Internships and Apprenticeships in Europe: A Call for Change

Yesterday, the European Youth Forum, in cooperation with MEPs, various civil society and youth organisations, issued a call to action to tackle youth unemployment, by launching the European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships, during a conference organised with the support of the OECD.

The difficult transition phase from education to the labour market has increasingly left young people disproportionately affected by unemployment, social exclusion and isolation.
Early job experience such as internships and apprenticeships offer young people a unique access to the labour market and help the development of valuable labour market skills.
Poor quality and unpaid internships however, are often exploitative with young people finding it more difficult to make the transition to working life.
It is therefore vital to launch such a charter, to further the plight for legal quality frameworks for internships and apprenticeships throughout Europe.
Mounting evidence shows that internships outside of formal education frequently replace quality employment for young people, and that the striking lack of quality guidelines seriously undermines the main purpose of internships
and apprenticeships as educational opportunities that give practical skills to young people.

The Charter is currently championed by a growing number of Members of the European Parliament and over 110 European civil society and youth organisations.
The full text is available here

During the conference, the Youth Forum also launched a new publication “Youth Employment in Europe: A Call for Change”. It consolidates the Forum’ employment policies and suggests different measures to help a generation of young people suffering from a volatile and unforgiving labour market.
Furthermore, the book also provides information on the sterling work of youth organisations in this field, proving that, rather that waiting to be provided for, young people are at the forefront in creating change in employment policies and practice.

You can read and download the “Youth Employment in Europe: A Call for Change” publication here.