Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Official Journal Reference

L 331 of 1984-12-19

Legislative Reference

84/636/EEC of 1984-12-13
To offer young workers greater opportunities to broaden their vocational training and their cultural, linguistic and human knowledge in a Member State other than that in which they reside.


Developed alongside measures taken to promote youth employment, this third programme for the exchange of young workers was extended to allow participation by young job-seekers.

"Exchange of young workers" means operations involving the organization of training periods for young workers in a Member State other than that in which they reside, with a view to developing their vocational knowledge and enriching their practical experience, promoting their awareness of the problems of the working world, bringing them into contact with the working environment of the host country, improving their knowledge of living conditions and social relations in that country, and providing them with an adequate understanding of the objectives and functioning of the European Community.

In response to the Council's request (14 December 1989) for measures to adapt and reinforce existing Community programmes in technical and vocational education and initial training, and in light of its Memorandum on the rationalization and coordination of its vocational training programmes, the Commission has proposed to consolidate and extend the 1988-1992 PETRA programme so as to assimilate opportunities for exchanges of young workers into a wider framework of Community action in the field of initial vocational training, rather than continue to provide them as a separate activity ("Proposal for a Council Decision concerning an action programme for the vocational qualification of young people and their preparation for adult and working life", COM(90) 467 final)


Information not presently available.


The Commission, assisted by the European Community Youth Exchange Bureau (ECYEB) and National Coordinators, is responsible for the implementation of the joint programme. It consults the Member States concerned before approving exchange projects. Member States lend their support to the implementation of exchanges within the framework of existing legislation and practice.

The exchange projects are organized and implemented by bodies or groups, including youth organizations, which have been approved by the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, on the basis of their ability to carry out such projects effectively at European level. The obligations and financial responsibilities of these bodies, as well as the conditions for implementing the exchanges, are defined in individual contracts. Projects must involve a minimum of ten participants.

Eligible for exchanges are young workers between 18 and 28 years of age who are nationals of a Member State, who are employed or are available on the labour market in accordance with national legislation and practice, and who have received basic vocational training or have practical working experience. Young workers who do not fulfil all of these conditions but for whom participation in an exchange project could be of special benefit may also, in exceptional cases, take part in an exchange.

Training periods may be of long or short duration. Training periods of long duration involve training of a predominantly vocational nature lasting from 4 to 16 months with an employer in the host country and are designed to enable participants to develop their vocational knowledge by familiarizing themselves with life in an undertaking. Training periods of short duration are study training periods lasting from three weeks to three months which are designed to enable participants to establish close contact with the working and living environment of the host country. The exchanges must all include a practical work experience lasting a minimum of one week.

The financial contributions of the Commission for the programme are calculated on the basis of a flat-rate contribution per trainee per week, up to a maximum of 26 weeks. A supplementary flat-rate contribution per trainee is granted for each week of language training. The Commission also contributes up to 75% of the cost of the outward and return journey between the place of residence and the place of training. Exchanges may be of either "normal" or "exceptional" nature. Those which are deemed by the Commission to be exceptional or experimental in nature are considered eligible for a special subsidy.

The Commission submits every two years a report to the Council on the progress of the exchanges, including an overall assessment of their implementation.
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