On 7 December, the European Commission announced its new Youth Initiative. Among other things, the Commission will launch “ErasmusPro”, a new dedicated activity within the Erasmus+ programme to support long-duration placements of apprentices abroad. Under this initiative, 50,000 mobile apprenticeship placements of long duration (6–12 months) will become available.
The Commission will also propose a Quality Framework for Apprenticeships setting out key principles for the design and delivery of apprenticeships at all levels and a demand driven Apprenticeships Support Service, supporting countries introducing or reforming apprenticeship systems.
The Youth Initiative also includes an extra €2 billion to continue rolling out the Youth Guarantee across Europe and the creation of the European Solidarity Corps, where participants will have the opportunity to be placed with a project either for volunteering or for a traineeship, an apprenticeship or a job for a period between 2 and 12 months. The aim is to have 100,000 young people joining the European Solidarity Corps by the end of 2020.
Moreover, the European Commission also adopted a Communication on improving and modernising education setting out a series of new initiatives to support Member States’ reform efforts in education. These will be targeted at addressing key issues in the fields of early childhood and school education as well as higher education.