Labour MEPs will vote today for a report calling for the EU's Erasmus student exchange programme to be extended to more disadvantaged young people, for example those in vocational training, who cannot currently access the scheme.
Julie Ward MEP, Labour's European Parliament spokesperson on culture and education, said:
"One of the challenges of programmes such as Erasmus is to ensure they not only reach out to students in higher education but also to more disadvantaged young people who would not otherwise have access to such opportunities as learning abroad.
"That is why Labour MEPs are backing a new Erasmus+, and voting for this report, which calls for expanding and improving mobility for vocational training and education, including specific support for disabled young people.
"Mobility has an undeniable positive effect in terms of the development of confidence, skills and competences and, ultimately, the employability of young people. It also represents a key opportunity for the self-development of individuals who will learn another language, open-up to other cultures and acquire intercultural skills.
"These opportunities should not just be for those at university but be open to those who learn in a more practice-based environment."