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Leonardo da Vinci project: enhance your competencies, make your internship valuable

Nowadays for young European graduates find a stable and decently paid job seems to be a mission steadily more impossible. The economic crisis, in which the old Europe seems to have wearily bogged down putting at risk even economies of countries considered to be very solid, it is making the situation even more complex.

With the spreading of movements based on the pillar of easy populism and demagoguery slogans like: “let’s come back to isolationism! Let’s exit from Europe that is killing our prospects of development!”, together with the high unemployment rates the whole situation becomes even more confusing.

It is undeniable indeed that the opening of borders had amplified the phenomenon of the industrial delocalization toward areas that as part of the Union or by virtue of specific association agreements they actually enjoy the same internal tariffs, virtually non-existent. However it is also true that sometimes these countries have very flexible regulations over the labour market keeping incredibly low wages and being able to guarantee by this mean low costs. Nonetheless, many focus only on this aspect without knowing much about what Europe Union does. In fact it is not only providing a range of standards aiming at regulate this crucial issue but also in addition it envisages penalty for those countries, which are not implementing them. At the same time the EU tries to bring its citizens together. It is in fact, in the concrete shape of the Commissions’ acts, the parent of a series of projects that aim to encourage mobility and the work between the internal European borders. These projects that personally took me to Vilnius has done the possibility to work to, in the phase going from 2000 to 2006 to approximately 371,000 individuals. This program together with the Comenius, Erasmus, Grundtvig and Jean Monnet in 2013 were incorporated into what is now called Erasmus + are included in the so-called Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) designed to enable people, at any Stage of Their Life, to take part in stimulating learning experiences, as well as developing development education and training across Europe.

The Leonardo project especially helps to improve your skills and above all to gain work experience in another country practicing a language other than your own. In fact, as we all know one of the major obstacles to the full integration of both markets and also peoples is precisely the languages that greatly complicates communication and the ability to labour mobility. These kinds of experiences, which normally include language courses, make you practically understand how the borders can be henceforth only a mental concept.

The purpose of the project is therefore generally to increase the competitiveness of the European labour market by helping European citizens to acquire new skills, knowledge and qualifications and have them recognised across Europe. It supports also innovations and improvements in vocational education and training systems and practices.

Normally these calls are advertised at various levels from Universities, Employment Centres to websites of public authorities that manage the selective processes as well. Once selected, after having successfully passed the written language test and an interview, before the final selection of candidates there is a motivational interview, aimed at certifying the candidate’s willingness to travel and especially its ability to integrate into a fabric social again. Once listed as suitable you can receive the scholarship that is inspired by the principles of cheapness and it includes just a language course, accommodation and a pocket money that serves to cover living expenses. All services ranging from outbound and return to your country, the inside transfers till the public transportation used in the hosting country, are included.

Finally, to conclude I can offer my opinion which is that of someone who has decided to get involved now. I would recommend anyone to do such an experience. It is indeed positive in many respects from the purely professional to the human one.

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