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Brussels looks to boost long-term apprenticeships abroad

06 September 2017, 23:05 CET
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Brussels looks to boost long-term apprenticeships abroad


(BRUSSELS) - Seven pilot projects offering long-term apprenticeships abroad of at least 6 months are to be pre-financed by the European Commission, in a bid to promote apprenticeships abroad of longer duration.

"Evidence has shown that long-term mobility experiences improve social, job-specific and language skills – much more than short-term stays abroad," said Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen: "Contrary to university students participating in year-long programmes like Erasmus, however, the vast majority of Vocational Education and Training learners tend to go abroad for rather short periods. This is why we are creating more long-term opportunities, which will ultimately increase their chances on the job market."

With these pilot projects, allied to the Commission's new ErasmusPro initiative, it expects to mobilise up to 50,000 long-term mobility opportunities for VET learners by 2020.

Around 650,000 vocational education and training (VET) learners and graduates can currently benefit from Erasmus+ funding to support their mobility experiences of 2 weeks to 12 months abroad.

Despite the benefits of long-term placements, however, less than 1% of them stays abroad for more than 6 months.

The pilot-projects launched this year will offer 238 apprentices a position in another EU country for a period from 6 to 12 months, to identify good practices and bottlenecks with longer-term apprenticeships abroad.

These 238 placements come in addition to the 100 apprentices currently involved in similar projects financed by the Commission in 2016.

As part of the Commission's overall effort to improve the long-term mobility of vocational education and training (VET) learners, in December 2016 the Commission also proposed ErasmusPro initiative which will become operational in 2018 and which will allow an additional 50,000 young people to spend between 3 and 12 months in another Member State.

Both the pilot projects and ErasmusPro are seen as first steps towards a European framework for the long-term mobility of apprentices. This is expected to provide concrete guidance for EU Member States to give young people the chance to develop their skills and enhance their employability, while strengthening their sense of European citizenship through experience in another EU country.

The seven pilot projects for 2017 aim to:

  • Evaluate the demand and capacity for long-term transnational apprentice mobility schemes;
  • Identify bottlenecks for long-duration mobility
  • Identify and disseminate good practices and success factors for long-term work placements for apprentices.

The 2017 projects will run until end 2018 - early 2019.

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