Tuesday 11 March 2014


100,000 international opportunities for young people welcomed by The Prince of Wales

100,000 young people in the UK will have the opportunity to work or study overseas over the next three years, under plans announced by the British Council at a reception to celebrate the organisation's 80th birthday today.

The event was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales, Vice-Patron of the British Council for 30 years, and marks the start of a new drive to encourage the UK’s young people to gain more international skills and experience.  Research with UK businesses identifies gaining greater confidence and skills to work globally as crucial for improving young people’s employability and the UK’s overall global economic competitiveness.

HRH The Prince of Wales told guests at the reception: “The British Council brings so many people to the UK from around the world who we hope develop a love and interest in this country. I’m so pleased that you will be able to provide opportunities for 100,000 young people to be able to have mind broadening and horizon broadening experiences in different parts of the world.For that I can only salute the British Council.”

The opportunities offered through the British Council include large-scale university student exchange schemes such as the EU-funded Eramus+ programme, thousands of jobs working as an English-language teaching assistant in up to 13 countries, and a new programme in China that offers academic scholarships for up to a year, and two month funded internships with top companies.

Sir Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council, said: “The British Council is offering 100,000 young people the opportunity to study or work abroad over the next three years.  For the UK to prosper in the global economy, we need our young people to have the experience of living in another country and learning its language. The CBI and British Chambers of Commerce tell us that the UK’s long term economic prospects in part depend on more young Brits having the ‘cultural fluency’ to work well in international businesses.

“The window is open for our young people to get the international skills they need, from spending part of their degree studying in a European city, to teaching English in Latin America or working as a intern for a top company in Shanghai.” 

Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills policy said: “In the modern, global economy it’s vital that our young people have the skills, experience and determination to compete internationally. Studying or taking up a job overseas through schemes like the British Council’s can broaden horizons and expose young people to different cultures, languages and working practices that can only help them in their future careers.”

In partnership with a range of other organisations over 30,000 opportunities will be available in 2014/15 for young people to apply for across 86 countries. All of the opportunities available through the British Council come with funding, provided by the EU, national governments, businesses or the British Council itself.

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Tim Sowula, on 0207 389 4871 or tim.sowula@britishcouncil.org or Rowan Kennedy on 0207 3894994 or rowan.kennedy@britishcouncil.org  


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org.