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.

the sting Milestones

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

Find unity ‘to halt Libya’s senseless unraveling’, UN envoy urges Security Council

Drones, disinfectant, distancing – Europe’s beaches open up

Syria: Guterres concerned over reported attacks in Idlib, calls for ‘full investigation’

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

Global Europe: MEPs back EU external cooperation funding instrument worth €79.5 billion

A more credible, dynamic, predictable and political EU accession process – Commission lays out its proposals

Commission disburses €14 billion under SURE to nine Member States

Belgium: keep up reforms to increase employment and productivity growth

The importance of including palliative care in the Universal Health Coverage and how to achieve it

How governments and mobile operators are easing network congestion during the COVID-19 crisis

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

Comprehensive listening: a tool to humanize Primary Healthcare and medical specialties

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

Banks launch green charter to help shipping reduce its carbon footprint

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

3 ways AI will change the nature of cyber attacks

Human Rights: breaches in Cambodia, Uganda and Myanmar

Kazakhstan continues to push for a nuclear-free world

Monday’s Daily Brief: the cost of maternal healthcare, Sudan and Chad updates, sustainability in focus

These patients are sharing their data to improve healthcare standards

3 ways to accelerate the energy transition

A call for a new crop of innovators

Brexit: European Commission recommends the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached on the revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and revised Political Declaration

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

European Court of Justice to Google: It is #righttobeforgotten but not #righttoberemembered

Netherlands: Budget MEPs back €1.2m in job-search aid for 450 redundant workers

The race to net-zero is on. This is how we can cross the finish line

Why the colour of your fruit and vegetables matters

Team Europe contributes €500 million to COVAX initiative to provide one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for low and middle income countries

5G will drive Industry 4.0 in the Middle East and Africa

Antitrust: Commission fines car manufacturers €875 million for restricting competition in emission cleaning for new diesel passenger cars

What is hydroponics – and is it the future of farming?

UN health emergency committee to re-convene on global threat posed by China coronavirus

How can we measure real progress on the Sustainable Development Goals?

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Powering through the pandemic

To build cities fit for the future, we need to think differently

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

With a premature death every five seconds, air pollution is violation of human rights, says UN expert

Innovative investment could help solve the world’s water crisis – here’s how

‘Laser-sharp focus’ needed to achieve Global Goals by 2030, UN political forum told

Music is a vital urban resource. How do we plan for it?

These are the most desirable cities for overseas workers

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

It’s ‘time to #EndTB’, says UN on World Tuberculosis Day

European Solidarity Corps: three years on

Europe moulds global defense and security chart given US new inward vision

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

The unpleasant truth of plastic straws

Why your next car is a bike

Coronavirus: Commission lists key steps for effective vaccination strategies and vaccines deployment

Africa is helping the drone industry get off the ground. Here’s how

Geographical Indications – a European treasure worth €75 billion

The Eurogroup offered a cold reception to IMF’s director for Europe

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

FIRST PERSON: An artist’s ‘obsession’ with New Orleans tradition

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