NEWS

Pressroom

EUROPEAN INTERNS DAY

July 19, 2014

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 19th July 2014

PRESS CONTACTS:
Alexandre Beddock: 
alexandre.beddock@youthforum.org
Alejandra del Rey: alex.delrey@internsgopro.com  

 

Yesterday (Friday 18th July), the European Interns Day organised by 20 NGOs from 8 different countries, including InternsGoPro and the European Youth Forum, gathered more than 200 people in Brussels to support interns’ rights.

On Friday 18th July, the European Interns Day organised by 20 NGOs from 8 different countries, including InternsGoPro and the European Youth Forum, gathered more than 200 people in Brussels to support interns’ rights.

Interns, young professionals as well as employers, officials from EU institutions, and civil society organisations took over Place Luxembourg in front of the European Parliament to protest against interns’ precarious working conditions in Europe.

The protest was followed by a panel debate, entitled “Quality internships: ways forward”, in the European Parliament with the presence of Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture and Youth, and representatives from the civil society.InternsGoPro, the newest signatory of the European Quality Charter for Internships and Apprenticeships, launched the first European Label for Quality Internships, which is aimed at incentivising employers to offer quality internships to young people.

Young people have been the most affected by the social and economic crisis and the prolongation of austerity measures with the rise of youth unemployment. Young people face discrimination in the labour market. They are mostly offered unpaid internships with poor working conditions: among the 4.5 million interns in Europe, 60% are unpaid and 40% work without a contract.
In her opening remarks at European Interns Day’s panel debate, Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education Culture and Youth commented:

“Internships are critical in bridging the gap between the world of education and the world of work, offering hands-on work experience. But they should never be a tool for exploitation of our youth. We need quality internships across Europe.”

Commenting on the current situation interns face in Europe, Commissioner, László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion noted:

“It is unacceptable that some trainees are currently exploited as free or cheap labour. A voluntary label for quality traineeships could usefully complement the European quality framework, allowing also for businesses to express their commitment and responsibility towards a high level training of young people”

For his part, Allan Päll, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum stressed:

Most of interns in Europe are unpaid today. This cannot stand: it considerably increases the risk of young people falling into poverty and a state of social exclusion. The Youth Forum has been calling for a Quality Framework for Internships and Traineeships for several years. The Council Recommendation adopted in March 2014 on Quality Framework for Traineeships does still not mention the right to remuneration for interns.

Aiming to tackle the current situation and fill the gaps that existing policies disregard, the first European Label for Quality Internships was launched by InternsGoPro. The label consists of 7 criteria defining a quality internship.

Each criterion corresponds to a certain number of points which determine whether an internship offer is eligible for a Label. The scoring system takes into account the status of the intern – student or graduate – and the specificity of national legislation if needed. The most important criteria are learning content, career development, remuneration, supervision & mentorship.

Commenting on the label, Regis Pradal, co-founder of InternsGoPro, said:

The label and online ratings on internsgopro.com create transparency and empower young people to identify the best internships in Europe. We incentivise employers to invest in quality internships and therefore attract the best talents.

//ENDS

 


European Youth Forum AISBL

Rue de l’Industrie 10, 1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 793 75 20
Fax : +32 2 893 25 80
youthforum@youthforum.org

With the support of
The European Commission
The European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe