As recognised European social partner, CEC European Managers has responded to the European Commission’s consultation on traineeships. Currently, trainees in the EU do not enjoy sufficient social protection, fair pay, and decent working conditions. Against that background, CEC calls for setting European minimum standards for traineeships, better data about the situation of trainees, as well as non-legislative measures to support trainees in a lifelong learning perspective.
Traineeships are an important bridge between the education system and the labour market. For many young people, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, traineeships are an opportunity to discover the world of work, gain professionalizing competences, explore different careers, and build the own career path. With the growing importance of continuous up-skilling and re-skilling of the workforce for the digital and green transitions, among other changes, traineeships need however also to be integrated into a lifelong learning perspective.
As laid out in CEC’s response to the first-phase consultation of European social partners, the priority of EU action on traineeships should be to promote the access to high-quality traineeships for all ages. To ensure a fair remuneration of traineeships, a minimum threshold reflected by a common reference indicator aligned to the local cost of living, as well as gradual criteria (advancement in diploma, level of education) could be identified at European level. With respect to social protection, trainees, across the career path, should have, without age discrimination, access to social protection systems. Lastly, EU action could enable the integration of digital traineeship platforms, linked to opportunities for career support.