Statistics show the ugly face of youth training schemes

Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, François Hollande, President of France, Michel Sapin, French Minister for Labour, Employment, Professional Training and Social Dialogue, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament (in the foreground, from left to right). They all participated in the EU Conference on Youth Employment. (EC Audiovisual Services 12/11/2013).

Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, François Hollande, President of France, Michel Sapin, French Minister for Labour, Employment, Professional Training and Social Dialogue, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament (in the foreground, from left to right). They all participated in the EU Conference on Youth Employment. (EC Audiovisual Services 12/11/2013).

Thank God Eurostat, the EU statistical service and the Eurobarometer surveys, are still there and can produce reports refuting some commonly accepted pseudo-truths. Of course statisticians can also lie but it’s easy to expose them, while it’s much more difficult to expose the lies commonly used by politicians. A characteristic example is traineeships. This is a method to offer cheap or unpaid workers in the labour market, of course without any social security contributions being disbursed. Still, invariably, all European politicians and the Brussels bureaucracy want to convince the public opinion, that traineeship is the best way for young graduates to start a career.

This is not just a theoretical discussion if traineeship, as it is applied nowadays, has to offer anything positive to young workers. All EU member states have voted strong legislation exempting employers from any obligations towards their trainees. This is not theory. It’s hard evidence that the European social model unravels fast starting from the most vulnerable part of the labour force; the youth.

The EU programmes

As for the EU programmes, they have spearheaded the effort to make traineeship a common characteristic of the European labour market. The latest EU contribution to the effort to cut down the overall labour cost in Europe is the Youth Guarantee scheme. The idea was enthusiastically endorsed by the 28 EU leaders in their 28 June summit in Brussels. Under this scheme all member states committed to ensure that within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education all young people up to the age of 25 receive a high-quality offer of a job, an apprenticeship or a traineeship.

Given that high-quality job offers are rare nowadays, the Youth Guarantee will end up offering some real apprenticeship and lots of traineeship. Usually it’s training with the broom in retailing shops. The European Commission is about to issue directions to member states on how to apply this new Youth Guarantee scheme. Presumably, member states will receive some money to do this but the youths will get nothing but the broom.

Young and vulnerable

The European Sting has been denouncing the unpaid labour schemes, disguised as training for quite some time. Now that the Commission is preparing its direction tool-kit for member state use in applying this Youth Guarantee policy, a Eurobarometer survey was published on training. Statistical findings confirm European Sting’s negative appraisal of training schemes as applied over the past few years. Statistics also constitute a warning for the Commission, ahead of its Quality Framework for Traineeships proposal.

The basic findings of this Eurobarometer survey are the following:
*Almost six out of ten trainees (59%) did not receive any financial compensation during their last traineeship. Among those who were paid, less than a half consider it was enough to cover basic living costs.
*Four out of ten trainees did not have a written traineeship agreement or contract with the host organisation or company.
*Almost one in three traineeships (30%) is substandard either with regards to learning content or working conditions. Close to 25% report that their working conditions were different from that of regular employees and 20% consider they have not learned anything professionally useful during their traineeship.

Discouraging findings

Those findings speak for themselves. Youths have very little to gain from training schemes. Given that employers always have a large appetite for EU subsidies, which go together with those training schemes, all they care for is to fulfil the basic conditions of the programmes. Given that those terms and conditions are invariably very relaxed for businesses to join the EU sponsored training programmes, the end result is just a method to usurp European taxpayers’ money.

As for the youths they usually end up doing cleaning and other petty jobs, most of the times without payment or social security coverage. In the rare occasions that the youth possess qualifications useful to the employer, hours of work and remuneration are totally unrelated.

Undoubtedly all training schemes subsidised or not by the European Union have become a way to exploit the youths. Very rarely they gain anything out of it. Consequently the Commission has the duty to pay special attention on terms and controls, at least for the programmes subsidised with EU taxpayers’ money.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Landmine casualties high for third consecutive year despite record funding, latest monitor reports

Does hosting a World Cup make economic sense?

We have solutions to crime. We just need to scale them

‘Ghost fishing’ is threatening our oceans. Here’s how we can tackle it

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

MEPs agree on future regional and cohesion funding

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

Strong multilateral institutions key to tackling world’s dramatic challenges, UN chief says In Moscow

Greater transparency, fairer prices for medicines ‘a global human rights issue’, says UN health agency

Health: The neglected aspect of climate change

COP21 Breaking News: Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation Announced

Oh, well, you are wrong, Google responds to the European Commission

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

The Amazon is reaching a dangerous tipping-point. We need to scale solutions now if we have any chance of saving it

3 steps to making multistakeholder partnerships a powerful force

Services are the hidden side of the US-China trade war

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

Global Compact on Refugees: How is this different from the migrants’ pact and how will it help?

5 things to know about African migration

“Two Pack” approved: Is democracy chased away from Brussels?

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

NASA has released new photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing

Children who exercise have more brain power, finds study

The Ecofin Council creates officially the clan of ‘undead’ banks

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

Commission launches debate on more efficient decision-making in EU social policy

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

Access still an obstacle to reaching stricken communities on Indonesian island: UN agencies

End fossil fuel subsidies, and stop using taxpayers’ money to destroy the world: Guterres

Global leaders and companies pledge to reduce the gender pay gap by 2030

Teenage girl’s death sentence spotlights Sudan’s failure to tackle forced marriage, gender-based violence – UN rights office

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

Why business can no longer turn a blind eye to poor vision

Future EU farm policy: Agriculture MEPs urge fair funding, no renationalisation

Adolescent health has been overlooked for too long

Technology companies have power. They must assume responsibility

Clean Mobility: Commission tables proposal on car emissions testing in real driving conditions

October’s EU strong digital mix: From Safe Harbour to Net Neutrality, Roaming and Snowden

Brexit update: Will Theresa May’s last-minute desperate efforts procrastinate Brexit?

DR Congo: Ebola outbreak spreads to eastern ‘no-go’ zone surrounded by rebels

EU and US close to an agreement on data sharing amid European citizens’ concerns

Dear China

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

Ahead of key UN-backed Marrakech migration conference, youth recount harrowing journeys

‘Historic moment’ for people on the move, as UN agrees first-ever Global Compact on migration

A Europe that protects: Continued efforts needed on security priorities

‘Break the cycle’ of disaster-response-recovery, urges top UN official, as death toll mounts from Cyclone Idai

Why Climate Change Matters for Future Health Professionals

Intergenerational, intercultural, interactive – The 2015 edition of JADE’s Generations Club: Transforming Europe into an entrepreneurial society

How private investment can boost education access and quality in the digital economy

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

The most unlikely innovators are changing ICT for development – it’s time we took notice

FROM THE FIELD: Argentina Preserving Pristine Forests

“A global threat lies ahead worsened after the EU’s green light to the Bayer-Monsanto merger”, a Sting Exclusive by the President of Slow Food

4 climate tipping points the planet is facing

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Fantastic post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?

    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Cheers!

  2. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins
    to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything
    I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s