-igen as an intern, with my time split between the Aspire-international team and the marketing department. I initially completed  2 weeks of work experience here over my Easter break, where I got […]

Exploring and Snowboarding Japan

Over the past few years, I have become an avid snowboarder – not only do the steep slopes and winding tree runs appeal to me, but so does the fresh, crisp air, the breathtaking views and the joy of riding the mountain with friends. Since learning to snowboard, I have explored many mountains across Europe […]

Read all about our new Career Skills project!

Career Skills is a three-year Erasmus+ KA3 project which aims to kick-start long-term changes in education and training by integrating multiple functions related to career skills management – understanding skills, developing skills and providing access to support. We are looking forward to working with project partners from Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany and Greece. The project […]

A Trip to the Dodoecanese Islands – Guest Post

So I, like countless others I’m sure, have watched Mamma Mia far too many times to not fall in love with the Greek Islands. Running away and experiencing life in the slow lane, surrounded by crystal clear blue seas and as much tzatziki as I can manage, has been a lingering thought in my head […]

Getting a Glimpse of Lisbon – Guest Post

Earlier in July, I visited Lisbon for a week with my family.  We stayed in a hotel in the Bairro Do Rego, which was a brilliant base to travel into the centre of Lisbon, and also into the areas around Lisbon by metro. Spending a week there seemed daunting at the time as Lisbon is […]

Guest Post: Estonian Intrigue

To be nominated and subsequently shortlisted for the Individual Best Practice Award Careers Coach of the Year 2017 was one of the highlights of my career. At the awards ceremony, I was delighted to be awarded the opportunity of a Euroguidance Academia exchange visit from aspire-international. I chose Estonia, as learning all about their practices in […]

“I will remember this experience all my life”: our French intern’s reflections on aspire-igen

Hi, my name is Camille Bidoux and I’m a French student of Political Science, History and Economics. I was lucky enough to receive a six-week internship at aspire-igen in Bradford this summer. At my University, every student must complete an internship and I decided to do mine in the UK in order to experience a […]

NADINE project summary

The NADINE project aims to better integrate migrants, refugees and asylum seekers into European society by providing them with a variety of online tools and resources to increase their chances of employment – a key factor in effective integration. The online platform will use open data to identify skills gaps in local labour markets across […]

Metropolis project summary

The decline of many traditional industries across Europe during the last half century has had a profound effect on many urban areas struggling to free themselves from an image of a location in post-industrial decline. This decline, and the associated negative stereotypes, has come to define these locations. This has had a particularly great impact […]

My First Week of Work Experience at Aspire-igen

Hi, my name is Ana Tokos and I’m a politics and criminology student at Loughborough University. I have been lucky enough to get 8 days of work experience at aspire-igen at The Opportunity Centre in Bradford during my Easter break from Uni. For most of the 8 days, I have been working in the international […]

Connecting with My Heritage Through Dancing, Costume and Food: My Experiences of Serbian Culture

As part of my work experience here with the aspire-international team, I’ve been working on the NADINE Project, which focuses on integrating migrants and refugees into employment. I am a third-generation immigrant – my own family are from Serbia and Greece, and though I was born in the UK, the cultural influence of Serbia in […]

Gender+ project summary

Gender+ is a two-year Erasmus+ project which will address gender inclusion within Vocational Education and Training (VET). The project will develop governance and benchmarking tools to improve gender equality within vocational education as well as provide resources to help address rapidly changing societal expectations around gender identity. Despite advancements made in gender equality (such as […]

Introducing our six new projects!

