The Rural Economic Development Skills (REDS) Project

The Rural Economic Development Skills’ (REDS) project was designed to support the employment and vocational training objectives of people living and working in rural communities in the UK.  It does this by providing access to work placements with rural host organizations in Europe. 

Through this program not only have participants gain essential knowledge and skills in the field of rural community development, but the rural European communities in which they worked in also benefit. 

The REDS project was aimed at those who have some experience in the field of community development in a rural setting; either in a paid position or as a volunteer, with particular emphasis on those who undertook voluntary work to gain work experience with the intent to find a job in the field of rural community development. 

The final outcomes of the program show that 83 participants were able to gain their desired skills and training.  The participants undertook high quality work experience in a rural enterprise setting which allowed them to be fully immersed in the work of their host employer; and which enabled them to develop their skills through the experience of making a significant contribution to local rural development initiatives in their destination country.

In addition, the REDS project has seen strong relationships develop between partner organisations, which have continued on to new ventures within the Erasmus+ programme. The results of the REDS project have fed into discussions in Capacity London’s New REDS Leonardo da Vinci Partnership, which aims to look at the skills and training needs in rural communities.