ERASMUS +: Lack of trainees

November 25, 2015

Hat: While the number of students benefitting from Erasmus Plus is very high only a little number of trainees is attracted to the programme.

Funding Scheme: 2015-11-25

Pgm2014 2020: Yes


While 3 million students have studied abroad  thanks to Erasmus Plus, only 5000 trainees have been among the beneficiaries of the programme, which is why France and Germany want to take measures to increase their number.


An undeniable success for students, the Erasmus exchange programme was broadened in 2013 to include apprentices. But in practice, few of them have taken advantage of the opportunity. France and Germany have launched a pilot project to accelerate the uptake of Erasmus+ among professionals and apprentices. By including around 50 apprentices from 11 big French companies, the aim of the pilot is to improve international professional exchanges and identify the best practices that could be used to enlarge the programme across more companies and more countries. Currently, only big companies like Michelin, BASF and L’Oréal, which all have large branches in both countries, are involved in the scheme.

Success for students

The Erasmus programme has been open to those in professional education since November 2013, under the name Erasmus+. The broadening of the Erasmus programme was accompanied by a 40% budget increase for the period 2014-2020.

This made €14.7 billion available for grants and other sources of financial support for mobility. With this new and improved budget, the EU hopes that a further four million young European between the ages of 13 and 30 will be able to benefit from the exchange programme by 2020. As a partner of the initiative, the Franco-German Youth Office FGYO will provide grants for apprentices that come to Germany, as well as language classes and training seminars.

A number of drawbacks

The first drawback is the lack of harmonisation in European professional training. For higher education, the Bologna Process established a European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), which means master and doctorate level qualifications can be recognised across Europe, facilitating mobility.

But professional training programmes are far from harmonised, and problems with the recognition of qualifications often undermine the best of intentions.

Arrangements are further complicated by differing course dates and the division of apprentices’ time between training centres and professional immersion. France and Germany hope that this pilot project will help them to identify and iron out any more potential problems with the Erasmus+ scheme.

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