We are very pleased to be part of six new projects, two of which we are coordinating – Metropolis and Gender+. Metropolis Metropolis – linking cultural heritage to the jobs of the future – is a 30-month Erasmus+ KA1 project. Inspired by the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Metropolis attempts to celebrate forgotten aspects of […]

Four go to Paris 2018

In November Suzanne, Lauren, Jo and Caroline made the now customary annual trip to France to participate in the Salon de l’éducation at the Porte de Versailles in Paris. We were invited by ONISEP ( which is France’s national organisation which has offices in every region of France to provide careers information to all French […]

Guest post: Hungarian study visit to Bradford

As part of the Erasmus+ KA1 mobility project entitled ”YES – Young Employment Start”,  delegates of the Government Office of Békés County, Hungary, visited Bradford to explore the methods and best practices applied in England which promote youth employment. Aspire-international organised a series of professional visits for our group which consisted of professionals working in […]

Stand Out in a Global Market: Leeds

Our 5th annual Stand Out in a Global Market event took place last week in Leeds, following a successful partner event in Birmingham in October. This unique event, highlighting the wealth of international experiences on offer, enabled young people to learn more about how to get ahead in an increasingly global labour market by gaining […]

A First for Felix; Future Time Traveller in Furth

September into October has been a whirlwind of a two month spell; I had been part of the apire-international team for a short 3 weeks, when I have the honour and privilege to go to the second transnational meeting for the KA3 funded project Future Time Traveller. The meeting was in Fürth near Nuremberg Germany; […]

From Tejas to Moskvá

I hold the position of Project Officer for aspire-international and want to share my experience of both studying and working abroad. As part of my undergraduate degree, I had the chance to study at the University of Texas in Austin, the state capital. I spent an academic year in America and had the time of […]

The Value of Travelling – A Summer in Europe

I have always enjoyed travelling and visiting new places, but as most holidays tend to be in sunny and relaxing beach destinations, I wanted to try something new. As a result, in June I travelled around Europe for 30 days where I visited 10 cities across 8 countries; essentially stitching together a variety of long […]

Stand Out in a Global Market

Stand Out in a Global Market will be touring the country once again this autumn! Organised in collaboration between Euroguidance and Eurodesk, the events will inspire young people to kick-start their careers by gaining experience abroad. The free one-day events are open to all young people aged 16-18 and are being held in Birmingham and […]

Games-Based Learning in Rural Finland

Read all about our trip to Finland!


As part of our role as the UK Euroguidance centre, we have teamed up with the Career Development Institute this year to offer some of their award winners the chance to take part in a Academia exchange to one of our European partners. In this blog post, Sam Holman who was nominated in the ‘Careers Adviser/Coach of the Year’ […]

Euroguidance Network Comes to Bradford

We were excited to host the Euroguidance network in our Bradford events space this month. The two day meeting saw over 50 Europeans from 30 different countries come together to discuss plans for the network as it enters a new funding period. Topics discussed at the meeting included new ways of working, plans for future […]


Partners from Ireland, Greece, Belgium and Portugal joined us in Bradford last month for the kick off meeting for our latest project, SMART LMI. Funded by the European Commission as part of their Erasmus+ KA3 strand (which looks to develop forward looking policy innovations), SMART LMI is exploring the potential use of skills matching and […]

Catching Up With Old and New Friends

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 […]

A Wintertime Welcome in Germany

At the end of last year, the aspire-international team headed to the small town of Cham, located on Germany’s Bavarian-Czech border, for the first meeting of our new Erasmus+ project, Level Up. We attended the two-day meeting along with our partners from Finland, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ireland to discuss planning and outcomes for the […]

Stand Out in a Global Market Visits the Humber Region

After three successful years in West Yorkshire, our Stand Our in a Global Market event expands to the Humber region.

Guest Post: A Staff Visit to Mannheim

After the success of hosting two students from Mannheim’s University of Applied Labour Studies on an internship during summer 2017, one of our aspire-igen staff members, Jane Elsworth-Barker, headed to Germany in October to meet with the University staff and explore ways to improve future placements. Here, Jane shares her experience with us. The visit […]

EFT Project Comes to an End

This month sees one of our Erasmus+ funded projects, Experience For Training, come to a close. To conclude project activity, all partners gathered in Porto for the final meeting to evaluate the successes and challenges faced, as well as to discuss how to further integrate the project outputs on a national level after the project’s […]

Stand Out in a Global Market Events

It’s that time of year again when our popular, annual event series, Stand Out in a Global Market, is back to provide young people aged 16-18 with in-depth support and guidance on all things international. Studying, working, volunteering, you name it, we’re here to support young people discover the perfect overseas experience for them. What is Stand Out […]

25 Innovations From The Past 25 Years

Do you remember all of these quirky inventions, fashions, foods, toys, technologies from the past 25 years?

