A new Eurobarometer survey released today shows that traineeships are an important stepping stone for young people into the labour market. Four in five young people (78%) surveyed 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, according to the data.
Traineeships are an opportunity to learn and to find a job
A clear majority of young Europeans (76%) participating in the survey overall 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 learning and support is reflected in the fact that 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.
Looking into more detail:
- 39% of respondents continued working for the same employer, either with a fixed or a permanent contract;
- 26% found a job with another employer (fixed or permanent contract); and
- 4% became self-employed.
Most traineeships last for less than six months
The number of young people who engage in long traineeships has decreased since the last Eurobarometer survey in 2013. 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%). 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.
The majority of trainees were remunerated and had access to social protection
The survey also shows that more than half (55%) of young Europeans doing traineeships received financial compensation, which shows 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.
Further findings of the Eurobarometer survey
The share of young Europeans who do traineeships in another country is on the rise, the survey shows: more than one in five respondents (21%) stated that they have done at least one traineeship in another EU country. This compares to 9% in 2013.
Among those who did not do a traineeship, 36% indicated they were not interested in doing one, 18% were not able to find one, 16% felt they were not well-informed about traineeships, and 10% did not have enough financial resources.
Taking into account that the survey does not provide any indication of the respondents’ backgrounds, less than half (48%) overall agree that young people from a disadvantaged or migrant background have access to the same traineeships opportunities as others. 46% of the respondents overall disagree that young people with disabilities have access to the same traineeship opportunities.
The Flash Eurobarometer looked into the perception of young people regarding their integration into the labour market, with a particular focus on traineeships. Between 15 and 24 March 2023, 26,334 people between 18 and 35 years from all EU Member States were surveyed online. This follows a 2013 survey on traineeships.
Due to different approaches in EU Member States and methodological constraints, the results of this Flash Eurobarometer cannot always be differentiated for the different types of traineeships, such as traineeships that are part of active labour market policies, those that are part of formal education and training curricula, those mandatory to access a specific profession, or open-market traineeships independent from such settings.
Comparisons of the new data with the 2013 survey allow us to identify some trends. However, they must be interpreted with some caution, due to differences in the method and questionnaire used. Additionally, the averages calculated for 2013 include the UK and exclude Croatia.
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, as a key deliverable of the European Year of Skills.
The Council Recommendation on Quality Framework for Traineeships aims to help young people transition from education and unemployment into employment through quality traineeships that enhance their skills and allow them to gain work experience. It complements other Commission initiatives to support youth employment such as the reinforced Youth Guarantee.
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