Traineeship funding and salary

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Here you can find information about salaries and the various funding options for traineeships.

Traineeship salary

You must negotiate your salary with the employer. The salary of trainees is usually lower than that of employees with regular employment contracts, since the employer is expected to spend more time instructing the trainee.

The University of Helsinki recommends that trainees be paid at least the minimum wage as defined by KELA, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (€ 1,252 per month in 2021). Trainees may be paid a higher salary than the recommendation for a minimum wage. The University recommends that students do not accept traineeship offers without pay.

Traineeships funded entirely by the employer

The most recommended way to complete a traineeship belonging to your studies is to find an employer who will pay your salary in full. This means that you need not apply for funding from the University, and the University and the employer need not conclude an agreement on the traineeship.

If the employer is unable to pay your salary in full and requires that your traineeship be subsidised in order to cover the salary costs, you may apply for a subsidy from the university. For more information about university funding for traineeships and the support available for traineeships completed abroad, see the page Applying for a traineeship abroad.

University funding for traineeships

A subsidy from the university is one way of acquiring funding for the traineeship. First find out whether your employer will cover your salary in full or in part. If the employer requires that the university subsidises your salary costs, you can apply for this subsidy from the university.

The university’s subsidy system for traineeships does not include the following professional traineeships: clinical traineeships, Faculty of Medicine; practice teaching (by class teachers and subject teachers), Faculty of Educational Sciences; on-the-job learning in parishes, Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Pharmacy; practical pharmacy training. As for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the university subsidy for traineeships is not available for the traineeship required for the degree or clinical work.

Students can receive the university’s traineeship subsidy only once during their studies. The funding is intended to support students who have not completed their traineeship to find a position. The funding is meant to be used for the traineeship that is a part of of his/hers own degree program/ study track.

The subsidy per student is € 1800. The subsidy is not paid to the student, but to the employer to cover part of the salary costs incurred to the employer from hiring the student. At the end of the traineeship, the employer can invoice the university for the subsidy in accordance with the traineeship agreement concluded between the university and the employer.

Please note that traineeships completed at the University of Helsinki are not eligible for the university’s traineeship subsidy. 

See below for instructions on how to apply for traineeship funding and eligibility criteria for funding.

Application instructions for traineeship funding 2021

Traineeship funding from the University can be applied for a traineeship belonging to a degree. See the list of traineeship courses for which the University’s traineeship funding is available. The list is updated regularly, but if you notice anything missing from it or feel uncertain about whether your course is one of those for which funding is available, please contact Career Services at traineeships@helsinki.fi.

Students at the Faculty of Theology apply for traineeship funding from their own faculty following separate instructions. NB! All students in the Master's Degree Programme in Intercultural Encounters (ICE), jointly coordinated by the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Theology, apply for traineeship funding following the below general traineeship guidelines.

Application period

Traineeship funding for 2021 is applied for through a rolling application process with no specific application period. Funding for traineeships starting in 2021 can be applied for from 1 October 2020. Funding is applied for when a place in a traineeship organisation has been secured and the employer requires University funding to cover salary costs. Traineeship funding is applied for with an electronic form. The funding must be applied for before the start of the traineeship period, and it will not be granted for an ongoing traineeship.

If an employer requires information about funding for the traineeship period already at the application stage, see the instructions in the FAQ at the bottom of the Traineeship page.

Eligibility to apply

As a rule, bachelor’s degree students with 60 cr of studies completed when applying for traineeship funding as well as all master’s degree students are eligible to apply for it. It is possible to deviate from this criterion if the degree programme pursued by the student at the time of application does not include a funded traineeship period. Funding for a traineeship is only given for a traineeship that is related to the student’s own degree programme/study track, NOT for a possible traineeship period belonging to a minor subject.

The student must be an attending student throughout the traineeship period. It is not possible to graduate with a master’s degree during a funded traineeship.

NB! Exceptions where funded traineeships are available only during master’s studies: 

  • Faculty of Social Sciences 
  • Master’s Programme in Education; general education and adult education; allmän- och vuxenpedagogik (general education and adult education in Swedish); special education and early childhood education
  • Master's Programme in Geology and Geophysics
  • Agricultural sciences and food sciences at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Students of the Faculty of Social Sciences, general education and adult education; allmän- och vuxenpedagogik (general education and adult education in Swedish); special education, early childhood education, geosciences/geology, agricultural sciences and food sciences can apply for traineeship funding only during their master’s studies.

NB! Exceptions where funded traineeships are available only during bachelor’s studies:

  • Bachelor’s Programme for Teachers of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. 

Please note that if you use the funding for a traineeship provided by the University during your bachelor’s studies, you will not be eligible for it during your master’s studies.

Students’ application eligibility criteria

All attending undergraduate students of the University of Helsinki, who meet all the following criteria, are eligible to apply:

  • If you are studying for your bachelor’s degree, you have at the time of application completed 60 cr at the University of Helsinki and you meet the rest of the following criteria. If at the time of application, you are studying in a master’s programme, you are eligible if you meet the rest of the following criteria.
  • The degree programme/study track you are pursuing at the time of application includes a funded traineeship period. Check the courses for which you can apply for traineeship funding. NB! In order to be eligible to apply for traineeship funding meant for master’s studies, you must be a master’s student at the time you are applying for funding. This means that when you are applying for funding for a master’s stage traineeship, you must have completed a first-cycle degree (or you have submitted your diploma request).
  • You have not yet completed (i.e. received credits from) the traineeship period included in your degree programme/study track or an equivalent course based on the old degree structure. If needed, check the equivalences between the new and old degree structures from the equivalence tables.
  • You have not previously received traineeship funding from the University of Helsinki. NB! This applies also to degrees completed earlier at the University of Helsinki.

