510 Basque youths will be obtaining work experience in foreign businesses while Spain consolidates its position as the leading Erasmus destination for European youths and as the third EU member state that sends out most students

More than fifty Basque youths will be gaining work experience abroad in the coming months. A total of 510 people under the age of thirty -100 have obtained a Beint Internationalization grant from the Basque Government and 410 a Global Training grant- will be working from 6 to 20 months in more than 40 countries on five continents. This is an excellent opportunity for young people to acquire “experience and knowledge of other cultures”, as stressed by the institutional representatives present at the presentation of this new group of Basque students who will be working abroad.

The goal of these grants is to “provide a two-way experience” as their real value resides in the fact that “these young people will contribute their knowledge to Basque businesses when they return”. In particular, the Beint Internationalisation Programme has been designed for university graduates under the age of 30 and is characterized by a greater level of specialization in foreign trade, while the Global Training Programme can also be granted to university students who have studied three-year courses and people with vocational studies, covering a broader field of activity. In economic terms, students involved in arrangements lasting at least six months will earn 1,358 euros a month, in addition to medical insurance and travel assistance.

Spain and Europe

Spain is the European country that received the highest number of Erasmus students last year, and the third in the EU that sent students abroad, only behind France and Germany, according to the annual Erasmus+ report published by the European Commission. More specifically, over 39,400 Spanish university students benefited from one of these grants to study (31,576) or obtain work experience (7,869) abroad in 2015/2016, compared to 36,842 in the previous year. The universities that sent most students abroad were Granada, the Complutense in Madrid, and the University of Valencia. The favourite destinations are Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Poland. Spain is also the favourite destination for foreign youths to study (31,784) or obtain work experience (12,812), totalling more than 44,500; a figure that also exceeds that of the previous year (45,537). Spain is mainly preferred by Italian, French, German, and British students.

Regarding vocational training, during the 2015/2016 school year, Spain sent more than 5,600 students or vocational training teachers abroad under the Erasmus+ programme, while almost 20,000 students and professionals came to Spain. In total, over 70,876 people participated in 2,266 Spanish mobility projects for higher education, vocational training, work experience, secondary education, learning projects of adults and youths, which benefited from European aid worth more than 136 million euros, of which 103 million went to exchange scholarships for higher education and 20 million to Vocational Training.

At EU level, a total of 725,000 Europeans benefited from Erasmus grants last year to study, gain work experience, teach, or do volunteer work abroad. However, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, would like to see the number of young people benefiting from Erasmus grants doubling by the year 2025 (from 3.7% today to 7.5%) together with an increase in the budget to fund this programme, between 2021 and 2027, to 29,400 million euros.