European Solidarity Corps (ESC)
What is the European Solidarity Corps?
The European Solidarity Corps is a European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.
The young people who participate in the European Solidarity Corps will all agree with and uphold its Mission and Principles.
You can register for the European Solidarity Corps when you are 17 years old, but you cannot start a project until you are over 18. European Solidarity Corps projects will be available to people up to the age of 30 years old.
After completing a simple registration process, European Solidarity Corps participants could be selected and invited to join a wide range of projects, such as helping to prevent natural disasters or rebuild afterwards, assisting in centres for asylum seekers, or addressing different social issues in communities.
Projects supported by the European Solidarity Corps can last from two to twelve months. They will usually be located within the European Union Member States.
Participants of volunteering activities, traineeships and jobs get online linguistic support, training and mentoring. Their travel costs to and from the project venue are covered.
Types of Activities
Individual volunteering lets young people participate in the daily work of organisations and lasts between 2 and 12 months, and in some cases, 2 weeks and up. Participants can volunteer abroad or in their country of residence for projects covering social inclusion, environment, culture, and more. Volunteering teams are groups of 10-40 young people from at least two different countries who volunteer together for a period of between 2 weeks and 2 months. The costs of accommodation and food are covered. Participants also receive a small allowance for personal expenses.
Volunteering teams are groups of 10-40 young people from at least two different countries who volunteer together for a period of between 2 weeks and 2 months. The costs of accommodation and food are covered. Participants also receive a small allowance for personal expenses.
Traineeships and Jobs
Traineeships count as full-time work practice and last between 2 and 6 months – renewable once. They are paid for by the organisation responsible for the traineeship. Trainees develop their personal, educational, social, civic and professional skills.
Jobs are full-time and last between 3 and 12 months. They are paid for by the organisation employing the participant.
Traineeships and jobs can take place in the participant’s country of residence or abroad. If abroad, participants receive a small allowance to help them relocate and settle in a foreign country.
Solidarity projects are initiated, developed and implemented over a period of 2 to 12 months by at least five young people who want to make a positive change in their local community. Young people who want to run a solidarity project in their country of residence must register in the European Solidarity Corps portal.
Benefits of joining the European Solidarity Corps
Taking part in a European Solidarity Corps project will be a significant achievement for any young person. It will be an asset when applying for a job and it will help you when you apply for higher education. The European Solidarity Corps could be a new opportunity for you to engage in a meaningful activity which could prove to be a stepping stone into employment.
After participating in a project you will be entitled to receive a certificate that documents your participation. You could use this when applying for jobs or further learning.
As well as being useful for your future career prospects, European Solidarity Corps you will receive a package of other benefits, which will vary depending on the type of project that you undertake. It will also depend on whether you are participating in the Volunteering or Occupational parts of the Corps.
If you decide to volunteer, you will not receive a wage, but will on the other hand be entitled to travel, lodging and subsistence as well as insurance coverage for the duration of the activity. You will receive relevant training before you start and after you arrive on site.
For participants doing an apprenticeship or a traineeship, there will, in some countries, be an employment contract established in accordance with the national regulations of the hosting country. A subsistence allowance will be provided.
For participants that are recruited for a job placement, there will always be a formal labour contract and a wage in accordance with local laws, regulations and collective agreements.