New Projects Starting This Autumn

Find out about the new projects we have starting in autumn 2017.

A Summer in Bradford

We have been delighted to host a number of interns across the aspire-igen group this summer. Here Alexis Dimier tells us about his experiences on a placement with the aspire-international team in Bradford. My name is Alexis. I am 21 years old and I am from Morestel, near Lyon in France. I am a diploma […]

Interning in York

Following on from our previous blog post from Fabian, a German intern we recently hosted at our National careers Service office in Bradford, we hear from Fabian’s colleague Gina Breuer, who has just finished a similar placement at our office in York. “My name is Gina, I am 20 years old and I am from Wuppertal, […]

German Interns Visit National Careers Service

Aspire-igen has been delighted to welcome two interns from the University of Applied Labour Studies in Germany to Yorkshire this month. They will be spending 4 weeks shadowing our National Careers Service staff in Bradford and York. Here Fabian Kinzius tells us about his first few weeks in Bradford. My name is Fabian, I am 21 […]

Learning about Liberal Adult Education in Finland

As part of the AdEIGuS project, we recently spent a week on a study visit to Omnia, an education institution based just outside Helsinki. We were joined on the trip by Lisa Carlin, an engagement advisor on our aspire2work team. Here Lisa tells us about her experience: “After returning from the study visit to Helsinki, Finland, […]

Making the Most of European LMI

Providing access to up-to-date and useful Labour Market Information has become a major concern within contemporary careers guidance. The theory behind this is that clients, regardless of age, can use this information as evidence on which to base long-term decisions around education, training and career development. However, whilst local knowledge may be used to develop […]

Big Plans for the New Year

Happy New Year! There is no denying that 2016 (and the EU referendum) brought a series of challenges and changes our way. However at the same there were the beginnings of lots of new ventures which should help us to continue to develop, regardless what the impending Brexit negotiations bring. The first few months of 2017 will […]

Stand Out in a Global Market: Sir Gary Verity inspires Yorkshire students to go global

This month has seen us organise our Stand Out in a Global Market events in Leeds and Llandudno. Both events were great days, combining insightful and inspiring speakers with an engaging exhibition of study, work and volunteer abroad organisations. We were particularly pleased to welcome Sir Gary Verity, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire, to deliver […]

aspire-international goes global

We are delighted to share with you that we have been part of a successful bid to provide support to the Egyptian government within the field of vocational training and careers advice. Whilst we have a long history of working on European projects, this will be the first time we work beyond Europe’s borders! Involving a […]

Folk Dancing and Adult Education in Lithuania

We recently travelled to Lithuania for a week long study visit as part of the AdEIGuS project. Karen Andrews from aspire-igen’s National Careers Service in Hull joined us on the trip and below she describes what we got up to… I was delighted to be given this fantastic opportunity to visit a country I had […]

Two Erasmus+ Projects Come to an End

As the autumn draws near we have sadly come to the end of two of our favourite European projects, Prometheus and Vet to Job. Prometheus For the last 2 years Prometheus has looked to better understand the role of online guidance, developing tools and resources to help careers professionals to deliver advice via the internet. […]

The End of an Era

We are sad to write that the end of this month sees our director Mick Carey retire. Mick was instrumental in establishing Careers Europe (which later became aspire-international), as well as being a key member in the development of the Euroguidance network. He may have been working on international careers guidance projects for the last […]

