The Erasmus programme

Posted by Jim on January 23, 2014  /   Posted in Blog

Erasmus is known and respected throughout Europe. Since 1987 over two and a half million students have benefited from the Erasmus experience, over 200,000 of them from the UK. Employees with experience of living abroad, cultural awareness and knowledge of another language are assets in the global market. They have lived, studied, interacted, sat examinations in another country, gained maturity, confidence and self-reliance.

Erasmus students have good language skills, and more. Erasmus attracts students with initiative and determination who give considerable added value as they:

• Have transferable skills
• Easily establish relations with people from different cultural backgrounds
• Adapt well to new environments
• Are flexible
• Respond positively to challenge
• Network effectively
• Have an international perspective
• Have knowledge of another European language

Once in employment, they pass on these benefits to their employers – you should seek out employees who have taken part in the Erasmus programme. You can also benefit from giving an Erasmus student a work placement in your business, find out more here

Eurobarometer, a new Europe-wide survey among employers on graduate employability shows that employers value teamwork, adaptability, communication and language skills.This survey shows that, when it comes to graduate recruitment, ‘soft’ skills are just as valued as sector-specific and computer skills. Significant numbers of employers questioned said that the ability to work well in a team (98%), to adapt to new situations (97%), communication skills (96%), and knowledge of foreign languages (67%) were important when recruiting for their companies. Almost 50% of companies with considerable international business identified knowledge of foreign languages as the most important skill for the future. Read the EU press release and download the full report here

Where are they now?

Robert Gordon University tracked down a group of their former Erasmus students to find out how their Erasmus experiences have helped them since leaving university. Read their stories in the university’s brochure ‘Where Are They Now?’

Language Skills

A 2008 report for the ‘Routes into Languages Initiative’ authored by Joanna McPake (University of Stirling) and Professor Itesh Sachdev (SOAS, University of London) states that there is considerable current interest in the employability of languages graduates, reflected in extensive work by CILT, the National Centre for Languages and the Regional Language Networks (RLNs) in England both to investigate supply and demand factors, and also to measure the value added to businesses which employ linguists. Read more about the key findings to emerge from this work in the McPake & Sachdev (2008) report for the ‘Routes into Languages Initiative’.

“ Anglo-American values greatly international experience in the students whom we recruit. An individual with a track record of different cultures, different working methodologies and different life experiences almost inevitably displays greater cross-cultural sensitivity and greater adaptability which means that recruiting them is lower risk and they make a positive contribution more quickly.”*

Russell King, Senior Vice President, Group HR, Anglo American

*Quoted in a report commissioned by the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) – ‘A guide for universities’

Make sure you read our Case Studies to find out more.

About Jim

James is a director with JCR Network Services Ltd, which provides sales, marketing and business development expertise to local SMEs in Ireland and the UK. Many businesses have developed their growth strategies through our focussed actions. We specialise in helping the agri-food , emerging technology, manufacturing and services sectors.

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