Europe provides €600 million for youth education and training in the Nord-Pas de Calais region
- Release date: 25 November 2013
- Reference: 2013-194-EN
The tangible commitment of €600 million in support of the education and training of young people was announced on Monday 25 November 2013 by the Nord-Pas de Calais Region and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Following the visit to the Lycée Behal in Lens by EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive and Daniel Percheron, President of Nord-Pas de Calais’s Regional Council, the first €100 million tranche of the €600 million loan earmarked for this operation was signed between the two institutions.
The project aims to support the Region’s educational and environmental policy and supply the infrastructure needed for high-quality vocational and technical education, particularly in sectors with a strong demand for skilled staff. It will also help to improve the energy efficiency of educational facilities in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote environmentally-friendly economic activities. Ultimately, this project will concern 74 general, vocational and technical lycées along with five horizontal investment operations (accessibility, IT, catering) in educational facilities in the region.
This is a major project for the EIB – the largest in support of a French region in 2013 – targeting lycées and training organisations throughout the region in order to provide young people with optimum study and apprenticeship conditions to enable them to find employment. It is a concrete example of the EIB’s commitment to young people in Europe via the “Innovation and Skills” initiative launched in July 2013 with an annual budget of €6 billion over the period 2013-2015. This EIB commitment was reaffirmed at the EU Youth Employment Conference held in Paris at the initiative of French President François Hollande on 12 November 2013. Directly benefiting secondary school pupils in one of France’s youngest regions, this loan illustrates the level of Europe’s mobilisation and support for national and regional projects aimed at overcoming the challenge of youth employment in Europe. Given the current market credit crunch, the principal advantage of this loan is that it enables the Nord-Pas de Calais Region to obtain long-term loans on favourable financing terms thanks to the EIB's AAA rating.
Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive, EIB Vice-President, welcomed the signature in the following terms: “Youth training and employment are one of our priorities. I therefore welcome this first-rate partnership with the Nord-Pas de Calais Region via a deliberate policy of education and environmental excellence. We are responsible for creating favourable conditions for financing such projects, which are drivers of regional economic growth, employment and social cohesion. By upgrading lycées and educational organisations and offering young people optimum training conditions, Europe is supporting them in their efforts to find a job and a role in society. In this way, we are preparing their future.”