The Role of Technology in Careers Guidance

Since the rise of the internet and personal computers in the 1990s, technology has been shaping careers guidance. Yet the advent of social media and mobile computing in recent years has created a series of fresh challenges and opportunities which the careers guidance industry has not yet fully got to grips with. Many of our current […]

Work? Travel? Volunteer? Top Gap Year Options

Taking the decision to have a gap year, whether as a break in between studying or as part of a career break, can be a difficult one for many people to make. A gap year means doing away with the security and structure provided by full-time employment or education and entering into a period where you are in […]

Discovering Hungary on Vet to Job visit

Aspire-igen board member Yasmin Khan tells us about her recent trip to Hungary as part of the Vet to Job project… In May I travelled with Paul and Lauren, two colleagues from aspire-igen, to Hungary on a study visit as part of the Vet to Job project. Paul and I went by train from Leeds […]

Opportunities in a post-referendum world

There can be no denying that we were devastated by the result of last month’s EU referendum. As anyone who has followed our blog posts over the last few months will know, we are passionate defenders of the positive impact which the EU makes within the UK. However, the population has spoken and Britain’s relationship […]

Prometheus project holds final conference

We spent the first half of last week in Sofia, Bulgaria attending the final meeting and conference for the Prometheus project which we have been part of for the last 2 years. The project has looked to better understand the role of online guidance, developing tools and resources to help careers professionals to deliver advice via […]

Info4Migrants turns one!

We can’t quite believe that our website Info4Migrants turned 1 at the start of this month. What initially started out 3 years ago as a European project to develop an online resource for careers advisors has evolved into a extensive portal that is being used by migrants, advisors and other support workers on a daily […]

Stand Out in a Global Market 2016 Launched

We are delighted to announce that our event series Stand Out in a Global Market is returning this Autumn – and its bigger and better than ever before! As well as running an enlarged event in Leeds for the 3rd year, we are returning to Wales and holding our first ever event in Scotland. Things […]

The Truth About EU Migration and the UK

Anyone familiar with our work will know that we are very positive about the UK’s membership of the EU. Much of our work is supported through EU funding and we actively go out into the community to promote the benefits which EU membership brings to UK citizens – in terms of job opportunities, free movement, […]

Helping the most in need through EU support

As campaigning heats up in the EU referendum, the claims being made by both sides have begun to err on the sensational. Whilst this is understandable in an age when the soundbite is the greatest PR tool available to politicians, it does not mean these statements are always right. One such instance happened a few […]

Promoting Yorkshire’s Finest

Here at Aspire-international we have long been involved with the Academia programme, which allows careers advisors from across Europe to take part in week long study visits to another European country. As part of this, we welcomed 13 professionals to Yorkshire last week for the UK visit. The advisors came from Latvia, Germany, France, Finland […]

A Warm Welcome in Slovenia

Earlier this month we took part in the fourth study visit for the AdEIGuS project. This time we were hosted in Slovenia by our partners from LUNG, an adult education centre based in Nova Gorica. The purpose of the AdEIGuS project is to share best practices within the field of adult guidance and our Slovenian […]

Why the EU matters to workers

When talking about jobs and the EU much of the focus is on the benefits that EU membership brings to the UK labour market. With over 3 million UK jobs linked to trade with the EU you can understand this bias. However, being part of the Single Market also means that UK citizens have the […]

Why the EU matters to young people

Being in the EU has a massive impact on the lives of young people in the UK – from the money the EU provides for training and educational programmes within Britain (through the European Social Fund) to the opportunities free movement brings for young people to begin to explore the world. Indeed in this digital age – where everything, […]

Springtime in Paris

As the UK Euroguidance centre, we were asked to take part in the Salon de l’éducation in Paris just before Easter. Originally scheduled for November, the event had been postponed due to the terrorist atrocities which took place in the city last Autumn. Paris in the springtime – sounds glamorous? Actually, it’s a lot of […]

Venture Visits the Jersey HE Fair

  As well as providing advice via the website, the Venture team also looks to attend school events where possible to engage with students directly about the possibilities to work, study and travel abroad. As part of this we travelled to Jersey last week to attend the Higher Education Fair which was organised by Careers […]

