Brussels, 25 April 2014
London launch for Erasmus+
Erasmus+, the EU's new funding programme for education, training, youth and sport, will be launched in London on Monday, 28 April, by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Matthew Hancock, Minister of State, Skills and Enterprise. Erasmus+ has a total budget of €14.7 billion over the next seven years – 40% more than under previous programmes. It will provide grants for more than four million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad to boost their skills and employability. In the UK, nearly a quarter of a million students, apprentices, teachers and youth staff are expected to benefit from Erasmus+ grants between now and 2020. The London launch event will take place at the headquarters of the British Council, which will manage the programme in the UK with Birmingham-based education specialists Ecorys.
"Investing in education and training is the best choice we can make for Europe's future and our young people. The international experience gained through Erasmus+ boosts skills and employability. The programme also supports measures to improve education and training at all levels so that Europe is a match for the best in the world and can deliver more jobs and higher growth. Erasmus+ is a prime example of the major benefits that EU membership brings for Britain - and especially for the young generation in search of extra skills that can give them an edge in today's tough job market," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
Erasmus+ includes and builds on the success of the previous Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programmes - but has a broader scope. As well as boosting exchanges involving university students, it also offers more opportunities for vocational trainees and apprentices to gain experience abroad.
Who benefits from Erasmus+ in Europe?
Who benefits from Erasmus+ in UK?
Between 2007 and 2013, nearly 162 000 UK students, young people and education, training and youth staff received funding from the EU's former Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes. This figure will rise to nearly 250,000 under the new Erasmus+ programme.
In 2014, UK will receive nearly €120 million (nearly £100 million) from Erasmus+, a 3.5% increase compared with the funding it received in 2013 from the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action Programmes.
It is envisaged that the amount UK receives will increase each year up to 2020. UK organisations and individuals can also benefit from the Jean Monnet action for European integration studies in higher education and grants for transnational sports projects.
Erasmus+ is being launched at a time when 26 million people across Europe are unemployed, including nearly 6 million young people. The youth unemployment rate in UK reached more than 20% in 2013. At the same time, across Europe, there are over 2 million job vacancies, and a third of employers report difficulties in recruiting staff with the skills they need. Erasmus+ will help to address this skills gap by providing opportunities for people to study, train or gain experience abroad.
Giving students and apprentices the opportunity to study or train abroad also makes it more likely they will want, or be able, to work abroad in future, thus increasing their long-term job prospects.
As well as supporting mobility opportunities for individuals, Erasmus+ will support measures to increase the quality and relevance of Europe's education, training and youth systems through support for training of education staff and youth workers, as well as stronger partnerships between education and employers.
The €14.7 billion budget takes account of future estimates for inflation. Additional funds are expected to be allocated for higher education exchanges and administrative support involving non-EU countries; the decision on the amounts of extra funding available is due to be confirmed later in 2014.
Erasmus+ for the first time includes support for sport. It will allocate around €265 million over seven years to help address cross-border threats such as match fixing and doping. It will also support transnational projects involving organisations in grassroots sport, promoting, for example, good governance, gender equality, social inclusion, dual careers and physical activity for all.
For more information
European Commission: Education and training
Twitter: Androulla Vassiliou @VassiliouEU