Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Implementation of the European Social Fund Unit, Germany

Ever since 2007, Germany has been supporting youth mobility for young people who are particularly in need of assistance and far from the labour market through the two ESF federal programmes entitled "IdA - Integration through Exchange" (2007-2013) and the "ESF Integration Guidelines of the Federal Government", with Integration through Exchange as priority area (2014-2020). This has been a rich and positive experience.

The Integration through Exchange approach centres on a supervised practical work placement abroad for a period of several months in a business in another EU Member State. The stay abroad is incorporated into a project cycle with an intensive preparatory and follow-up phase for the participants.

Between 2007 and 2013 support was granted to a total of 114 project networks comprising job centres, employment agencies, education providers, businesses and associations which cooperated with around 290 organisations from 26 European countries. [For more information, visit www.ida.de]

Roughly 13,000 young people were reached through the Integration through Exchange programme in the 2007-2013 period. Integration rates of over 60% were reported, with integration measured on the basis of the number of people who were integrated in school, training or employment subject to compulsory social security contributions six months after completion of the measure.

With regard to professional skills, individuals in the low school education groups (lower secondary school or no school-leaving qualification) appear to benefit most. Integration through Exchange helps weaker young people enter training in a decisive stage of their development. This is confirmed by the survey conducted on participants as part of the overall evaluation of the 2007-2013 German federal operational programme.

For more information on the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, please visit the following website: www.bmas.bund.de.
For more details on the IdA programme 2008-2014, please go to www.ida.de and for the current programme 2014-2020 to www.esf.de.