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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.5 Traineeships and apprenticeships

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Official guidelines on traineeships and apprenticeships
  2. Promoting traineeships and apprenticeships
  3. Recognition of learning outcomes
  4. Funding
  5. Quality assurance

Official guidelines on traineeships and apprenticeships

In accordance with the Spanish Active Employment Support Strategy 2021-2024 (Estrategia Española de Apoyo Activo al Empleo 2021-2024), it is necessary to develop specific plans to facilitate the incorporation of young people into the labour market. It is necessary to articulate training actions that facilitate access to work for young people with low qualifications, through short training courses, with work placements in workplaces.

Non-work traineeships in companies are regulated by Royal Decree 1543/2011, of 31 October, legislating on non-working traineeships within companies (Real Decreto 1543/2011). The legal framework is provided by Royal Decree 1493/2011 on terms and conditions of inclusion within the General Social Security System of people participating in training programmes (Real Decreto 1493/2011).

One of the measures of the Spanish Active Employment Support Strategy 2021-2024 was the reform of the regulation of the training and apprenticeship contract. This reform of “Royal Decree 1529/2012, of 8 November, which develops the training and apprenticeship contract and establishes the bases for dual vocational training” (RD 1529/2012, de 8 de noviembre) was published on 26/05/2012.

The contractual framework for work activity in traineeship and apprenticeship is found in the Guide of Contracts of the Spanish Public Employment Service (Guía de Contratos del Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal), regulating the Traineeship Contract as well as the Contract for Training and Apprenticeship. The traineeship contract includes the possibility of turning grants and non-working traineeships within companies into labour relationships. In such a case, the reduction of the Social Security quota for statutory contributions increases to 75 per cent.

Within the Youth Guarantee Plus 2021-2027 programme, in Axis 3: Employment opportunities, Block 1: Actions aimed at promoting the stable hiring of certain groups to carry out Measure 39: Establishment of a line of work for first professional experience, the instruments to be used are:


  • Tools for initial indefinite-term contracts or internships in companies.
  • Promotion of training and apprenticeship contracts and internship contracts, for training and generation of employment opportunities for entry into the labour market.


Promoting traineeships and apprenticeships

In accordance with the provisions of article 11.2 of the Workers' Statute, there is a contract for alternating training. The purpose of this is to make paid work activity compatible with the corresponding training processes in the field of vocational training, university studies or the Catalogue of training specialities of the National Employment System.

In accordance with the provisions of article 11.3 of the aforementioned statute, the purpose of the contract for obtaining professional practice is to obtain the professional practice appropriate to the level of studies or training that is the object of the contract, through the acquisition of the skills and abilities necessary for the development of the work activity corresponding to the qualification obtained by the worker beforehand.

Within the practices that do not involve an employment relationship, but are exclusively training-related, information can be found on the website of the Public Administration and the State. These practices can be carried out at the University itself or at a collaborating entity, such as companies, institutions and public and private entities at national and international level. There is no single site that lists all the calls for applications for internship programmes, so it is best to access the website of each university.

Internationally, there are a number of offers related to internships and apprenticeships, which can be found on the SEPE website.


Recognition of learning outcomes

In the SEPE, it is found the Recognition of acquired professional competences (Reconocimiento de las Competencias Profesionales Adquiridas) which informs about the recognition procedure of achieved professional skills, regulated in the Royal Decree 659/2023 (Real Decreto 659/2023, de 18 de Julio.


Concerning funding, a distinction must be made between communitarian sources on the one hand and national origin sources in the other. In order to support the establishment of a youth guarantee system, Spain uses European funds dedicated to the Youth Guarantee Plus 2021-2027 programme, including the traineeship and apprenticeship period training.

National funding is at the expense of the General State Budget (Presupuestos Generales del Estado) for actions programmed by the State Administration, and at the expense of the Autonomous Regions for those actions developed by regional administrations. Some measures such as the reduction of the Social Security quota for traineeship contracts are funded at national level, thus not being possible to co-fund it via the European Social Fund.

Quality assurance

As established in Royal Decree 1543/2011, of 31 October, legislating on non-working traineeships within companies (Real Decreto 1453/2011), a company shall present a programme with the contents and training for traineeship, term and mechanisms of assessment to the public employment service. When the traineeship is carried out within a programme developed by the administration, the specific mechanisms of supervision and control of the traineeship are established by the body launching and supervising it. In this case, there are mechanisms established at a sub-national level, given the greater activity of the regional administrations in this regard.

Different examples at sub-national level include: