Call to Action : EMPL vote Quality traineeships

Brussels, 08 May 2023

  • To: EMPL Committee members

Dear member of the EMPL Committee,

We address you ahead of the vote on INI report on Quality Traineeships.

As confirmed by the latest Eurobarometer data, Internships are often the first step in a young person’s working life but the chances of starting a professional career in an unpaid and unregulated way can be worryingly high across Europe.

We believe that all internships in the labour market outside of education must be remunerated in line with minimum wage laws or collective agreements, recognising that interns perform work that entitles them to be treated on an equal basis as other workers, including access to social protection such as paid sick leave, health insurance, pension contributions and unemployment benefits.

In this spirit, we urge you to vote today for the compromised proposal brought forward by the rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs and not support any new additions to Articles 2 and 3.
Those additions go against the spirit of the Directive to create harmony in Europe and instead risk:

  • Bringing more division and a variety of unregulated scenarios for trainees across the Union.
  • Making the Directive less legally sound, opening ways for loopholes that could hamper the quality of traineeships.
  • Allowing for the continuation of replacement of entry-level jobs and exploitation of trainees

The experience and testimonies of young people who cannot afford unpaid internships or who have fallen into a precarity spiral due to several consecutive internships without any protection and rights are reaching us from all over Europe every corner of the Union.
We believe that a strong Directive that prevents the misuse of traineeships and grants trainees their rights will bring a tangible change and be the right legacy for the European Year of Youth.

I hope I can count on your support and together with my team I remain available for any further questions.

Kind regards,

Ludovic Voet

ETUC Confederal Secretary