[Eurofound) In recent years, traineeships have become an important entry point into the labour market for young people across Europe. As outlined in a Flash Eurobarometer report (European Commission, 2013a), more young people report having done a traineeship (46%) than an apprenticeship or student job (both 26%). The report also shows that traineeships particularly apply to those aged between 25 and 29 (50%) but also those aged 30–34 (43%), with traineeships being more common among those who have graduated from university.
However, European and national stakeholders express growing concern regarding abuses of the system, poor working conditions and fraudulent practices, including the replacement of regular workers with trainees. A European Commission proposal for a quality framework for traineeships noted evidence of traineeships providing insufficient learning content (for example, trainees being asked to carry out menial tasks) and offering inadequate working conditions, with long working hours, unsatisfactory coverage in terms of health and safety and occupational risks, and little or no remuneration or compensation (European Commission, 2013b).