Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.5 Traineeships and apprenticeships

Last update: 31 March 2021
On this page
  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

Within the measures established in the Strategy for Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment 2013-2016, we find the set-up of the traineeship contract, with the aim of allowing young people who have finished their training period to enjoy a first working experience linked to their field of study. The incentive for this type of contract is a reduction of up to 50 per cent in the Social Security business quota for statutory contributions for contracts signed with young people under 30 years of age.

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).

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.

The National Plan for the Implementation of the Youth Guarantee, within the measures to improve employability in Spain, includes non-work traineeships in companies for youth between 18 and 25 years of age with a university degree, or completed Vocation Training or a professional skills certificate.In August 2018, the Spanish Government approved a salary bonus for young people under 30 years old in order to promote their access to the labour market and reduce job instability. This bonus will be co-funded with money out of the European Social Fund as part of the European Youth Garantee scheme. The requisites in order to be eligible for this salary supplement are the registration in the Youth Guarantee System (Sistema de Garantía Juvenil) and having low educational qualifications, and will increase the wages of the formation contracts (contrato para la formación y el aprendizaje).

Promoting traineeships and apprenticeships

The offer for traineeships and apprenticeships is one of the measures included in the Strategy for Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment. This means that any actor may participate in the development of this measure, as the strategy is an open tool to promote participation. The promotion of traineeships and apprenticeships is mainly at sub-national level, with the Autonomous Regions, local administrations and education agencies the main actors.

Currently, the measure number 18 of the Action Plan for Youth Employement (Plan de choque por el empleo Jóven) envisions the promotion of trainning programmes which require a hiring commitment from the contractor. The trainning programmes might take place in a local public entity possesing a hiring agreement with a private bussiness or they might be carried out directly by a private bussiness.

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 1224/2009 (Real Decreto 1224/2009). As established in the article 14 of the above-metioned Decree, the procedure consists of 3 stages: assistance, evaluation process and accreditation and registration of the professional competence. This procedure can only accredit professional skills recognised in the National Catalogue for Professional Qualifications (Catálogo Nacional de Cualificaciones Profesionales) and has the effects of a “partial recognition […] with purpose of completing the formation that would lead on the obtention of the corresponding diploma” (art. 19 of the Royal Decree 1224/2009).


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 Employment Initiative, including the traineeship and apprenticeship period training. Once the budgetary allocation of the YEI for Spain is determined, 50 per cent of the IEJ is managed by the Autonomous Regions, and 50 per cent by the State Administration. According to this distribution, funding for traineeship and apprenticeship periods in Spain is shared equally at 50 per cent between the national and the sub-national administrations.

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: