Funding for youth activities under Erasmus+ aims to improve the key competences, skills and employability of young people, promote young people's social inclusion and well-being, and foster improvements in youth work and youth policy at local, national and international level.
Concretely in the field of youth, the Erasmus+ programme offers three main opportunities:
Key Action 1: mobility opportunities for young people and youth workers. Young people have the opportunity to participate in youth-exchanges or to volunteer for a period up to one year in another country. Youth workers can take part in training and networking activities abroad or spend some time in a youth organisation abroad for a job shadowing or an observation period.
Key Action 2: opportunities for cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices. Organisations can apply for funding to work in partnership with organisations from other participating countries. The projects funded under this action will focus on sharing, developing and transferring innovative practices in education, training and youth provision between participating countries.
Key Action 3: opportunities to support policy reform. The Erasmus+ programme will fund strategic activities supporting policy reform across the EU. Funding opportunities in the field of youth under this action can take the form of meetings between young people and decision makers.
Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals
Youth Exchanges allow groups of young people from different countries to meet and live together for up to 21 days. During a Youth Exchange, participants jointly carry out an activity programme (a mix of workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, simulations, outdoor activities etc.) designed and prepared by them before the Exchange. Youth Exchanges allow young people to: develop competences; become aware of socially relevant topics/thematic areas; discover new cultures, habits and life-styles, mainly through peer-learning; strengthen values like solidarity, democracy, friendship etc. The learning process in Youth Exchanges is triggered by methods of non-formal education. Youth Exchanges are based on a transnational cooperation between two or more participating organisations from different countries within and outside the European Union. Youth Exchanges can be itinerant, implying the movement of all participants at the same time, throughout one or more countries participating in the Exchange.The following activities are not eligible for grants under Youth Exchanges: academic study trips; exchange activities which aim to make financial profit; exchange activities which can be classed as tourism; festivals; holiday travel; performance tours.
European Voluntary Service
This Activity allows young people aged 17-30 to express their personal commitment through unpaid and full-time voluntary service for up to 12 months in another country within or outside the European Union. Young volunteers are given the opportunity to contribute to the daily work of organisations dealing with youth information and policies, young people’s personal and socio-educational development, civic engagement, social care, inclusion of disadvantaged, environment, non-formal education programmes, ICTs and media literacy, culture and creativity, development cooperation etc. Young people with fewer opportunities can receive additional support to enable their participation and would also be allowed to go on EVS for a shorter duration of time (from 2 weeks and up)
Mobility of youth workers
Youth workers’ training and networking. This activity supports the professional development of youth workers, through the implementation of activities such as transnational/international seminars, training courses, contact-making events, study visits, etc. or job shadowing/observation periods abroad in an organisation active in the youth field. All these activities are arranged by the organisations participating in the project. The participation of youth workers in such activities contributes to capacity building of their organisation. The learning outcomes should be further disseminated.
Key Action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices
Strategic Partnerships in the field of Youth
Strategic partnerships foster cooperation between organisations in different countries engaged in youth work and non-formal learning for young people.
By working together, the organisations involved will develop new approaches to youth work and encourage cooperation over longer periods.
Young people benefitting from the projects will learn about social entrepreneurship and be encouraged to take a more active role in their local economy and society.
To be eligible for funding, strategic partnerships for youth should last from 6 months to 36 months and involve partners from at least two different countries. They should foster:
Development, testing, and/or implementation of innovative practices in the field of youth;
Recognition and validation of skills and competences;
Cooperation between regional authorities to promote the development of education, training, and youth systems and their integration in local and regional development;
Transnational youth initiatives, jointly carried out by groups of young people, encouraging entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills to boost active citizenship and entrepreneurship.
Key Action 3: Support for Policy Reform
Structured Dialogue Projects
Structured Dialogue promotes the active participation of young people in democratic life and facilitates discussions between young people and policy-makers; it allows young people to make their voice heard on how youth policies should be shaped and implemented in Europe.
Structured Dialogue projects can last from 3 to 24 months. Young people should be actively involved in all stages of the project from preparation to follow-up. Activities could include:
National meetings and transnational seminars that offer space for information, debate and active participation of young people in dialogue with decision makers;
National meetings and transnational seminars that prepare the ground for official Youth Conferences run by the Member State holding the Presidency of the European Union;
Any other meetings, events, seminars, consultations or debates between young people and decision-makers.
Opportunities are available to youth organisations based in the EU and outside the EU as well as public bodies at local level. For young participants the age range is between 13 and 30 years old.