On the occasion of its 35th anniversary, the Erasmus+ agency invited citizens to reflect on the future of its programme. High school students, students, apprentices, volunteers, teachers and young people looking for a job came up with a list of 35 proposals.
Moving forward instead of dwelling on the past is everything.ambition of the Erasmus+ Citizen Forum🇧🇷 Since October 2021, the French agency Erasmus+ brings together 70 citizens, beneficiaries or not of the program, to encourage them to reflect on the future of mobility. And more precisely, in “your mobility dreams”. After several months of consultation, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Erasmus+, some of them came to present their ambitions for the coming years.
In total, 35 proposals were retained around the right to mobility, the need to inform from high school and to be better supported in mobility itself or evento guarantee everyone favorable conditions, both material and financial, to encourage departures🇧🇷
Erasmus+, a program not only for higher education students
Sarah completed an internship in human resources. She has always dreamed of going abroad. If during her studies this was not possible for financial reasons, only once in the job market did she manage to fulfill her dream: “I started working but I always had this need to go out. I found myself looking for a job and it was my Pôle Emploi adviser who told me about the Erasmus+ programme. I didn’t know I was entitled to this“, says the young woman who managed to spend eight months in Malta in 2020. “I just found work there in my area, human resources. I started in December!”, she celebrates her.
The professional opportunities that arise thanks to the Erasmus+ program, a priori this is nothing very exceptional…”After each of my transfers, I received a job offer. So each time is a chance, but if we don’t know, we may miss a great opportunity“, points out Rémi, 29 years old, now a baker and confectioner. Apprentice, the young man managed to complete four Erasmus stays🇧🇷 : three three-week mobilities in Frankfurt and then an eight-month stay in Cambridge. “England was my dream. I couldn’t have hoped for better. I won’t hide the fact that I would have liked to have stayed there, but you never know…”
He also always had a taste for adventure, but believed that the Erasmus+ program was only intended for higher education students. This lack of information is also what is most lacking in the program, which is plagued by clichés from the movie “The Spanish Inn”. “Today, I want to show that this mobility is possible, even as an apprentice. I think that there are no obstacles to mobility, but rather fears that must be overcome,” continues Remi.
Among the proposals adopted in this regard: create Erasmus+ spaces in establishments, create a network of Erasmus+ delegates, create a network of Erasmus+ ambassadors and finally, create an online forum to allow exchanges between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.
Make mobility a lifelong right for all
A need for information that must start very early, in schools. For Camille, 21, currently in CAP fur clothing in Paris, the most important would be to recognize the right to mobility🇧🇷 May everyone go abroad at least once in their lifetime between “kindergarten and their studies. And even later: throughout life”, details the one who carried out two mobilities: in Berlin for five weeks at the terminal then in Rome, four weeks, once at the superior.
A right to mobility that must be part of the various formations and be recognized as such. it passes the “mobility option” accessible to high schoolwhich today only concerns apprentices but which should be extended to students in the general and technological second year from the beginning of the 2022 school year, as announced by the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. Another proposal: to promote mobility achievements thanks to Europass Mobility to recognize their professional, academic and transversal skills in mobility.
Lift financial, material and self-censorship barriers for mobility applicants
Overall, forum participants are asking for a best mobility support🇧🇷 well about the financial aspect (create a mobility assistance simulation system, finance the return home during a long stay, refine the calculation of scholarships according to the cost of living in cities and not countries), access to housing but also preparation for departure🇧🇷 The proposals thus encourage the development of a kind of “Erasmus+ Backpacker’s Guide”, the increase in language courses, the appointment of Erasmus+ interlocutors to make resources available or the creation of a toll-free number for assistance.
These 35 proposals were presented to the government. In particular to Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs and expert on the Erasmus+ programme, as he himself benefited from mobility in Dublin during his studies. According to him, three main obstacles still need to be removed: financial and material obstacles (access to housing) and self-censorship. “You have to deal with these three problems together. Today, bad information is still circulating. There are efforts to be made to break self-censorship. It’s more than a matter of means🇧🇷 We will have to find solutions but it will take time to set everything up“, warns.
Next May, the proposals will also be brought at European level by the various directors of the Erasmus+ agencies. “We realized that even though there was a great diversity of profiles in this consultation, we all had the same fears and the same expectations“, believes Camille. Same note to Sarah: “I wanted to give my feelings and it was enriching to see that we were all on the same wavelength🇧🇷 I felt useful, our voice counts.” “In addition to the proposals, during this forum, we also said everything that was happening because we have everyone took something positive out of our mobility’ concludes Remi.