CAPQI

CAPQI

An EU funded project that aims to create a standard and a certification scheme defining quality internships.

Started: 2016

Funding: Erasmus+ Key Action 2

Project budget: 179,450 €

Length: 2 years

Partners: 7

www.capqi-project.eu

The Collective Awareness Platform for Quality Internships (CAPQI) project aims to create sustainable transparency in the European internship market through a crowdsourced incentive scheme building employers’ capacity to move towards better practices and young people’s ability to make informed choices.

The goal of the CAPQI project is to support the transition of students and graduates to the labour market by rendering internship programmes in Europe more transparent. To do so, partners will first create internship quality check tools. Internships and traineeships play a key role in the path to the labour market and they are essential in bridging the skills gap between education and work. However, the great majority of internships do not fulfil their purpose. According to a Eurobarometer study, out of 4,5 million students and graduates doing an internship each year in Europe, 59% are unpaid, 40% work without a contract and 30% have no learning content (Source: Flash Euro barometer 278, November 2014). This results in an appalling situation where millions of young people face a serious problem of social inequality and access to internships. There is a widespread situation where companies are exploiting this largely undefined status of interns: They offer them menial work for undefined periods of time, neither committing to the professional development, nor offering the possibility of employment continuity. It is therefore essential that students and graduates apply for quality internships that truly build their skills and that are accessible for everyone regardless of their economic background.

One of the main factors explaining the extent of bad quality internships in Europe is arguably the lack of collective awareness around the quality standards of an internship and the absence of a public and collaborative mechanism to control the quality of internships in practice. Intermediaries between young people and employers (such as youth-led platforms and university career services) can play a great role in creating transparency in the labour market and help young people assess the quality of an internship before applying.

As of now, no tools exist to systematically help these intermediaries and young people assess the quality of an internship. CAPQI will hence seek to:

1) Develop an online rating system where young people can rate their internships and employers assess the quality of their internship programmes.

2) Create a labelling system where employers will be able to publicly commit to best practices online.

3) Make sure to include as many intermediaries as possible partners will develop an open source plug-in of the rating and labelling system, free and easily implementable on other websites such as university intranets and youth-led job portals.