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Investing in Portugal’s youth


The INOV Contacto programme
© AICEP Portugal Global

An initiative run by Portugal’s business development agency is providing young workers with the chance to sharpen their skills and experiences abroad. AICEP’s INOV Contacto programme also benefits the country as a whole by raising its profile internationally and by helping Portuguese companies compete in the global economy.

Since 1997, the programme has sent about 5 000 young people abroad to work as interns in multinational companies. Those taking part in the training scheme are young, qualified professionals who have recently graduated from university.

The internships run for six months, but the contacts the young people make can last a lot longer. The programme runs an informal networking platform called NetworkContacto, through which current and past participants can share experiences and knowledge. Plus, when the participants come back and start to work for Portuguese companies, they can impart the knowledge they have acquired during their international postings.

INOV Contacto coordinator Maria João Bobone of AICEP Portugal Global says: "By helping young graduates to achieve their career goals in the international arena, we are contributing to the formation of a new generation of young Portuguese who are more outwardly oriented, with real experience to increase the international standing of our own companies."


Project name: The INOV Contacto Programme
Area of activity: Helping People Aim Higher
Project duration: 1997 – onwards
ESF contribution: EUR 50 750 000
Total budget: EUR 72 500 000
Participants: 5 000
Country: Portugal
Organisation: AICEP Portugal Global
Contact details: Maria João Bobone
+351 217 909 318