Monday 28 April 2014


UK’s young people to benefit from €1 billion fund for education, training, youth and sport

The European Commission has announced it will make available almost €1 billion over seven years to help people in the UK to gain crucial international skills under the new Erasmus+ programme, managed in the UK by the British Council and Ecorys.

Hundreds of thousands of young people in the UK will be able to access the new programme over the next seven years in order to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer across the EU and further afield.

More than 30,000 young people per year – the equivalent of over 70 fully-laden jumbo jets – are expected to gain opportunities to expand their horizons under the programme. This represents a 50 per cent increase on the number of UK young people receiving grants compared with the EU’s previous Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes, which Erasmus+ will replace.

The programme will also support organisations from across the fields of education, training, youth and sport to develop partnerships, share best practice and work collaboratively to help boost growth and create jobs.

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth Androulla Vassiliou said:

"Erasmus+ is a prime example of the major benefits that EU membership brings for Britain - and especially for the young generation in search of extra skills that can give them an edge in today's tough job market. Investing in education and training is the best choice we can make for Europe's future and our young people. The international experience gained through Erasmus+ boosts skills and employability."

Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the British Council, said:

“Employers tell us that to compete internationally they need more people with intercultural skills and experience abroad. The British Council’s recently published Broadening Horizons research shows that over one third of UK students are now looking to study abroad. The Erasmus+ programme will address both these needs and in so doing help secure the UK’s competitiveness in the coming years.”

Chris Walker, Director at Ecorys UK, said:

“Through Erasmus+ people in the UK will be able to take part in activities that will be of real benefit to their future. The projects and placements that will be funded will enable people of all ages to improve their employability, increase their skills and gain confidence in their own abilities. Organisations will be able to participate in exciting projects to improve provision here in the UK, through learning from other countries and of course sharing our successes.”

For more information about Erasmus+, see or follow @erasmusplusUK

Notes to Editor

Press enquiries:

Rowan Kennedy, British Council Press Office at

or +44 (020) 7389 4994.

1.    About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the new European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It significantly increases EU funding (+40%) with an overall budget of €14.7 billion (£12 billion) for the development of knowledge and skills and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills. Two-thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in 2014-2020 (compared with 2.7 million in 2007-2013). The period abroad can range from a few days up to a year. In the UK, it is expected that nearly 250,000 people will undertake activities abroad with the programme.

Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of Lifelong Learning, including schools education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector. Erasmus+ provides funding for organisations to offer opportunities to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots sport. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in Member States to modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability.

More Erasmus+

2.    About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. 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 7,000 staff – including 2,000 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 £781 million. 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: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through and

3. About Ecorys UK

Ecorys UK, part of the international research, consulting and management services company Ecorys,  provides high-quality communication, research and technical assistance services across education, economic and social policy areas. Ecorys employs over 150 staff in the UK specialising in education and culture, communications, public grant managed programmes and capacity building. Our mission is to add value to public service delivery through our experience of the entire policy cycle