In order to give jobseekers the opportunity to concretely demonstrate their skills and capabilities to employers, and to find a new job, the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi – ADEM) may offer them a professionalisation internship, subject to certain conditions.
The following are concerned:
- jobseekers over 30 years of age;
- workers with reduced work capacity;
- disabled workers.
The aim of this type of internship is to allow jobseekers to concretely demonstrate their skills and capabilities to employers.
The internships are 6 weeks long.
Who is concerned
The ADEM may offer such a professionalisation internship to jobseekers:
- aged 30 or over; or
- who are currently in an external redeployment programme; or
- who have disabled worker status.
Employers who wish to offer professionalisation internships must be in a position to offer a real job prospect to the jobseeker at the end of the training.
The jobseeker must be registered with the ADEM for at least one month before being able to participate in such an internship.
How to proceed
Jobseekers may not turn down the offer without a valid reason (example of a valid reason: the internship does not meet the criteria for suitable work), nor refuse to complete a professionalisation internship offered by the ADEM, or else they my incur the sanctions stipulated by law.
Duration of the internship
Internships have a duration of 6 weeks at the most.
People who are considered to be highly qualified, i.e. those who have successfully completed at least 3 years of academic education (bac +3), may have the duration of the internship increased to 9 weeks if the position meets their qualifications.
Procedure for the internship
An internship agreement is entered between the jobseeker, the employer and the ADEM.
The jobseeker is supervised, throughout the internship, by a mentor appointed by the employer.
The internship is an opportunity for the jobseeker to use their professional experience and demonstrate their skills and abilities to the employer.
During the internship, the jobseeker is entitled to 2 days of leave per month.
A professionalisation internship at a company is an unpaid internship.
However, the intern is entitled to an internship allowance of EUR 41.67 per month (index 100), i.e. EUR 347.84 (index 834.76) paid by the ADEM. To this end, the employer will send the ADEM the intern's attendance record each week.
People receiving unemployment benefits, a tideover allowance, a professional tideover allowance, a waiting pension or benefits for the severely disabled continue to receive those benefits throughout the internship.
The internship is subject to insurance against occupational accidents. Related contributions are paid by the Employment Fund (Fonds pour l'emploi).
End of internship
The employer informs the ADEM of the possibilities for integrating the jobseeker into the business.
Hiring the jobseeker
If hired under a permanent employment contract (contrat à durée indéterminée – CDI) or under a fixed-term contract (contrat à durée déterminée – CDD), the internship period must be deducted from any trial period that is stipulated in the contract.
Please note that jobseekers are entitled to re-employment support if they meet the various conditions.
If an intern is recruited at the end of the internship under a full-time permanent employment contract, the employer may be reimbursed, upon request to the ADEM, for 50 % of the social minimum wage for unskilled workers over the 12 months following the hire. If the employee receives a permanent contract on a part-time basis, the reimbursement will be calculated in proportion to the work schedule.
The application for reimbursement may be made at the earliest 12 months after the intern is hired. However, the reimbursement will only take place if the former intern is still under contract when the application for reimbursement is made, and if the duration of the internship was deducted from the trial period provided for in the employment contract.
At the end of the internship, the intern may benefit from a 12-month employment reintegration contract (the duration of the professionalisation internship is included when calculating the 12 months).
Note that this refund can be combined with other financial aid, but only within the amount of the monthly social minimum wage for unskilled workers.
Jobseekers who are not hired
If the intern has not been hired, the employer provides the ADEM with a document indicating the skills acquired by the jobseeker during their internship, as well as any weaknesses that were noted.
Jobseekers are therefore advised to contact their counsellor at the ADEM to decide on what future actions to take.