Graduate apprenticeship - benefits for the apprentice and the employer

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Graduate internships are often associated with brewing coffee and photocopying company documentation. In fact, it doesn't have to be that way. Graduate internship is a good method for people entering the labor market to gain first experience, and for the employer - an opportunity to train an employee, perhaps for their own company. Especially that neither employers nor apprentices are left to themselves - there are special regulations regulating this form of employment.

Graduate internship - regulations

Basic information on graduate apprenticeship has been collected in the Law on Graduate Apprenticeships of 17 July 2009. These provisions are the basis for establishing the rules of employment in apprenticeships, referring only to a small extent to other provisions in the field of labor law.

Art. 4 of the Law on Graduate Training

The provisions of the labor law do not apply to the practice, with the exception of Art. 183a-183e,

art. 129 § 1, art. 131 § 1, art. 132 § 1, art. 133 § 1, art. 134 and art. 1517 of the Act of June 26, 1974 - Labor Code (Journal of Laws of 1998, No. 21, item 94, as amended3).

Who can take advantage of the graduate internship?

As indicated in art. 2 of the Act, any natural person, legal person or organizational unit without legal personality may accept a graduate internship. However, to become an apprentice, you must meet two conditions - graduate from at least lower secondary school and not be over 30 years of age. Importantly, people with a foreign school leaving certificate may also become apprentices, provided that the level of such a school corresponds to the level of a Polish junior high school.

Importantly, although the practice is most often associated with unpaid employment, it does not necessarily have to be this way. As indicated in Art. 3 of the Act, a graduate internship may be free or paid. The condition is that the remuneration for the internship should not be higher than twice the minimum remuneration for work established in separate regulations.

Whether the graduate internship will be paid or free of charge depends on the arrangements contained in the contract.

Graduate internship agreement

As with standard employment, an employment contract is concluded, in the case of a graduate internship, it is also necessary to conclude an appropriate contract. The document concluded between the apprentice and the host unit for the placement should - in accordance with Art. 5 sec. 2 of the Act - contain information on:

  • the type of work in which the apprentice is to gain experience and acquire practical skills,
  • the period of internship,
  • weekly working time as part of the internship,
  • the amount of remuneration, if the internship is to be performed against payment.

Depending on whether the internship is free or for remuneration, the possibility of terminating the contract will be different. In the first case, it can be done - in writing - at any time, in the second - with a seven-day notice period (Article 5 (6) of the Act).

A graduate internship contract may be concluded for a maximum period of 3 months. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent the parties from concluding another such agreement, also provided, of course, that it does not exceed the maximum time.

When starting a graduate internship, the recipient must remember that he / she is obliged to provide his apprentice with safe and hygienic working conditions, as well as personal protective equipment,

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if required by the trainee's position. It is very important that as part of the graduate internship, the apprentice cannot perform particularly dangerous tasks, which have been defined in this way on the basis of the provisions of the Labor Code.

Graduate internship certificate

As indicated at the beginning, the internship is, above all, an opportunity for the trainee to gain experience and practical skills in professional work. Such a goal is even emphasized by the act itself - in Art. 1 clause 2 of the Act. Therefore, it is extremely important for the apprentice to properly document the internships so that they can be supported in the next stages of job search.

The host entity is required to provide the apprentice with a certificate of completion of the apprenticeship, along with a description of the skills acquired during this period. In order to obtain such a document, the apprentice should submit an appropriate application, as indicated in Art. 7 of the Act.

Art. 7 of the Law on Graduate Training

The host entity, upon the apprentice's request, is obliged to issue a written certificate of the type of work performed and the skills acquired during the internship.

As you can see, graduate internships can be a good start to a further professional career. Although often demonized, especially due to its usually free nature, it should not be overlooked by people entering the labor market.