Monday, May 16

Comply with what was agreed. All scholarships must pay

Completing the training by combining theory and practice, applying the former to the reality of the production process or service, are elements that make up most of the regulated vocational or university training itineraries, generally prior to the incorporation of young people into the labor market. .

Non-work practices are developed in this framework, aimed at completing this theoretical training and not at generating production or profit for the company or institution in which they are provided.

In these non-labour internships there is no remuneration or employment contract, which does exist under the training contract modality for labor internships, where extracurricular internships should actually be inserted.

In non-labour internships, there can and should be some economic compensation of a different nature (transport payment, expense compensation,…)

What occurs in a general way, during the years dedicated to professional or university training, is a delay in the incorporation into the labor market of young people who dedicate part of their first years of potential labor activity to better training to join, more later, in better training conditions and productive capacity.

This delay in entering the labor market was taken into account in the Agreement on the 2011 pension system, which provided for the obligation to contribute to Social Security during these periods of non-labour internships, when there was some financial compensation of any kind.

This situation was regulated in RD 1493/2011 with a reduced contribution, equivalent to that corresponding to training contracts, which, in addition, is subsidized 100% when it comes to curricular internships, the majority. In the case of non-curricular, voluntary internships and outside the regulated itinerary, in which it must be prevented that they constitute a form of covert employment, it is quoted.

When internships are used to cover up a productive activity that should be work, we are simply facing a frequent fraud in which non-work internships, especially extracurricular ones, are used to substitute jobs.

The result of that agreement has been the recognition of contribution periods to between 80,000 and 90,000 young people each year, until the start of the pandemic, when this figure has initially fallen logically, less logically at present, although it will be at the end of the course the time to assess the return to normality in this area in terms of scholarships with some financial compensation.

As a continuation of the 2011 Agreement, the result of maintaining the trade union claim that the CCOO already defended in the negotiation that year, the new Social Dialogue Agreement signed by the Government, CCOO, UGT, CEOE and CEPYME on July 1, 2021 in which the first phase of the new Social Security reform was specified, it incorporated several additional measures that extend the right to contribution of people with non-work practices, but now in general, without the need for there to be any compensation .

This agreement included an express commitment to regulate this issue, by means of a regulatory norm within a maximum of three months, so as to guarantee that the performance of training practices in companies, institutions or entities included in training programs, the performance of non-labour practices in companies and carrying out external academic internships under the respective legal and regulatory regulations, determine the inclusion in the Social Security system of people who carry out the indicated internships, even if they are not remunerated.

The main objective of this measure, incorporated into the successive social agreement agreements, seeks to recognize the training effort, not only with the academic degree, but also with a period of Social Security contributions, while reinforcing the social legitimacy of the Social Security system in the group of younger people, helping to complete their listed careers by acknowledging part of the time dedicated to university or professional training.

The potential impact in terms of the number of people benefited by this measure is very relevant.

We start from the aforementioned non-work practices with some compensation or scholarship, which have generated a registration in Social Security. These are just over 80,000 per year until February 2020 (of which, more than a third are university internships, a third are training programs for employment or professional certificates, just over 20% are vocational training, and a small remaining part is internships for young graduates without experience). It is in training programs for employment that paid internships have a greater weight.

These figures must be multiplied several times with the entry into force of the new agreed measure. There is no good statistical information on non-employment internships without compensation, but an estimate by the Economic Cabinet of the CCOO, based on existing sources, puts the probable figure at around 470,000 people annually (around 70% of university graduates of each year, those with degrees in vocational training and those participating in training programs for employment in public centers and certificates of professionalism), to the latter should be added those who carry them out in private centers.

It is not a minor matter to recognize quoted periods each year, to half a million young people in the process of training.

This measure of undoubted impact does not have an essentially collection objective, therefore, the contribution is that of the training contracts and, in addition, this is subsidized by at least 75%. This reduces the contribution to around 15 euros per month. In fact, that bonus has been and could be even higher.

The above makes completely inexplicable the resistance that a good part of the educational and academic authorities, especially the public among the latter, had in 2011 and have had again now. This, the economic one, is the pretext that the Government is using to date through the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration to justify the delay in the application of the agreed measure.

As a consequence, this commitment has not been fulfilled 9 months later and constitutes an obstacle that must be resolved if confidence is to be maintained in compliance with the agreements reached on Social Security.

It is not the first time it happens. In the application of the regulation approved in 2011, there was a first situation of resistance to complying with it, as a consequence of a conscious decision of some of the companies and institutions that promote the scholarships that decided not to process the corresponding registrations after obtaining the enactment of RD 1707/2011, which regulates external academic internships for university students. A rule that was appealed by CCOO before the Supreme Court and finally annulled by a ruling of said Court giving the reason to this union. Moment from which the number of young student contributors rose to the aforementioned average of 80,000-90,000 per year.

In conclusion, an impact measure for the younger, more educated population, which contributes to their having longer contribution careers even though they have dedicated more time to their training process and incorporated into the world of work with better tools.

The regulatory developments committed to in the Social Security reform of last July must now be approved, so as to guarantee the right to quote for the hundreds of thousands of people with non-labour internships. It is unacceptable and inexplicable not to do so.

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