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Leonardo da Vinci Fighting Unemployment

Growing unemployment results in fierce competition among job seekers. Exchanges and internships abroad allow for gaining new experience and boost employability

According to the data of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, unemployment rate in Poland as of the end of 2012 was 13.4% and the number of registered unemployed grew by 154,100 as compared to 2011. Almost 30% of newly registered job seekers were laid off due to the reasons attributable to the employer. On average, there are 30 unemployed per one job offer at a job centre.


Similarly alarming situation is observed in labour markets all over Europe, which is hit by recession. The greatest impact of the crisis is felt by young graduates without professional experience. Therefore you should bear in mind the benefits of an internship abroad staged upon graduation. Such job opportunities are offered by higher education institutions, which obtain co-financing under the Lifelong Learning Programme. Moreover, having companies looking for trainees in mind, the European Commission launched We mean business website, which features guidelines on using internship opportunities. The initiative promotes not only professional training under Leonardo da Vinci, but also placements as part of Erasmus. The opportunities offered by the Leonardo da Vinci programme are used by many job centres operating in individual counties and provinces.


Over the past two years, co-financing was granted for nearly 600 internships abroad staged by registered unemployed. Training abroad may last up to 26 weeks and is fully funded by the European Union. As part of EU projects, the unemployed attend language courses prior to leaving the country. These projects respond to the needs of young jobseekers who lack professional experience and help them efficiently compete in the labour market, says Renata Kondraciuk, a coordinator of Leonardo projects at Powiatowy Urząd Pracy (job centre) in Zamość. What is more, beneficiaries bring back to the country new ideas and solutions, and are more open and creative upon their return. The internships contribute to the development of individual sectors of economy, and as a result impact the development of the region by providing specialists with experience of working abroad, she adds.


Job centres also organise exchanges for job counsellors, who during their stay abroad can observe interesting and innovative solutions in the scope of career guidance and providing support to the unemployed and recent graduates seeking the first job. We implement projects addressed to labour market stakeholders in the Śląskie Province, says Paweł Durleta, head of the Labour Market Programme Department at Wojewódzki Urząd Pracy (job centre) in Katowice. Trainers, counsellors and experts learn new work methods and share their knowledge and experience, which translates to higher quality of services provided to local organisations. In a time of the crisis and limited resources in local budgets, EU funds constitute a significant support in fighting unemployment. EU projects have allowed many people find jobs. As a result, they were removed from the register of the unemployed and although it is a drop in the ocean, you cannot underestimate the opportunities offered by the Leonardo da Vinci programme, says Renata Kondraciuk.


Michał Pachocki

Leonardo da Vinci programme

Published: Tue, 18/06/2013 - 10:14

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