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The Member of the European Parliament received a prize for the programme on the Erasmus for apprentices. Europe allocates €400.000.000 to the latter.

Three questions to Jean Arthuis...

A prize for political innovation was awarded to you last week...

My project on apprentices’ long mobility has received a prize within the “jobs” category. I was in Vienne, Austria on 6 December with the Compagnons du Devoir who are the main actors of this experimentation in France.

This trophy is a recognition and a support while the European Commission just decided to allocate 400 billion of euros to the professional Erasmus for three years. Objective: to further the mobility of 50 000 apprentices in Europe. But we have to be aware of the impediments that have to be removed.

What are the obstacles?

If an apprentice leaves for six months, it is the supervisor from the country of origin who is responsible for him and continues to pay the wage. The contract should be suspended during the Erasmus. The issues related to the social cover and the recognition of skills should be solved. This is the mission the French government entrusted me with in the frame of the reform project of apprenticeship and professional teaching. We have to lift the impediments to the mobility.

According to you, Erasmus facilitates the job search...

This project is an opportunity for enterprises and public authorities to get inspired by better practices and start reforms. In Europe, one young out of four is unemployed. This is a cancer. Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark, where the apprenticeship is a long-standing tradition, they are doing better. This is a leverage for employment of young workers and future engineers. Those who benefited from Erasmus grants are better protected.