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Microsoft signs European Charter for Quality Internships and Apprenticeships

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Microsoft Corporation, leading company in the ICT sector signs its support to the European Charter for Quality Internships and Apprenticeships.

Last month Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director of Global Community Affairs at Microsoft Corporation signed on behalf of the global multinational the European Charter on Quality Internships and Apprenticeships at the European Parliament.

“Microsoft believes that investing in youth by fostering work-readiness, talent and entrepreneurial spirit is the safeguard to a healthy future for all of us in Europe," he declared, "providing quality internships and work experience, to which we have a long standing commitment, is one valuable tool that allows young people to take their first steps from education into productive work and helps to break the cycle of a skills gap!  We encourage other private companies to create more opportunities for early stage career starters and commit as we have done to sign the European Charter for Quality Internships and Apprenticeships.”

Microsoft is the first global company in the private sector supporting the Charter.

Internships and apprenticeships can be a valuable step in the transition from education to professional life but the lack of clear quality guidelines undermines the main purpose of internships and apprenticeships as educational opportunities that give practical skills to young people. Even more – there is mounting evidence that such work placements outside formal education are frequently replacing quality employment for young people.

The European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships lays basic quality principles for internships and apprenticeships to become a valuable and quality experience across Europe. The Charter has been elaborated by the European Youth Forum, in cooperation with a broad number of experts and stakeholders including youth organisations, MEPs, trade unions and other civil society organisations.

“Microsoft's support for the Charter will improve the opportunities of young people on the labour market,” said Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum. “We therefore urge all providers of internships and apprenticeships to commit to quality standards and to apply a clear and coherent code of conduct, leading by example,” he concluded.

(Source: European Youth Forum)