In a landmark report by Greens/EFA MEP Ernest Maragall, the European Parliament's Culture Committee has called for the EU's flagship Erasmus+ to do much more to promote mobility in vocational training across Europe.
The report, approved by the Culture Committee today, says that whilst Erasmus+ has been a success, mobility in VET (vocational educational training) could be improved.
Ernest Maragall MEP
Erasmus+ was launched in 2014 and brings together all of the EU's education, training, youth and sport schemes, enabling students and many young people to study in another European country.
More than 3 million Europeans have taken part since the inception of the original Erasmus programme in 1987.
Mr Maragall believes that improving mobility in vocational training can make a major contribution to tackling youth unemployment in Europe.
Ernest Maragall said:
"Erasmus+ has undoubtedly been a success, but we have not yet unlocked the vast potential that improving mobility in vocational training could bring, especially to tackle youth unemployment.
"Greater mobility means greater employability, and we must get that message across.
"This report is directed at the European Commission but also the Member States, the education systems of each country, as well as business organisations and Trade Unions.
"Our aim is to outline a framework for a new European strategy that will effectively connect the worlds of education and work across the whole of the European Economic Area.
"Erasmus+ has proven its worth but must be reformed if we want greater mobility of VET students and a higher take up of apprenticeships across the continent.
"Imbalances in the labour market mean that we have to act urgently. We must have a greater synergy between educational systems and the business world, including SMEs, to fully realise the potential of Erasmus+ for young Europeans."