An important increase (+18%) in the number of apprentices who complete a training placement or stay abroad, constant growth (+8%) in mobility among university students and a pleasing increase in the other sectors. These are the results of the 2020 call for projects issued by Movetia, the Swiss national agency for exchange and mobility, as part of the Swiss Programme for Erasmus+. For the first time, the supply of good projects proved to be more important than the means available. The Swiss education system is hoping for clear support from Parliament in the context of the ERI message 2021-2024.

Movetia, the Swiss national agency for exchange and mobility in the education system, has published the results of the 2020 call for “mobility” projects as part of the Swiss Programme for Erasmus+. This programme is the most important of all the international mobility and exchange programmes. It was implemented as an emergency measure in 2014 to address Switzerland’s exclusion from the Erasmus+ European education programmes.

The 2020 call for projects recorded an average increase in mobility actions of 15% compared to 2019. This represents more than 14,000 mobility opportunities and a total of CHF 34.5 million in subsidies granted to all sectors and levels of education combined.

The number of quality projects proved to be more important than the financial means available. And the potential for growth is still very high, all the more so as Switzerland's non-association with Erasmus + limits the range of possibilities. The comparison with Austria, which has more than twice as much mobility, speaks for itself.

In order not to block this momentum, to pursue the ambitious vision of the Confederation and the Cantons, according to which all young people take part in a long-term exchange and mobility project at least once during their education, the financial means granted by Parliament in the context of the ERI Message 2021-2024 will have to be commensurate.

In addition to the option of a study semester or placement in a different higher education institution (university, specialised teaching institution) which is always popular (+8%), mobility in other sectors or levels of education (vocational training, school education, adult and youth training) focuses on professional, scientific or teaching projects which are systematically aimed at enhancing the apprentice’s professional skills or providing both the apprentice and the parent Swiss educational institution with added value.

Figures in detail

In the vocational training sector, remarkable growth is observed (+18%) representing just under 2,000 vocational placements or trips spread across almost 50 mobility projects in Europe. The benefits are clear not only for schools and vocational training centres, but also for associations such as SWISSMEM, Polybau, and companies providing training opportunities (SYNGENTA, …).

A further positive sign observed is the increasingly wide range of professions involved including business and administration, industry, IT and communication, agrochemicals, design, hotels and restaurants, textiles, painting-plastering, logistics, automobile mecatronics, florists, etc. Digitisation is also playing an increasingly important role with the use of virtual mobility prototypes and digital platforms facilitating monitoring and reinforcing the professional experience.

Flexibility, cooperation and innovation will be some of the key skills of the future. Movetia firmly believes that exchanges and mobility play a major role in helping those involved acquire these skills. In the future, it will be important to foster and develop offers and programmes corresponding to these needs and to the demands of a society which, once the current health crisis is over, will further highlight the need for mutual understanding, exchange and networking.

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