Internships serve as vital opportunities to engage both short-term and long-term unemployed individuals. Their primary objective is to aid recent graduates in securing their first professional roles. However, internships are open to individuals of all ages, including those seeking career transitions. These opportunities are typically coordinated by the Labour Office, subject to regulations and oversight.
Internships can be found through job fairs, educational institutions’ career offices, and online platforms. Employers may conduct candidate screenings when advertising internships, so applicants should prepare their application materials carefully. The essence of an internship is to provide practical professional training, so employers do not expect interns to possess all necessary skills. Dedication and a willingness to learn are key attributes for success.
Eligibility for Labour Office Internships
Labour Office internships are accessible to:
- Individuals under 25 or under 30 (if within 12 months of higher education completion)
- Long-term unemployed individuals
- Those with disability certificates
- Formerly incarcerated individuals without post-release employment
- Single parents of disabled children
- Postpartum individuals who haven’t worked since childbirth
- Unemployed individuals over 50
- Those with lower or secondary education lacking professional experience
Securing a Labour Office Internship
To undertake a Labour Office internship, applicants must obtain a referral from the Labour Office. This requires submitting various documents, such as identification, residency information, academic certificates, diplomas, and prior work certificates. Applicants can also inquire with potential employers about internship opportunities and collaboration with the Labour Office.
Company-organized internships do not necessitate a referral and are open to individuals of all ages, educational backgrounds, and experience levels. These are especially popular among recent graduates seeking practical experience. Unfortunately, offering unpaid internships is allowed, although it is a way of exploiting inexperienced workers. If you are interested in a position at a company that engages in such practices, you can discuss the possibility of collaboration with the Labor Office with your superiors.
Graduate internships, coordinated by the Labour Office, target unemployed university graduates under 30. These internships typically last 3 to 12 months and do not guarantee permanent employment. However, if the intern excels, a job offer may follow. An intern may pursue multiple internships within the same company, totaling a maximum of 12 months with a one-year gap. The maximum duration for utilizing this qualification route is 24 months.
Interns are entitled to two days off for every 30 calendar days worked, along with pension, disability, and accident insurance. Travel expenses to the workplace are reimbursable for off-site work. Interns work a maximum of 8 hours per day and up to 40 hours per week, typically from Monday to Friday. Night shifts are uncommon unless the company operates on a rotating schedule. Mentors guide interns, helping them adapt to their new roles.
Compensation for Interns
Interns receive financial support funded by the state through the Labour Fund or EU funds. This support is often referred to as a scholarship, equivalent to 120% of the unemployment benefit.
Inclusion in Other Benefits
The period of a Labour Office internship counts toward pension entitlement, holidays, and seniority. In contrast, company-organized internships may not include a salary.
Internship vs. Apprenticeship
Internships and apprenticeships are distinct. Apprenticeships apply to students and recent graduates, while internships are for unemployed individuals registered with the Labour Office. Both aim to enhance professional skills and experience.
Interns must fulfill certain formalities, including maintaining an attendance record and submitting an internship report. The report outlines tasks performed during the internship and serves to confirm program completion.
Benefits of Internships
Internships offer practical experience, making candidates more competitive in the job market. They receive a monthly scholarship, providing financial stability. Internships benefit those seeking to develop their skills and experience in their chosen fields.
Under specific conditions, interns may be eligible for internship vouchers, entailing a one-time bonus for employers, coverage of medical and psychological examination costs, and travel expenses to the workplace.
Resigning from a Labour Office Internship
Interns can resign from Labour Office internships by providing a valid reason. Resigning without cause results in a block on unemployment benefits for 120, 180, or 270 days, depending on the number of resignations. However, resignation without consequences is possible in various situations.
Leave and Sick Leave
Interns are entitled to paid leave, with two days off for every 30 calendar days worked. Sick leave is also available, with notification requirements to the employer and the Labour Office.