The DETAS (Digitalising Erasmus Traineeship Application & Support) project, coordinated by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and supported by the European Union, marks a significant milestone with a Transnational Partner Meeting held over two productive days on 18 and 19 June hosted by the University of Limerick. This gathering brought together key stakeholders to align efforts, delve into project tasks, and strategise the way forward for the project's needs analysis and research activities.

The meeting began with a warm welcome from the University of Limerick, setting a collaborative tone for the event. Members of the consortium members were present representing the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), European University Foundation (EUF), University of Latvia (UL-LA), University of Limerick (UL-IE), Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP), Expertise in Labour Mobility B.V. (ELM), and West University of Timisoara (UVT) joining forces to discuss and plan the next steps for DETAS.

The DETAS project, which will run for three years and started on January 2024, aims to enhance the Erasmus+ trainee experience by improving the Erasmus+ Intern portal, developing policy recommendations, and conducting capacity-building and outreach activities. These efforts align with the European Strategy for Universities and the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027), which prioritise increasing Erasmus+ traineeship participation and supporting digital transformation in education.

Enhancing the Erasmus+ Intern portal

A significant focus of the meeting was the enhancement of the platform used by thousands of young people and companies to find a traineeship and find candidates respectively. Partners discussed ways to innovate and transform the portal to better support students and companies. Proposed improvements include adding a confirmation mechanism for recruited interns, streamlining the recruitment process, increasing visibility, and providing enhanced reporting features. These changes aim to address challenges faced by trainees, such as local integration, pre-departure preparation, and on-site support while making the platform more qualitative also for companies.

Policy recommendations and quality framework

Developing a set of policy recommendations for a Quality Framework for Traineeships is another cornerstone of DETAS. The partners explored revisions to technical documentation, learning agreements, grant agreements, and the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education while delivering into the process of the revised Quality Framework for Traineeships. These policy enhancements are intended to improve the monitoring mechanisms and overall quality of traineeships, contributing to the EU's goals of boosting youth employability and digital skills based on the results and the outputs that the DETAS experience will bring about.

Capacity Building, advocacy, and future steps

DETAS also focuses on capacity building and advocacy activities to increase the visibility of Erasmus+ internships. The meeting underscored the importance of outreach efforts to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), enhancing their engagement with the Erasmus+ programme. Partners strategised on developing impactful communication efforts and campaigning showcasing the benefits of hosting international interns.

The University of Limerick’s vibrant academic environment provided the perfect backdrop for fostering strong relationships among the partners. Through in-depth discussions and collaborative planning, the team outlined clear next steps for conducting the needs analysis and research activities essential for the project’s success. The meeting concluded with a renewed commitment to enhancing the Erasmus+ trainee experience and advancing the project's goals.

So, what exactly is DETAS?

DETAS is a collaborative initiative co-funded by the European Commission, dedicated to transforming digital education and enhancing the Erasmus+ trainee experience. By improving the Erasmus+ Intern portal, developing robust policy frameworks, and engaging in comprehensive capacity-building activities, the project aims to bridge the gap between academic and professional lives for young Europeans contributing to renewing the Erasmus+  traineeship landscape.

Curious to know more about DETAS? Stay in the loop and follow ESN’s channels to know when the DETAS project website will be out in a few weeks!