Did you know Erasmus+ funding can be used to support apprentices?
If you are an employer or SME you may be surprised to know that Erasmus+ isn’t just for higher education. In fact, it supports all sectors of education, training and youth.
Funding is available under what is known as Key Action 1 Vocational education and training (VET) allowing apprentices and trainees to gain anything from two weeks to 12 months of work experience as part of their vocational qualification in another EU country. What’s more, opportunities for funding in 2017 are now open.
1. There are no caps on funding amounts
An Erasmus+ Key Action 1 VET funding grant can help organisations across the UK to fund any number of apprentices and trainees to undertake placements aboard, covering costs such as organisational costs, travel, subsistence, special needs costs, and linguistic support costs to fund any number of apprentices and/or trainees. So whether you’re working with apprentices in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales or England this funding can help in line with regional policy.
2. European funding doesn’t need to be complicated. Here’s how to access it for your apprentices
The deadline for the next funding round takes place in February this year. Which means now is the perfect time to take advantage of upcoming support. The UK National Agency manages the Erasmus+ programme in the UK, and there is a dedicated team available to help you throughout the application process.
3. See how other organisations are benefitting in our Erasmus+ Apprentice work placements case study booklet
Download our Erasmus+ Apprentice Work Placements case study booklet to see how employers, training providers, Further Education Colleges, SMEs and more are utilising Erasmus+ Funding. Our case studies include examples from BAE systems which has used Erasmus+ funding for apprentices training in the engineering sector.
3. There is a move away from Level apprenticeships. Erasmus+ funding can help
Concerns over a reduction in funding for Level 2 can be alleviated through Key Action 1 VET funding, which allows apprentices undertaking any level of apprenticeship to take part in the programme.
4. Erasmus+ enables apprentices recognise their skills and achievements for future employers
The Trailblazer scheme in England states apprenticeships did not require a qualification. This could lead to apprentices having difficulties gaining employment if they didn’t remain in the work placement organisation. However The Erasmus+ programme has been improving the recognition for apprentices and trainees through the use of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) and through Europass. Apprentices and trainees receive recognition for skills gained, that can not only be used within the UK, but that is also transferable to other EU countries, opening up the international job market to them.
5. Erasmus+ can provide funding for apprentices aged 25 years and over
For 2017 a clear focus is expected on the younger cohort of potential apprentices aged 16-24 years old, and more specifically on those aged 16-18 year olds. This decrease in funding for more mature apprentices will undoubtedly have adverse financial implications on those considering an apprenticeship. More mature apprentices and trainees may be secured using KA1 VET funding which provides funding for apprentices and trainees of any age to go on European work placements.
6. Raising the profile of apprenticeships and improving sectors of business
Organisations have said one of the main challenges is increasing awareness of the advantages of apprenticeships and demonstrating they are an equal alternative to an A-Level or a degree. Currently, the public domain is addressing this with media publications focusing on the Trailblazer scheme in England, the introduction of more Higher Level / Degree apprenticeships, and the apprenticeships levy. These efforts can be furthered through Erasmus+ KA1 VET funding, where offering a placement abroad enhances the offer of an apprenticeship. It gives educational institutions a competitive advantage by providing more attractive and worthwhile courses and opportunities, as well as allowing you to create links with other organisations in Europe to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and best practice. Additional skills gained by trainees and apprentices can also be transferred back to organisations when they return to the work placement in the UK, benefitting the sector they are working in.
7. Excited about Erasmus+ funding opportunities? Sign-up to our support webinars
Our Key Action 1 VET webinars are dedicated to providing tailored advice on submitting your application. This includes completing the application form, common pitfalls and hints and tips from our UK National Agency team. Visit our webinars page to book your place now for our Key Action 1 VET: Q&A live webinar. If you have any questions in the meantime, or would like to speak to someone contact us today. Call us on 0121 212 8947 or email: [email protected]. Phone lines are open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5.30pm (UK time) and 9am to 5pm (UK time) on Fridays.
Visit our webinars page to book your place and find out more about VET support webinars