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ESU supports Intern Action Day for Quality Internships

BRUSSELS – It is Intern Action Day, a day of awareness raising for better quality standards for internships and apprenticeships. Thousands of young people are doing internships in Europe, but there is lack of clear quality requirements and a regulatory framework. The European Youth Forum organises today YO! Fest – Intern Action Day, the first gathering of young interns in Europe at the Esplanade of the European Parliament and the European Students’ Union (ESU) will be there as well!
5.6 million young people are unemployed in Europe. Internships and apprenticeships can be a valuable step in the transition from education to professional life. These work experiences already during the years of education can help young people to gain the necessary skills to help them in transition to employment.
However, there is mounting evidence that internships do not follow rules, and outside the context of formal education frequently replace quality employment for young people. Un(der)paid internships after graduation prevent young people from earning a decent wage, and from having access to social security and health insurance. As internships in many sectors have become a must for youth to enter the labour market, it prevents social mobility and discriminates against those who are not able to afford an un(der)paid internship.
It is therefore of utmost importance to address this situation and introduce a European Charter for Quality Internships and Apprenticeships.
Since 2010, ESU, together with the EYF have been extensively working on this matter and contributing by building consensus amongst a broad spectrum of different stakeholders. The European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships promotes a set of standards for internships and apprenticeships in Europe. It is a proposal supported by numerous stakeholders, personalities and interns themselves (supporters list is available here:
During YO! Fest, the European Charter for Quality Internships and Apprenticeships will be handed to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz and European Commission Director-General for Employment, Koos Richelle.
Quality on-the-job learning opportunities should be a priority to improve employment for young people in Europe, according to ESU.
Notes to the editor:
– European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships – available in EN, FR, PL, IT, DE on
– Read the European Youth Forum Survey on the situation of interns in Europe: Interns Revealed


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