The European Commission welcomes today's adoption by the EU's Council of Ministers of a Quality Framework on Traineeships to enable trainees to acquire high-quality work experience under safe and fair conditions, and to increase their chances of finding a good quality job.
The Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships in particular calls on Member States to ensure that national law or practice respects the principles set out in the guidelines, and to adapt their legislation where necessary. The Commission will now carefully monitor the implementation of the Quality Framework in all Member States.
Traineeships are a key element of the Youth Guarantee proposed by the European Commission in December 2012 and adopted by the EU's Council of Ministers in April 2013. Currently one in three traineeships is substandard with regard to working conditions or learning content, according to a November 2013 Eurobarometer survey. Many of these substandard traineeships are used by employers to replace entry level jobs.
The guidelines will increase transparency with regard to traineeship conditions, for example by requiring that traineeships be based on a written traineeship agreement. The agreement should cover learning content (educational objectives, supervision) and working conditions (limited duration, working time, clear indication whether trainees will be paid or otherwise compensated and whether they will qualify for social security). Indeed, traineeship providers will be asked to disclose in the vacancy notice whether the traineeship will be paid.
The Commission consulted a wide range of stakeholders, including small businesses, in order to ensure that the Quality Framework for traineeships is neither too prescriptive nor too burdensome.