Special employment relationship intended to promote the hiring and training of individuals aged between 16 and 32. Originally regulated by Law No. 863/1984, it has since been radically modified by Law No. 451/1994 (Article 16).

As in the case of apprenticeship , the employer is bound, in exchange for the work performed by these young persons, to pay them wages and see to their vocational training.

Law No. 451/1994 made provision for two different types of contract: a) a training contract for the acquisition of intermediate and high-level occupational skills, with a minimum duration of 24 months, and b) a training contract designed to assist entry into jobs for which the training is of a predominantly practical nature, with a minimum duration of 12 months.

The employer is required to have advance arrangements in place for a training programme providing a minimum number of hours devoted to theoretical training. The Law specifies this number at varying levels according to the skill level or grade to be achieved on completion of the contract.

When the contract terminates, the employer must notify the Labour Office of the results achieved by the employee and provide the latter with a document certifying that the training in question has been completed.

In order to encourage the hiring of young persons under work/training contracts, the law grants employers both regulatory incentives relaxing the normal rules (they can specify by name the young persons they wish to hire, and the contract is a fixed-term one) and financial incentives (reduction of social security and welfare contributions).

Collective bargaining has also established special forms of "reduced" pay for the duration of the contract, and under Law No. 451/1994 the employee may be assigned to a grade lower than that to be reached at the end of the contract (see personnel classification ), which allows a futher reduction (as a form of salario d'ingresso , i.e. new-entry pay).

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.