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The law no. 279/2005 regulates apprenticeship. The law was modified in 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019 in order to encourage apprenticeship programmes. The law no. 335/2013 regulates traineeship only for university graduates. In 2018 a law on internship has been adopted, law no. 176/2018. The provisions of this law apply to any person over 16 years old and, in particular circumstances, over 15 years old.
For all of these working-learning arrangements written contracts are mandatory. There is no specific regulation on transparency of the working conditions and job description in traineeships', apprenticeships' and internships’ notices, but they follow the general regulation on working conditions for employees and they cannot exceed a given amount of time (less than the normal working day and week of an employee). Working conditions and time need to be specified in writing at the beginning of the working-learning arrangement, as part of the contract for apprenticeship, traineeship, or internship.
Participants in apprenticeship, traineeship or internship have social security coverage ensured by their employer according to the respective laws. But according to the law, the employer can receive a subsidy from the National Employment Agency monthly for each apprentice or trainee, but not for the interns. This subsidy is over 470 Euro (2 250 lei) each month for each apprentice or trainee. The subsidies are not determined as a part or percentage of the employers’ costs and are not varying in accordance with the real costs. Therefore, for fields of work where production costs are higher, like in some industries, the subsidy is the same as in some service fields where production costs are very low.
In this context, employers in industry are not motivated to train apprentices, as showed by the evaluations of the EU funded programmes that support apprenticeship and traineeship. More specifically, evaluations in the field of employment show these benefits are not motivating employees to implement apprenticeship and traineeship, considering the administrative burden of asking and receiving the subsidies (the evaluation report on the European Social Fund interventions targeting youth from 2015; the first evaluation report on the Youth Employment Initiative from 2016; the second evaluation report on the Youth Employment Initiative from 2019 and the third evaluation of the Youth Employment Initiative, integrated in the evaluation of the Evaluation of the Operational Programme Human Capital from 2020).
Traineeships and apprenticeships are not a requirement in the curricula of secondary education, including vocational education.
Traineeship and apprenticeships have been part of the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan and they are eligible activities in European funded projects, under the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund. They have not been introduced in Romania as part of the Youth Guarantee scheme, but have been reinforced and the apprenticeships have been reformed in application of the scheme.
Until 2015, the value of subsidies for employers, apprentices and trainees was different if the funding of the apprenticeship or traineeship programmes was ensured by the state budget or European funded projects, although the subsidies supported the same activities. For the projects implemented starting in 2017 the subsidies have been equalised, according to the respective laws and the budget of the Operational Programme Human Capital.
Promotion of traineeships and apprenticeships have been envisaged by the government as part of the European funded projects, under the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund and they have been promoted for eligible applicants for these funds. No large-scale communication or awareness raising initiative have been implemented and no massive campaigns had been organised neither by the public authorities nor the non-governmental organisations.
A formal evaluation is demanded at the end of traineeships and apprenticeships processes and a certification is issued for the person passing the evaluation. The employer pays the evaluation, and the procedure is organised:
- by specialised evaluation centres, in the case of the apprenticeship;
- by the employer, through a specially organised committee, in the case of traineeship (but no cooperation mechanisms are put in place between the two measures).
The certification is used:
- as an official full qualification for a specific job, when released as a result of an apprenticeship process
- as a recognition of specialised practical experience, when released as a result of an traineeship process
Funding for traineeship and apprenticeship programmes provided within the legal framework is ensured by a special budgetary fund of social insurance and paid by the National Employment Agency. Funding form European funds, namely the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund is also available for traineeship and apprenticeship.
Starting in 2017, the National Employment Agency have been funded by the European Social Fund through the Operation Programme Human Capital, for traineeship and apprenticeship projects to support with the legal subsidies (about 780/month/trainee or apprentice) the interested employers. The following projects are supporting young NEETs for traineeship and apprenticeship:
- in 2018-2022, the project UNIT 2 RMD supports the traineeship and apprenticeship of young NEETs in Bucharest and Ilfov region with over 6 million lei (about 1.27 million Euro) and project UNIT 2 RMPD supports the traineeship and internship of young NEETs in less developed regions with 38.63 million lei (over 8.12 million Euro)
- since 2019, the project UNIT 5 RMD & RMPD supports the traineeship and apprenticeship of young NEETs with about 76 million Euro
The Labour inspection is in charge with ensuring the quality of labour conditions for the trainees, apprentices and interns. Host organisations/employers need to do their own quality assurance and evaluation, but there is no information available on the evaluation of the quality of the training.