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Paid traineeships at the Council of Europe, an important first step for fair internships


The European Youth Forum welcomes the decision of the Council of Europe to start remunerating their traineeships from 2020. While this is a positive first step towards ensuring quality transitions for young people, the Council of Europe has not outlined the level of the grant they will offer trainees. We encourage the Council of Europe to provide a level of remuneration that corresponds to the national minimum wage or at least to 60% of the national median income (whichever is highest).

By starting to remunerate their trainees the Council of Europe helps to set a good example by putting into practice its own Social Charter, which guarantees that workers have the right to fair remuneration. It is also following in the footsteps of other European institutions such as the European Parliament which recently banned unpaid internships in its offices.

To ensure that young people have access to quality internships, the European Youth Forum developed the “European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships”. This charter outlines the standards required to ensure that internships and apprenticeships provide quality working conditions and a clear and coherent code of conduct. Young people, including the most vulnerable, should develop their competences and skills while enjoying full access to their social and labour rights.

The Quality Charter revolves around three key criteria:

  • Learning Content
  • Rights
  • Remuneration.

The European Youth Forum strongly calls on the Council of Europe to show their commitment towards young people and to comply with our quality criteria.

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