Criteria for the traineeship organisation and period

  • A traineeship organisation may be a company, a central or local government, a non-governmental organisation, a foundation or a cooperative either in Finland or abroad. An employer receiving funding for a traineeship provided by the University cannot be a private individual.
  • The University’s traineeship funding cannot be used for a traineeship when the employer is the University of Helsinki.
  • The trainee is in a contractual or public-service employment relationship with the traineeship organisation, and they will be paid the minimum wage as defined by KELA, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (€1,252/month in 2021). The salary is proportional with the working time.
  • The minimum duration of a funded traineeship is always a period corresponding with at least two months* of full-time employment. The exception is the degree programmes in which the minimum duration of a traineeship has been determined as three months. Check the traineeship guidelines in your degree programme whether your programme requires a three-month traineeship period.
  • The maximum duration of a traineeship is six months of full-time employment and, for a part-time traineeship, an amount of work corresponding to six months. It is also generally recommended that part-time traineeships follow a 50% working-time ratio, but when the nature of the work requires it, the traineeship may be implemented with an even smaller working-time ratio.
  • The tasks involved in the traineeship must be expert duties and allow the trainee to apply their university education in as broad a manner as possible. NB! Duties related to a master’s thesis do not meet the criteria of a funded traineeship. A funded traineeship cannot include the writing of the thesis, which must be completed independently.
  • The traineeship must develop the student’s expertise and provide an opportunity to learn new things.
  • The trainee must have an assigned supervisor at the traineeship organisation.

Please note that funding for a traineeship can be granted only for traineeships whose realisation requires funding from the University.

Funding for a traineeship cannot be given retroactively; funding must be applied for before the start of the traineeship period. Funding will not be granted for a traineeship or employment relationship that has started before the student has applied for funding for a traineeship.

*One month refers to one calendar month. A full calendar month is defined as a consecutive period from any day of the month to the day preceding the same date of the following month (e.g., 3 October–2 November).

Selection procedure

The decision to grant funding for a traineeship will be made when an applicant meeting the eligibility criteria has found a traineeship organisation requiring funding from the University to cover salary costs. Funding will be granted if the traineeship organisation also meets the above requirements.

Application instructions for traineeship funding 2022

It is not possible to apply for funding for traineeships that start in 2022. The application period for 2022 will begin later during the autumn, we will notify when the application period starts. 

Checklist: How to apply university funding for a traineeship?

Make sure you meet the criteria for applying for traineeship subsidy.

  1. Once you have been selected for a traineeship placement, notify Career Services by completing this e-form
  2. Career Services will check the information on the e-form to confirm that both you and your employer are eligible for the funding.
  3. Within one week of completing the e-form, you will receive an email concerning the decision to grant you the traineeship subsidy. Attached to the email will be a pre-completed traineeship agreement for submission to your employer.
  4. Submit the traineeship agreement to your employer for signature. You will receive detailed instructions via email.

If an employer requires information about funding for the traineeship period already at the application stage, see the instructions in the FAQ at the bottom of the Traineeships page.

Remember that in addition to the traineeship agreement between the university and the employer, the traineeship requires an employment agreement between you and your employer. See more information on the traineeship agreements page.

NB! Please read how the Corona virus situation affects traineeships

 

Other funding opportunities for traineeships

Are you planning to complete your traineeship outside Finland? You can apply for an Erasmus grant or a travel grant for international traineeships. More information is available in Apply for a traineeship abroad.

Higher education students as well as recent graduates can apply for international EDUFI traineeships through the National Agency for Education. The selected students will receive the Agency’s traineeship grant. 

Remember that students can receive only one traineeship subsidy at a time from the University of Helsinki. In addition, you cannot receive traineeship funding from the National Agency for Education and the university at the same time.

The Aurora database and the website of the Association of Finnish Foundations can be used for searching for other funding opportunities for traineeships.

You can receive financial aid for students paid by Kela during a traineeship that belongs to your studies under certain conditions and restrictions. Further information on the Kela website.

Funding of traineeships at Finnish missions abroad

To complete a traineeship at a Finnish mission abroad, students are required to have obtained funding for the purpose from the University, or alternatively, a scholarship or grant of approximately €2,000.

If you are not entitled to receive the University’s traineeship subsidy, but wish to apply for funding towards a traineeship at a Finnish mission abroad, you can apply for funding from foundations whose purpose is to award grants (including travel grants). You can search for such grant opportunities from, e.g., Aurora database and the website of the Association of Finnish Foundations.

As the grant must be publicly available for application, usually private persons or companies cannot provide grants. Traineeships at Finnish missions abroad cannot be funded only through the student’s own funding, such as a student loan or other loans.

This regulation only applies to Finnish missions abroad (diplomatic and consular missions). A traineeship at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland cannot be funded through a grant or scholarship, but requires a traineeship subsidy granted by the University.