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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article11 February 2022European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion4 min read

The European Year of Youth: Traineeships

As part of the European Year of Youth (EYY2022), we are taking a look at the opportunities available to young people in the EU. Traineeships are a great way to gain practical work experience, and there are plenty to choose from across Europe.

The European Year of Youth: Traineeships

Here, we explore the EU’s policy approach to ensuring quality traineeships, as well as a few of the options you should consider if you are interested in doing a traineeship in Europe.

Finding a traineeship on the EURES portal

EURES makes finding a traineeship in Europe easy. You can filter opportunities by country to find work in your desired destination, as well as by work schedule (full/flexible/part-time) and language. To search for traineeships on the EURES website, click on the ‘Find a job’ button, and type ‘Traineeship’ into the box labelled ‘Keywords’.

Traineeships with the EU                

Every year, around 1,900 young people enrol in paid traineeship programmes with EU institutions, bodies, and agencies. The European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European External Action Service, the European Commission (see below for more details) and many more EU entities offer traineeships across a wide range of areas (e.g. competition law, human resources, environmental policy, communication, youth, and translation).

Most EU traineeships are open to recent university graduates, and last between three and five months. Many of them take place in Brussels, but there are also traineeship opportunities in Luxembourg, Strasbourg, and elsewhere across the EU.

Before applying for an EU traineeship, check the eligibility criteria, as this can differ between institutions. The core criteria are that you should not have worked for more than two consecutive months within an EU institution, body, or agency, and should speak at least two of the EU official languages.

The European Personnel Selection Office website and the Eurodesk Opportunity Finder provide up-to-date information about the latest traineeship opportunities.

European Commission Blue Book Traineeships

Twice a year, the European Commission offers university graduates from the EU the chance to take part in a paid five-month administration or translation internship, starting in March or October. This is a great opportunity to gain practical experience in a Commission Directorate-General, body or agency. You could be placed in Brussels, Luxembourg, or in other locations across Europe.

In this Eurodesk video, Samuel Janyszek, a Blue Book trainee at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, shared his thoughts on why the Blue Book Traineeship is so valuable for graduates:

“The Blue Book is a very prestigious position, which is highly regarded, so it is good for your CV. Also, if you are hoping to work at an EU institution or any similar international organisation in the future, the Blue Book gives you the opportunity to learn the intricacies of how the European Commission functions on an organisational level. […] Every week I have a training session on different aspects of the Directorate’s programme, for example, which is interesting and useful to learn more about the wider institutions.”

Traineeships at international organisations

There are numerous traineeship opportunities with international organisations to consider, including at:

Before you apply to a position at an international organisation, be aware that you will be competing with people from all over the world. While this creates a diverse and enriching work environment, it also increases competition.

Some traineeship opportunities may be unpaid, so it is also important to check this before applying.

Traineeships continue to evolve

The EU continues to improve the conditions of apprenticeships. It provides recommendations and guidelines on ensuring high-quality learning and fair working conditions, supporting education-to-work transitions and increasing the employability of trainees.

If you are interested in finding out more about traineeships in the EU, head to the European Youth Portal. For more on what to expect during the European Year of Youth, check out ‘European Year of Youth to boost opportunities for young people in 2022’.


Related links:

Traineeships in the European Parliament

Council of the European Union – Paid Traineeships

European External Action Service – Work with us

European Commission – Blue Book Traineeships

EU official languages

European Personnel Selection Office website

Eurodesk Opportunity Finder

Blue Book traineeship – Eurodesk interview with Samuel

United Nations (UN)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


World Bank

World Health Organization

UN agencies and bodies

European Youth Portal – Traineeships

European Year of Youth to boost opportunities for young people in 2022


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