Internships and Volunteering in Europe
A Precarious Way to Professionalization
The idea to professionalize studies has gradually emerged as the best way to overcome youth unemployment across Europe. Amongst the different schemes developed from the ’80s, internships appear to have been favoured by employers and have grown significantly. However the effective contribution these schemes are making to training is contested, while interns employment terms and condition are often denounced. The research presented in this paper explores and compares interns situations in six countries – France, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom – and put into perspectives the different demands raised by social actors in this particular field. It is based on a systematic collection of available statistical data, a comparative analysis of national legislation and a dozen of case studies conducted in the six countries. This research was founded by the European Commission DG employment and social affairs.