Fraudulent contracting of work: Abusing traineeship status (Austria, Finland, Spain and UK)

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A traineeship is generally defined as an education and training programme combined with work experience, devised for certain groups – usually unemployed young people. Various types of traineeship are found across EU Member States. Traineeships have recently been actively promoted by the European Commission as a political response to persistent high youth unemployment rates – for instance, within the Youth Guarantee initiatives developed in most Member States. According to some evidence, these programmes help young people experience a smoother ‘school-to-work’ transition by tackling some of the barriers they commonly face when entering the labour market, especially those stemming from their lack of work experience and lack or inadequacy of work-related skills. However, European and national stakeholders express growing concern regarding abuses of the system, poor working conditions and fraudulent practices, including the replacement of regular workers with trainees.

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