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The Jacques Delors Institute is the European think tank founded by Jacques Delors in 1996 (under the name Notre Europe), at the end of his presidency of the European Commission.

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Jacques Delors, Henrik Enderlein, Pascal Lamy, Enrico Letta, François Villeroy de Galhau, António Vitorino, Jean-Michel Baer and Sofia Fernandes.

Erasmus Pro: for a million “young European apprentices” by 2020. 12/05/2015






The Jacques Delors Institute working group on youth employment proposes that Europe’s leaders urgently put together a new professional mobility programme – Erasmus Pro – to allow one million young Europeans to gain professional qualification in a different European country by 2020.

The young people involved will be taken in by a training centre and a business in the host country for a period stretching from two to three years, with ongoing support from their regions of origin.

The Erasmus Pro programme must be extremely ambitious in its aims if it is to trigger a mobilizing effect in young people and businesses and if it is to have an impact on youth unemployment in Europe. Having 200,000 new “young European apprentices” a year is indeed an ambitious goal, yet it lies within the member states’ grasp if we consider both the vacant apprenticeships available today and the potential for creating new posts.

This initiative will undoubtedly prove useful once all of the countries have a quality apprenticeship system in place: the member states most badly hit by unemployment are also those that are lagging behind the most in precisely this sphere !

Given the urgency of the challenge facing us, this scheme must be implemented rapidly, simply and directly.

In view of the risk of cyclically “asymmetrical” mobility, it is important to offer three responses, all of which are designed to facilitate young people’s return to their native countries.

– The first response naturally concerns the young European apprentice’s freedom. At the end of his or her two- or three-year training period, the apprentice would be under no obligation to remain in the host country.

– The apprentice’s region of origin must put in place the conditions required for it to stay in touch with its young mobile apprentices. In addition to the role played by national employment agencies, each member state should create an online network to bring together all of its young people serving apprenticeships abroad, permitting them to interact with each other and with other national players, especially businesses.

– The funding of two annual trips home must be guaranteed in the context of the Erasmus Pro programme, but the EU’s primary contribution in this field will be the action it takes to cut through the administrative and legal obstacles standing in the way of worker mobility.