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LEONARDO DA VINCI 1997 - 724 projects to be financed

A total of 724 projects, involving more than 15,000 partners, have been selected for financing under the 1997 call for proposals for the LEONARDO DA VINCI action programme for the implementation of a Community vocational training policy launched in December 1996 (OJ No C 244 o...
A total of 724 projects, involving more than 15,000 partners, have been selected for financing under the 1997 call for proposals for the LEONARDO DA VINCI action programme for the implementation of a Community vocational training policy launched in December 1996 (OJ No C 244 of 17.12.1996).

The response rate to the 1997 call, the first to include full participation by partner organizations in Hungary and Romania, was high, with 1,823 eligible applications received overall. Selection was carried out on the basis of quality criteria and in accordance with the five priorities defined by the European Commission:

- Acquiring new skills;
- Forging closer links between enterprises and education institutions or vocational training establishments;
- Combating exclusion;
- Encouraging investment in human resources;
- Promoting access to skills through the Information Society in the context of lifelong learning.

The total amount awarded to co-finance the selected projects came to ECU 107.7 million. Of this amount, ECU 74.8 million went to support pilot projects, ECU 25 million to placement and exchange programmes, and ECU 7.9 million to surveys and analyses. The placement and exchange programmes will enable more than 9,000 students and almost 19,000 young people who are receiving initial training - including apprentices, young workers, young job seekers and trainers - to attend training programmes in firms or training centres in other countries participating in the programme or to take part in exchanges, using this experience to consolidate their skills and enhance their chances of finding employment.

The 1997 call for proposals marked the beginning of full participation by partner organizations in Hungary and Romania. The Commission is expected to make a second decision before the end of the year to allow the Czech Republic and Cyprus to participate fully in the programme as well. The other countries in Central and Eastern Europe have once again demonstrated a keen interest in the issues of vocational training in general, and the LEONARDO DA VINCI programme in particular. These countries will again be able to participate in projects without financial support this year, preparing themselves in this way for more direct and complete involvement in the future.

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