I am familiar with the EU Leonardo da Vinci Vocational Training Programme, which I launched in Dublin Castle on Monday 24 April 1995. This is an important European programme, the objectives of which are to support member states' efforts to develop their own national policies in vocational training and to add a European dimension to national policies. Leonardo will operate from January 1995 to December 1999. For 1995, the total budget for the programme will be £115 million approximately. There is no preallocated amount for Ireland and Irish projects will have to complete with those from other member states for support.
The call for proposals under the programme will be made within the next few weeks. The national co-ordination body responsible for the operation of Leonardo in Ireland will be based at Leargas, 189-193 Parnell Street, Dublin 1.
The Leonardo programme covers all aspects of vocational training. Support will be available for eligible measures which assist in improving the quality of vocational training arrangements for persons disadvantaged on the labour market owing to physical or mental disability. Groups which are active in this area, should contact the national co-ordinating body in the first instance.