European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships

What is the European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships?

The European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships (‘Quality Charter’) is a document that outlines quality standards to ensure that internships and apprenticeships are truly quality experiences for young people.

The Quality Charter revolves around three key components:

  • learning content
  • rights
  • remuneration.

Since its adoption in 2011, the European Youth Forum has been using the Quality Charter as an advocacy tool to influence institutional processes on quality transitions, but also to engage in a conversation with employers and encourage them to provide quality opportunities to young people.  


Why do we need quality standards?

The financial and economic crisis has had a disproportionate impact on young people and their position in the labour market. As many struggle to find entry-level jobs, they often become caught up in endless cycles of one internship after another. While internships can be valuable experiences, many often lack quality, and end up being a further obstacle to overcome, rather than learning opportunities to become better professionals.


How did the Quality Charter come about?

Young people have a right to quality opportunities. To achieve this, both legal and social change are necessary: on the one hand, legislation, at international, European and, particularly national level is key to ensure frameworks are there to protect the rights of young people. On the other hand, it’s fundamental that employers get on board too, and provide quality opportunities to young professionals, regardless of the legislation in place.

In 2010 we carried out a consultation process to draft Europe-wide quality standards for internships and apprenticeships, to be used as a framework both by institutions and employers. This was done in cooperation with other organisations, including our Members, and with the support of institutional partners. The European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships was the result of this process. 


Are you an employer? Do you want to show your commitment towards young people? Sign up to our Quality Charter!

We’re always looking for employers who are willing to sign up to the quality standards outlined in our Quality Charter. It’s really simple, all you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Download our  Quality Charter  and read it carefully.
  2. Check that you already comply with the quality criteria. If you don’t, you can still commit to improving your internship programme - and we have some further advice for you in our Guide for Employers!
  3. Read our Memorandum of Understanding, which will be signed by all parties.
  4. Send us an email at and let us know you are interested in signing the Charter.
  5. Let people know that you signed the Quality Charter by announcing it on your website and social media.
  6. Make sure your logo is added to our webpage.

Need to get in touch?

General phone line: +32 2 793 75 20
fax: +32 2 893 25 80
Rue de l’Industrie, 10
1000 Brussels

More information here.