Youth funding

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. Each year, UK youth organisations and young people can access Erasmus+ funding to support life-changing international opportunities.

For organisations, it helps to develop capacity, initiate international partnerships, and offer new opportunities to young people. As an individual, you can add to your understanding of other cultures, while gaining knowledge, skills and experience of value to your career. Erasmus+ is especially beneficial for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, who might otherwise miss out on opportunities for international experience. Through Erasmus+:

  • Youth organisations can collaborate with international partners: to develop their capacity and offer new opportunities to young people
  • Young people can experience life in another European country: to share interests and concerns with their counterparts through a youth exchange
  • Youth workers and staff can job shadow or train abroad: to develop their professional practice, build relationships with international peers and gain new ideas
  • Young people can interact and debate with decision-makers: in order to make a difference on issues that affect them

Available funding

In 2020, €11.9m is proposed for UK youth organisations. These activities are 'decentralised', which means you apply to the Erasmus+ UK National Agency via the website:

  • Mobility for young people and youth workers (Key Action 1): opportunities for youth workers or individuals part of a youth organisation to spend a period of learning in another country through youth exchanges and training/networking for youth workers 
  • Partnerships funding (Key Action 2): collaborative partnerships to address shared problems in order to exchange best practice and build internal capacity
  • Cross-sector Partnerships (Key Action 2): working with partners from the higher education, vocational education and training, school, adult education and youth sectors to improve provision for students and young people
  • Shaping youth policy (Key Action 3): projects aim to strengthen the voice of young people on the issues that affect them the most

There is an additional €12m of funding available for successful projects in 2020 through the European Solidarity Corps. If your organisation has an existing valid EVS accreditation or Quality Label certification, you can apply for Volunteering Projects under the European Solidarity Corps.

You can also apply for one or more of the following 'centralised' funding activities, via the European Commission's Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency:

Ready to apply?

There are various requirements to fulfil before you apply.

  • Check the eligibility of your organisation: an eligible UK organisation is any public, private or non-profit organisation active in the field of youth, or an informal group of young people. Please refer to the relevant Key Action Guide for applicants to check the eligibility of your organisation.
  • You must have registered on the EU Login and obtained your organisation's unique Participant Identification Code (PIC) which is essential for your application. You can read more about EU Login in the European Commission's manual (3.13 MB).
  • Review your capacity: consider whether your organisation has financial and organisational capacity to run the project (especially if you want to apply for more than 60,000 euro of funding), as well as having enough staff and resources.
  • You can also register on the SALTO YOUTH website for youth work and training resources, including training events through Transnational Co-operation Activities, and contact and partner-finding opportunities via the OTLAS partner finding tool.

Who should I contact?

Due to precautions taken at the UK National Agency offices in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please note the following interim update to the Ecorys UK and British Council helpline numbers. 

In the first instance, we would encourage you to send queries via email and a member of the National Agency team will respond.

If your question is about Key Action 1 youth, please contact Ecorys UK by email. The Ecorys UK helpline is now closed. We are currently receiving a high number of emails but a member of the National Agency team will respond to each one as soon as possible.

If you have questions about Key Action 2 youth or Key Action 3, please contact the British Council by email or telephone on 0161 957 7755.

If you have any questions about European Solidarity Corps please email the dedicated team.