Catherine Bearder MEP is urging local young people to take advantage of a new EU education programme that is set to give nearly a quarter of a million young people in the UK European grants to study or work abroad over the next seven years.
The new Erasmus+ scheme, which was launched yesterday (Mon 28) in the UK, will see its total funding increased by 40% to £12.1 billion, with the UK expected to receive over £100 million from the fund this year.
Since 2007 nearly 162,000 people in the UK have received an EU grant to study or gain work experience abroad, including more than 6,000 in the South East and numbers are steadily rising each year.
Under reforms pushed for by Liberal Democrat MEPs, there will be a particular emphasis on increasing opportunities for vocational trainees and apprentices to gain experience abroad.
Commenting, Catherine Bearder MEP, said:
"It's fantastic news that even more young people in the South East will now be given the opportunity to study or train abroad.
"I'm particularly pleased to see more EU funding for apprentices and those in vocational education. This will reinforce efforts by Liberal Democrats to boost apprenticeships and give every young person the skills they need to get on in life."
Antony Hook, Euro-MP candidate, added:
"It is vital that we now get local young people to take advantage of the new opportunities being provided. Working and studying abroad is a unique chance to improve your foreign language skills, gain confidence and increase your future employability in today's fiercely competitive job market.
"Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain in Europe because being in is the best way to increase opportunities for young people and secure our future as a successful, open and dynamic economy."