Electricity social partners adopt joint position on a quality framework for traineeships

(15 March 2013) EPSU and the other social partners agreed a joint statement on the Commission consultation on a quality framework for traineeships. The social partners are committed to ensure young workers also find jobs in the electricity sector. The industry will need many new workers to replace workers that will retire and to deal with new challenges and new technologies. They are concerned about persistent and high youth unemployment. This will be damaging to society. They therefore support the attention of the European Commission to address youth unemployment in the recent Communication Towards a Job rich recovery. It is welcome that the consultation pays attention to issues of “low pay, low protection and poor terms and conditions as well as the lack of high quality learning content, the use of trainees to carry out mundane work, and the substitution of trainees for regular employees”.

The quality framework should include the elements the Commission suggests such as: conclusion of a traineeship agreement, defining the professional and learning objectives and tutoring/guidance, recognition of the traineeship, reasonable duration, adequate social protection and remuneration of the trainee and the transparency of rights and obligations.

Several of our members have experience addressing these issues in collective agreements, company level agreements and other policies in accordance with national practices. When the inter-sectoral partners agree to address these issues through negotiations the electricity social partners commit to contribute through our respective organisations. If the European Commission will proceed with preparing legislation, they want to be further consulted.

For the statement