30/1/2014 – "Quality Framework for Traineeships" - invitation to a Stakeholder consultation by CoR Rapporteur Mr Andrius Kupčinskas (LT/EPP – ECOS)

Lieu de la manifestation: Committee of the Regions, Brussels

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is drafting an opinion on the European Commission's proposal for a Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships (COM(2013) 857 final).

Traineeships have become, over the past two decades, an extremely common way for young people to transition from education into work. They can represent both a valuable learning experience for the trainee, increasing their future employability, and an important way to select and train employees for the organisations providing them.

Some traineeships, however, are unsatisfactory with regards to either learning content or working conditions, or both. This is all the more worrying as analysis has shown a significant correlation between the quality of traineeships and "employment outcome", or the likelihood of finding a job afterwards, for the trainee.

Furthermore, the number of cross-border traineeships is very low, which is in stark contrast with the high mobility of students. These concerns are the main motivations behind this Commission proposal.

The issue of traineeships and this proposal must be understood in the wider context of youth unemployment, and of related EU initiatives. Youth unemployment is high in the EU and has risen sharply during the crisis, and several important EU level actions have been taken to fight it. In 2012, the Youth Employment Package included several initiatives: the Youth Guarantee, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, as well as the second stage consultation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships (QFT). The current proposal for a QFT follows this consultation and therefore derives from the Youth Employment Package.

The proposal only applies to 'open-market' traineeship, leaving out, for example, those that are part of a study programme. The proposal addresses the quality of traineeships by focusing mainly on issues related to learning objectives and working conditions. This is done in part through the definition of a written agreement between trainee and traineeship provider which forms the basis of the proposed recommendation. The text also focuses on fostering cross-border traineeships in the EU, which are currently rare.

Local and regional authorities (LRAs) play a key role in framing and implementing measures to combat unemployment and provide young people with opportunities and support. The three related activities of education, training, and employment services are indeed areas where LRAs have wide competences, and they will therefore play an important part in the successful implementation of the framework. Furthermore, LRAs are also concerned in their role as important employers and providers of traineeships themselves. These factors explain the interest of the CoR in issuing an opinion on this proposal.

The rapporteur on the opinion, Mr Andrius KUPČINSKAS (LT/EPP), Mayor of Kaunas, together with his expert, Ms Vyginta PODERYTĖ-MARTINKIENĖ, would be happy to meet with representatives of local and regional associations and other stakeholders for a consultation and an exchange of views on the relevant topic of this opinion.

The consultation will take place on:

Friday 31 January 2014 between 2.30 p.m. and 4.00 p.m.
in the Committee of the Regions building
(Rue Belliard 99-101, B-1040 Brussels)
Room JDE 70

After a short introduction by the rapporteur, stakeholders will be invited to exchange views with the rapporteur:

In addition, if you have any position papers relevant to the subject, you are welcome to send them to the CoR us by e-mail using the addresses below.

The meeting will be held in Lithuanian with simultaneous interpreting, allowing to speak in English and French as well. Please note that the rapporteur's mother tongue is Lithuanian.

You can already register to participate in this debate to shape the rapporteur's views. For practical reasons, you are kindly asked to register your participation before 1.00 p.m. on Thursday, 30 January 2014 via the following link.

For more information, please contact the CoR team:
For the ECOS Commission secretariat: Mr Nils Brunelet, Tel: +32 2 282 2565

For stakeholder relations: Mr Peter Verlinden, Tel: +32 2 282 2170