A trainee's experience - WCIR unit

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What is it like to work as a trainee at Eurofound?

Felix Wohlgemuth, trainee in the Working Conditions and Industrial Relations Unit from October 2014 till February 2015.

I studied Comparative Social Policy and Welfare (an international joint master programme) and during my studies I focused on the comparison of labour market and family policies in Europe. A traineeship at Eurofound is therefore a great opportunity to put my skills and knowledge into practice. At Eurofound, I worked in the Industrial Relations and Working Conditions Unit, which is the biggest research unit and covering a wide range of projects.

I was involved in several projects and got great insight into the different topics colleagues were dealing with on a daily basis. One of my tasks involved analysing and illustrating data from  the European Working Conditions Survey and from the European Company Survey for ad hoc requests made by social partners. I supported my colleagues in the first analysis of the new 2013 European Company Survey data by compiling and extending several SPSS syntaxes. I also edited reports on working conditions in different European economic sectors and wrote a summary of the working conditions in the health and social services sector for the quarterly review of the European Commission. Together with a colleague I wrote a comparative study of the different paternity and parental leave systems in the EU Member states and the incentives for fathers’ take up. I am also working on a project mapping the different systems of industrial relations in Europe, for which I took part in an 'Expert meeting' in Brussels. As a trainee in the Working Conditions and Industrial Relations Unit, I had great freedom to participate in projects I was interested in and to support colleagues at different stages of the research process. I gained great experience working on two high-quality international surveys and with the contributions of EurWORK’s network of correspondents.

I can recommend the traineeship to everyone who wants to get an insight into a European Union agency that contributes to the planning and design of better living and working conditions. Not only the varying tasks and topics makes working in one of the three research units interesting, but also the international working atmosphere and the freedom to plan your daily tasks by yourself.