EPSCO Council adopts Quality Framework for Traineeships
Today the EU’s Council of Ministers adopted the Quality Framework for Traineeships enabling 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 respect 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).
Traineeship providers will be asked to disclose in the vacancy notice whether the traineeship will be paid. By setting common quality standards for traineeships, the Quality Framework for Traineeships will support the implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes by Member States. It will also encourage more transnational traineeships and help the extension of EURES to traineeships, as requested by the European Council in its June 2012 Conclusions.
The Framework does not cover traineeships that form part of university degree or that are mandatory to access a specific profession.