Which Organisations Can Host Our Trainees?
Organisations authorized to host our trainees include enterprises, training centres, research centres, and other organisations (e.g. teaching hospitals) residing in one of the countries eligible according to ESF rules (see below).
In Which Countries Can International Work Placements Take Place?
International work placements can take place in countries eligible according to ESF rules, i.e.:
the EU member states: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Romania, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Great Britain, including the following regions: the Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Réunion, the Azores, and Madeira;
- the EFTA member states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
In justified cases, the work placements can take place also in other countries.
What Is the Duration of International Work Placements?
The duration of international work placements is at least 1 month and at most 6 months. The duration is always defined before the start of the mobility. However, it can be extended or shortened if the involved parties, i.e. UP as the sending institution, the host organisation and the student, agree. Generally, work placements can start in the course of the whole year, but no sooner than September 2013.
An international work placement can be interrupted by announced corporate holidays, during which the host organisation is closed. The period of closure of the host organisation is not calculated into the minimum duration of the work placement.
How to Find a Suitable Trainee and Offer Him/Her an Appropriate Training Programme?
The host organisation shall look for trainees by advertising a work placement offer in the INTLAG web application. In order for a trainee to meet the requirements of the host organisation, the organisation must clearly define the trainee's qualification profile in its work placement offer: field/s of study, type of study, professional competencies (professional knowledge and skills, including possible work experience in the field), and key competencies (competencies without a link to a specific field of study, such as the ability to communicate in foreign languages, intercultural perception, etc.). The host organisation shall further define the expected training programme in its work placement offer. The programme must be closely related to the trainee´s qualification profile and to the aims of the work placement, i.e. professional and key competencies to be acquired or developed by the trainee during the work placement (= learning outcomes). Furthermore, it is necessary for the training programme to be complex and specific enough, to correspond to the duration of the work placement and to be a full-time job. Possible discrepancies may give rise to complications during the course of the work placement, or to an untimely termination of the mobility.
ATTENTION! A work placement is an educational experience. In no case may a trainee take the position of a real employee or of support staff, performing non-professional activities.
What Is the Role of the Contact Person of the Host Organisation?
The contact person is responsible for the management of international work placements in the host organisation and for the management of relations with the sending institution, i.e. UP. These responsibilities are usually performed by the relevant department, mostly by the HR department. The contact person takes care of the proper application of standard processes and tools assuring the quality of work placements in the host organisation, from the selection of applicants for a work placement, through mentoring of trainees, monitoring of the course of a work placement and practical support, to the issuance of a Placement Completion Certificate, negotiation about the cooperation with UP, etc.
What Is the Role of the Mentor of the Host Organisation?
Each trainee has a mentor at his/her disposal during the international work placement. The mentor helps the trainee with the integration in the host environment, provides him/her with professional guidance and feedback, monitors the course of the work placement and the achieved development in the trainee's performance, and, at the end of the stay, issues the Placement Completion Certificate to the trainee. The mentor may concurrently be the contact person, especially in the case of small and medium enterprises.
What Technical Background Should the Host Organisation Provide?
The host organisation shall provide the trainee with an appropriate technical background so that he/she can perform the activities and tasks defined in the training programme without any problems. An access to information and communication technologies is considered a general standard, irrespective of the professional orientation of the work placement.
Is the Host Organisation Obliged to Provide the Trainee with Accommodation or Other Practical Support?
There is no such duty although a number of host organisations are willing to help trainees find reasonable accommodation, obtain a visa, handle the necessary registration/obtain a residence permit, open a bank account, ensure transport, discounts, etc. If the employer grants a financial contribution to the trainee, the employer, as a rule, shall pay the income tax and social, and possibly also health, insurance for the trainee. The employer shall also assist the trainee to understand the culture of the host country.
What Are the Trainee's Working Hours?
A trainee in a host organisation works full time (at least 35 hours a week; the concrete numbers differ, depending on the legislation of the individual host countries). The beginning and the end of the working hours is in compliance with the internal regulations of the organisation. Sometimes the organisation may require the trainee to work on weekends or on public holidays. However, on average, the working hours must not exceed the weekly working hours limit laid down by the relevant legislation.
How Is Insurance Provided for the Trainees?
Insurance shall be provided for the trainees by UP. Insurance includes accident insurance, damage liability insurance, medical expenses insurance, etc., and covers insurance claims caused at and outside the workplace.
Should the Host Organisation Grant Remuneration to the Trainee?
Remuneration granted to a trainee by the host organisation is entirely facultative. It is recommended especially for long-term work placements (3 months and longer) because after the induction phase of the work placement, the trainee represents full-value work force for the employer. If remuneration is granted, it can take the form of a financial contribution or a contribution in kind (e.g. free accommodation, public transport tickets, meal tickets, etc.), or both the forms may be applied at the same time. Payment of a financial remuneration is mandatory if required by the legislation of the given host country (e.g. two month work placements taking place in France).
Is It Necessary to Enter into a Contract Concerning the Work Placement?
A work placement must be agreed on and confirmed in advance by means of a Letter of Admission (LoA), and a trilateral Training Agreement (TA) must be concluded. This agreement is "tailor-made" – it clearly defines the duties of all contracting parties, including the aims of the work placement/learning outcomes, the training programme, mentoring and monitoring processes, evaluation, and recognition of the work placement, etc. In case of granting a financial contribution, the employer and the trainee shall enter into a relevant contract or any other document in compliance with the legislation of the host country. If the work placement takes place at a university, no bilateral agreement between the university and UP is necessary.
How is the Work Placement Monitored?
Monitoring is done continuously, on the basis of a system of regular communication among the mentor of the host organisation, the trainee and the UP placement guarantor. The mentor cooperates with the guarantor in monitoring the course of the work placement, checks whether its aims/learning outcomes have been successfully achieved, and, if necessary, adopts the relevant corrective measures (e.g. a proposal concerning an alteration in the training programme).
How Is Certification Handled?
At the end of the stay, the mentor issues a certificate to the trainee to confirm the completion of the work placement. It also includes the evaluation of the trainee's performance, i.e. the acquired professional and key competencies in relation to the aims of the work placement as defined in the TA, and possibly also a recommendation of the trainee as a qualified and motivated worker, etc.