Traineeships help young people land their first job but problems remain

Traineeships help young people land their first job but problems remain
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Traineeships are an important stepping stone for young people into the labour market, according to a new survey released on Friday.

The Flash Eurobarometer looked into the perception of young people regarding their integration into the labour market, with a particular focus on traineeships. Ca 26,000 people between 18 and 35 years from all EU Member States were surveyed online during March 2023.

The survey shows that a majority of the those surveyed (78 %) did at least one traineeship, and for one in five (19%) their first work experience was a traineeship. Seven in ten people (68%) found a job following a traineeship, with more than half of those (39%) signing a contract with the same employer.

But one traineeship is often not enough to find a regular job. 52% of young people who took the survey did more than one internship, and 37% of those stated that they have done repeated traineeships with the same employer.

A clear majority of the respondents (76%) agree that they learnt things that are useful professionally during their traineeship. 58% of the respondents also said that their traineeship provider, or another organisation involved, supported them when searching for a job.

The vast majority of young Europeans were either employed (68%) or continued their studies (18%) six months following their last traineeship, while just 6% were unemployed.

Changes since 2013

Compared with the last Eurobarometer on traineeships in 2013, the number of young people who engage in long traineeships has decreased. This time, around 11% of the respondents stated that their last traineeship lasted more than 6 months, 4 percentage points lower than in 2013 (15%). 21% stated that they have done at least one traineeship in another EU country, compared to 9% in 2013.

The percentage of paid traineeships have increased but still almost half of the trainees are not paid. The survey shows that 55% of young Europeans doing traineeships received financial compensation, an increase compared to 40% in the 2013 survey.

In 70% of these cases, the employer paid the salary or another financial compensation. 61% of respondents stated that they had full (33%) or partial (28%) access to social protection during their traineeship. Among those who did not do a traineeship, 10% did not have enough financial resources.

As previously reported, doing an unpaid internship costs an average young person in Europe over €1,000 per month and in Belgium, even up to €1,300/month.

Update of quality framework

Taking into account that the survey does not provide any indication of the respondents' backgrounds, the respondents are about equally divided on the question whether young people from a disadvantaged or migrant background or with disabilities have access to the same traineeships opportunities as others.

Due to different approaches in EU Member States and methodological constraints the results of the Eurobarometer cannot always be differentiated for different types of traineeships (those that are part of active labour market policies, part of formal education and training curricula, mandatory to access a specific profession, or open-market traineeships).

The Commission is working on a more comprehensive analysis of this Eurobarometer survey with additional details, including at Member-State level. The survey findings, together with the results of a recent evaluation, will feed into the preparation of a Commission initiative to update the quality framework for traineeships.

More information about different traineeships, including those provided by the European Commission, can be fund here.

The Brussels Times

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