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Our response to the recent Eurobarometer on traineeships


In response to the publication of the recent Eurobarometer survey about young people and traineeships, Mark McNulty, Board member of the European Youth Forum said:

Traineeships are replacing entry level jobs. Over half of the people surveyed had to take at least two internships, which means that the threshold for landing a paying job and entering the labour market keeps getting higher. Further, 29% of the respondents said that lack of or low remuneration prevented them from gaining work experience. This confirms that unpaid internships are deepening social inequalities between those who have financial means and those who do not.

Even before the cost of living crisis, the average young European was spending 1,200 euros on monthly living expenses. The survey fails to even set a threshold on remuneration: There are hardly any traineeship opportunities today that pay enough to cover monthly costs, let alone minimum wage. According to the Eurobarometer survey itself, nearly half of all interns are not paid at all. Those who are paid, might be paid as little as transportation costs.

If the EU wants to enrich the experience of young people and protect their rights during their traineeship experience, we need a ban on unpaid internships, and binding standards for quality traineeships that protect all young people, and especially those with less resources.”

want to know more?

The European Youth Forum's study on “The Costs of Unpaid Internships” reveals that an unpaid internship costs the average young person in Europe over €1000 a month. As many internships last six months, the total amount that a young person must spend in order to subsidise their employment is over €6000 per internship. The researchers expect the figure to be even higher in 2023, due to the cost of living crisis in Europe.

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