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Hope lies in Generation Erasmus

Posted by Nick Prag at 24 September 2014, 21:40 CET |
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Not a huge surprise to learn that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. A study on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme, released on Monday by the European Commission, shows that studying and training abroad makes a real difference to employment prospects.

For me, all those years ago, it was both an enjoyable experience and a challenging one. The study shows that it also pays off and increases one's job prospects.

This should be of great interest to the one in five young people in Europe out of work. Erasmus can give them skills and the kind of experience that employers are looking for.

The impact study also shows that young people who have studied abroad and been part of the Erasmus programme are less likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not trained abroad.

A lot of people are taking the opportunity. Over the next EU budget period we will have seen 4 million young people receiving support from Erasmus+ to either train or study abroad. This is a telling figure  in the light of the jobless five million  as is the allocation of 40 per cent more funds than in the previous period - around EUR 15 bn.

Apart from the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills, the study also found another benefit which should entice Europe's 'Generation Erasmus'.

Apparently the exchange scheme has a habit of bringing couples together. It has led to the birth of one million babies since the scheme's launch in 1987, with 27 per cent of people who took part meeting their current life partner during their stay abroad. 

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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.