A pilot project will aim to help internships and vocational studies become even more Europe-oriented from next autumn. Jean Arthuis, President of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets, who is responsible for launching the project, announced that a 2.35 million-euro budget has been authorised to that effect on Tuesday.
The initiative is also supported by the Belgian, Luxembourgian, and French Erasmus agencies, and aims to further encourage mobility within Europe for apprentices and vocational students. Although exchange programmes are already in place, they seldom last for more than 2 to 3 weeks and require additional supervision compared to “traditional” Erasmus projects.
This is deemed too short for students to really get to grips with the language and the culture of the country they are visiting, whereas research shows that students who receive an Erasmus grant are better armed to stay in employment. At the same time, in a general environment of “terrible” unemployment for European youths, countries where internships are encouraged, such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, tend to do better. “This led us to try and combine Erasmus with apprenticeships,” said the MEP.
Other subsidies could supplement the budget made available on Tuesday because various industries are concerned; the money will be used to cover travel costs and educational support (language training in particular) in the learning centres involved.