The Quality Framework for Traineeships is still a suitable policy instrument
As part of the European Year of Skills, in the upcoming months, the European Commission is planning to revise the Quality Framework for Traineeships (QFT), approved in 2014.
We take note of the European Parliament report on the matter, voted by the EMPL committee of the EP on 8 May 2023. We believe compulsory payment for traineeships could be detrimental for our sector, composed of 99% of SMEs, and with a very low-profit margin.
HOTREC fully supports the cross-horizontal social partners’ position on the same topic. We consider that the Council Recommendation on a European Quality Framework for Traineeships can still play an important role in simultaneously improving the quality of traineeships and enhancing the employment prospects of trainees. We consider that mandatory traineeships should be excluded from the scope of the Commission initiative, to protect national legislation. And, if applicable, it is more adequate to talk about compensation and not remuneration: trainees are often not defined as employees and are in the process of gaining new work experience.
Above all, we call on the European Commission to avoid more administrative and financial burdens on enterprises, especially SMEs. Other options might cause adverse effects, such as disincentives for offering traineeships and the inability to respond to the flexibility needs of trainees.