New Cedefop Project Kicks Off

We are always excited to get involved with new initiatives and so we were delighted when we found out that we were part of the winning consortium for a study commissioned by Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training). The study centres on the use of ICT and LMI within careers guidance across […]

National Careers Guidance Shows

Like many careers organisations, we have spent the last few weeks travelling across the country to attend this year’s National Careers Guidance Shows. We attended all 3 – in Leicester, London and Leeds and the shows formed an important part of our ongoing rebrand. Whilst we have put lots of work into letting people know […]

Even Students Planning a Gap Year Need Guidance

Taking a gap year, either before or after university, has become a rite of passage for many young people. Often this is driven by the desire to spend a few months travelling the world and meeting new people, without the pressure of study or work. Yet with the proper guidance and a little planning, a gap […]

Exploring Local VET Initatives

Last week saw us host our Vet to Job project partners in Leeds for a two day study visit. The project has been running for the last 18 months with the aim of learning about different VET initiatives around Europe. In particular the focus is on those schemes which either look to retrain people to meet […]

Training, Guidance and Cake in Vienna

Last week was the third study visit organised as part of the AdEIGuS project. The visit lasted a week and took place in Vienna. We were joined by Marcus Burton, an advisor from the National Careers Service in Leeds on the trip, as well as our partners from Slovenia, Belgium, Lithuania and Finland. The week […]

Info4Migrants Gains Political Support

Since the initial EU funding for Info4Migrants finished, we have been exploring different possible sources of finance which would allow us to continue to build on the potential the website has. As part of this we contacted all of our local MPs and MEPs to ask for their support in raising the website’s profile and […]

A Meeting in the Land of Prometheus

Prometheus is one of our current Erasmus+ projects. Now in its second year, the project is looking to develop best practices and tools linked to online guidance. The main aim of this is to help careers advisors make the most of new technologies within their work. Last week saw the third project meeting take place in Athens. All our […]

A Busy Start to 2016

Happy New Year everyone! We all had a lovely festive break here at Aspire-international – even if many of us only narrowly avoid the major floods which hit Yorkshire on Boxing Day. It’s been sad to see so many of our local communities devastated by the flooding and we hope that everyone manages to get […]

Experience For Training Kicks Off

Aspire-international has a long history of taking the lead on innovative European projects. Therefore we were delighted to find out this summer that we had been awarded funding through the Erasmus+ scheme for our latest project – Experience For Training. We are acting as the Coordinator on the project and are working in collaboration with […]

Is Going Dutch the Only Study Abroad Option?

There can be no doubt that more and more British students are choosing to study for their full degree abroad, with many people electing to make use of the freedom of movement found within the EU to study in another European country. The reason usually given for this is the cheaper cost of tuition fees […]

Guidance, Training and Unlimited Fries!

One of the Erasmus+ projects we are currently involved with is the AdEIGuS project, which is looking to share best practices in Adult Guidance across Europe. In order to achieve this aim, each of the organisations taking part in the project (from Slovenia, Belgium, Lithuania, Finland, Austria) are hosting a week long study visit. We were pleased to […]

Info4Migrants Project Finishes

Over the last two years Aspire-international have been leading a project to develop a new online resource called Info4Migrants. This work has been funded by the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme and has involved partners in Austria, Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland and Spain. The purpose of the website is to provide up to date information for migrants […]

Stand Out in a Global Market 2015

Over the last few weeks we have been busy with our Stand Out in a Global Market events. This year has seen us run 2 free one day conferences, with each event looking to provide sixth formers with inspiration and practical information on how they can make the most of opportunities to work, travel or […]

Welcome to Our New Blog!

Here at Aspire-international we get up to a lot of different things – from international project meetings to attending local school events. Therefore we’ve decided to launch this blog as at place where we can keep everyone up to date with what we are doing. We have lots of posts planned for the next few […]

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