EU is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its Leonardo da Vinci
programme, which helps to fund thousands of vocational education and
training courses across Europe.
Since 1995 the EU has helped more than
600 000 young people to go on training placements abroad. It has also
funded 110 000 exchanges for trainers and more than 3 000 projects aimed
at modernising the sector. Around 50% of all students in upper
secondary education receive vocational education and training.
Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture,
Multilingualism and Youth, said: "Vocational education and training
gives students the kind of skills that are increasingly sought after on
the labour market. The Leonardo da Vinci programme offers them more by
helping to fund work placements abroad. This experience boosts their
language abilities and other broad skills like team-working and
adaptability, which makes them more employable and enhances their
personal development. In the long-term this contributes to building a
better-qualified workforce and to making Europe more competitive."
The European Commission is currently investing €240
million a year through Leonardo da Vinci to support the mobility of
trainees, apprentices and trainers and the modernisation of vocational
education and training in 31 countries.
2009, more than 80 000 trainees, apprentices and jobseekers received EU
support from Leonardo da Vinci for a training placement abroad. The
highest number of trainees came from Germany (15 800), followed by
France (7200), the Netherlands (6200), Turkey (6000), Spain (5100),
Italy (4700), the United Kingdom (4600) and Poland (4200). Since 2000, the most popular destination countries for trainees have been Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy.
has had a lasting impact on national reforms and on the way European
initiatives are put in practice in EU countries, for example through the
creation of national qualification frameworks, which are aimed at
making qualifications more transparent and comparable. The programme
also contributes to combating discrimination and supporting the integration of vulnerable groups into the labour market by providing people with training opportunities, professional skills and a chance to build their self-confidence.
Part of the programme's success is due
to the involvement of European regions. Leonardo da Vinci fosters
regional co-operation amongst schools, companies and regional
authorities. It also opens the way to other sources of EU funding and
co-operation. In remote regions, it has helped to reinforce the
competitiveness and innovative capacity of smaller training
In June, the European Commission launched a 10-year plan aimed at enhancing the quality of vocational education and training (see IP/10/707).
This builds on the objectives of the 'Europe 2020' strategy for smart
and inclusive growth, and links in with the new 'Youth on the Move'
initiative (see IP/10/1124)
which supports wider learning and mobility opportunities for young
people. The Commission's 'New Skills and Jobs' strategy, due to be
adopted before end of the year, will also underline the importance of
vocational training and education in equipping people with the medium
and high-level skills which are increasingly required in the labour
A conference in Brussels today marks the 15th
anniversary of the Leonardo da Vinci programme. The programme's impact
and results will be illustrated by some of those who have benefited from
its support. The conference will also discuss what lessons can be drawn
from the past 15 years in preparation of the next generation of the
programme from 2014. In parallel with the event, a new website on
mobility schemes will be launched. The EuroApprenticeship site was created by a network of organisations involved in the mobility of apprentices.
(EU Rapid press release)