November's Lunchtime Talk:
Kari Hadjvassiliou

November's Lunchtime Talk:
Kari Hadjvassiliou

Traineeships/Internships in the EU: A Route to Sustainable Employment or to a Dead End?


28 October 2013

Traineeships/Internships in the EU: A Route to Sustainable Employment or to a Dead End?

Kari Hadjvassiliou will join us for our next instalment in our popular and growing lunchtime talk series: Wednesday 13 November 2013 at 1.00pm

Traineeships/internships are seen as an effective mechanism which allows young people to familiarise themselves with the world of work, thus facilitating their transition from education (or a period of inactivity or unemployment) to employment. Indeed, traineeships/internships are increasingly integrated into active labour market policies and/or curriculum requirements for both higher vocational and academic education qualifications. However, in recent years, there has been an expansion of traineeships/internships which young people undertake after graduation, not least because employers increasingly put a premium on them having acquired work experience through such placements. These traineeships/internships have attracted most criticism since they tend to be unregulated and associated with reports of questionable employer practices including low quality, poor learning content, heavy workload, long working hours, poor terms and conditions, low or no pay, lack of equity of access and/or transparency in recruitment, etc.

Despite the growing importance and incidence of traineeships, the availability and quality of relevant information is quite patchy and uneven across the EU. To this end, in December 2010, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities commissioned an EU-wide study in order to provide the first comprehensive and comparative overview of traineeship/internship arrangements in all 27 Member States. The study was conducted by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) (lead co-ordinator), the Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale (IRS) and the Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB) in collaboration with an EU-wide network of regional and national experts. The full results of the study can be found here.

Kari is a Principal Research Fellow at IES. Before joining IES in 2009, she worked for over 12 years at the Tavistock Institute, including a two-year secondment at the European Commission (DG INFSO). Both at the Tavistock and IES, Kari has managed a number of European projects related to education and training systems; labour market transitions, career trajectories and inclusion of young people across the EU. Kari led this first EU-wide study on traineeships in all 27 Member States and was also member of the core project team for the study on the apprenticeship supply across the EU (also for DG EMPL).

Every third Wednesday at the Tavistock Institute, staff, associates, trustees and partners have come together for these informal talks. Now as we enter the sixth year of talks we are looking to widen this community and to explore the possibilities for development and new thought through engaging with a wider audience. 

For more information on upcoming and previous talks, how to book or get more involved go to the dedicated Food for Thought webpages.

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