Instructions for recruiting and supervising trainees

Are you interested in hiring a trainee? This page features practical tips for recruiting and supervising trainees as well as information for employers about the University’s traineeship funding and frequently asked questions. It is good to start the trainee recruitment process well before the job starts.
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Is your company looking to hire a trainee? A successful trainee recruitment process begins with placing a traineeship advertisement on JobTeaser, the job platform used by the University of Helsinki. You can leave an advertisement to the University of Helsinki and also to other Finnish universities through the pages of the Aarresaari network.

Consider these things when writing your advertisement:

  • Make sure the title describes the position. The word “trainee” does not tell the applicant what kinds of duties are involved.
  • A brief description of your organization will increase interest. Support from the workplace community is also important.
  • List the main duties. There is no need to include every detail of the position in the advertisement, but the clearer the description of the duties, the better and more motivating the image the applicant will have of the position.
  • Leave room for learning. Most positions can be adapted to the expertise and desires of the trainee. Primarily a traineeship is one of the first opportunities for a student to utilize the expertise gained in studies and it is important to acknowledge this in the recruitment process. The trainee’s duties must provide an opportunity for learning new things.
  • Mention the salary in the announcement. Students are also interested in possible benefits.
  • Schedule and duration. Applicants may need to know whether the working hours are flexible enough to allow the trainee to pursue their studies during the traineeship.
  • The location of the workplace may also be a deciding factor.
  • Make sure you provide the opportunity to ask further questions about the position. If it is impossible for your organization to answer questions throughout the day, you should assign a time when someone in your organization can do so.
  • If you are interested in the international expertise available at the University of Helsinki, write your advertisement in English if Finnish is not required for the position.
  • If the University’s traineeship funding is a requirement for hiring a trainee, state this clearly in the advertisement. Read more about the University’s traineeship subsidy below.
  • State clearly how students can apply for the position and where the applications are to be submitted.
  • It is advisable to start the recruitment process well in advance before the start of work.


Orientation is an important part of the training and sufficient time and resources should be reserved for it.

Right at the beginning of the traineeship, work tasks and supervision must be agreed upon. In addition to familiarizing with the tasks, getting to know the organization and the practices of the work community is important for the trainee. It is also valuable to inform the work community about the arrival of the new trainee. During the orientation, time should be set aside for the trainee's questions and open interaction should be taken into account.

Go through matters related to employment together, such as working hours, reporting sickness absences and occupational health care. Going through basic things, such as work tools, remote work practices and other practical matters, must also be paid attention to in the orientation.

The supervision should be planned so that the trainee is not left alone. Guidance is a continuous process and a few general practical instructions have been given below.

Supervision of the trainee

A supervisor must be assigned for the trainee. The supervisor must understand the duties of the trainee and be able to instruct, supervise and evaluate the work of the trainee. The trainee can have more than one supervisor, so that support throughout the traineeship is guaranteed to the trainee even if the appointed instructor is on vacation.

In practice, the supervision should include at least three sessions during which the thoughts and objectives that the student and employer may have regarding the traineeship can be discussed: the goal-setting discussion, situation review and final discussion. However, guidance must accompany throughout the training period.

Goal-setting discussion (during the first days of the traineeship)
  • Introduction to the workplace community and duties
  • The trainee’s intended duties
  • The team’s and supervisor’s expectations of the trainee
  • What the trainee hopes to learn during the traineeship
Situation review (1–2 sessions, depending on the duration of the traineeship)
  • How has the traineeship gone so far? Has the traineeship corresponded to expectations?
  • Has the workload been appropriate?
  • Which tasks has the trainee already completed, what is still left to do, what duties are ahead?
  • Is there something that the trainee requires particular support with?
Summarising final discussion (during the last days of the traineeship)
  • What has the trainee learned?
  • What have been the trainee’s particular successes, in their own opinion? Where is there still room for improvement?
  • To what degree have the objectives set at the beginning of the traineeship been fulfilled?
  • Feedback from both the host organisation and the trainee

Open communication makes the practice smoother. With open and frequent communication, the supervisor stays up to date on the progress of the tasks and how the trainee is doing. Right at the beginning of the traineeship, it is worth agreeing on which means (calling, instant messages, e-mail) will be the most effective way to contact the supervisor.

You can read about the students' experiences of the traineeship and its supervision on the bottom of this page under the section Student tips for a successful traineeships.

The University of Helsinki provides annual traineeship funding for traineeships included in degree studies. The traineeship subsidy enables students to participate in paid traineeships that would not be possible without the University’s support. The traineeship subsidy is intended to cover part of the expenses accrued by the employer during the traineeship.

The traineeship subsidy (€1,800 in total) is paid to the employer after the traineeship has been completed according to the traineeship agreement. In a traineeship subsidised by the University, the trainee must have an employment contract with the employer, who pays the trainee a monthly salary that complies with Kela’s work requirement (1399 €/month in 2024). We also encourage you to pay your student more than this, see the unions' salary recommendations. The university does not market traineeships below the minimum wage paid by the Kela.

Please note that the University of Helsinki cannot guarantee that all student traineeships will be subsidised.

Criteria for traineeship locations and periods

  • The traineeship may take place in a company, government agency, municipality, NGO, association, foundation or cooperative in Finland or abroad.
  • The trainee has an employment contract with the traineeship organisation and receives a salary that complies with the Kela work requirement (1399 €/month in 2024).
  • As a rule, the minimum duration of a traineeship is two months.
  • The trainee must have a specifically assigned supervisor at the host organisation.
  • The trainee must be assigned expert duties in which they may apply and enhance their learning to the greatest degree possible.

Application process

  • The student can apply for the traineeship subsidy from the University’s Career Services when they have found a traineeship for which the subsidy is required. The University of Helsinki has set no application period for the traineeship subsidy, but accepts applications flexibly throughout the year.
  • The student will receive a completed traineeship contract along with the decision to provide the subsidy. This contract must be sent to the employer to be signed.
  • The traineeship subsidy must be applied for before the traineeship begins, preferably at least one week before the start of the traineeship.
  • The traineeship contract between the University and the employer must be signed by the employer before the traineeship begins.

Career Services annually collects feedback from students who have completed subsidized traineeships. In this section, we have collected practices brought up by students which have contributed to having a successful traineeship experience. The most important things were considered to be concrete policies set together and open communication.

  • The importance of the supervisor’s activity was emphasized especially during the first weeks. Before the start of the traineeship, it would be good to plan a preliminary schedule for the trainee's orientation. It is also valuable to appoint a responsible person for the orientation.
  • The students also emphasized the importance of communication. Right at the beginning of the traineeship, it is worth agreeing on which means (calling, instant messages, e-mail) will be the most effective way to contact the supervisor.
  • The nature of the traineeship is that guidance is available throughout the entire traineeship. Some of the students felt that they were left alone, especially when working remotely. It is good to check with the trainee from time to time whether the instructions for the tasks have been sufficient and the workload is appropriate.
  • In order to clarify the structure of the training, a weekly schedule drawn up together was considered good. The schedule can include remote and local meetings as well as independent work. In this way, the student can regularly receive possible additional guidance and feedback on work that has been done.
  • Networking was perceived as more difficult in remote work, and integration into the work community varied. As a solution to this, e.g. one-on-one video calls with the supervisor and other co-workers, which allows one to get to know the co-workers and their job description, were suggested. Also, coffee breaks and shared lunches are also important elements that creates community.
Frequently asked questions about University traineeships

A University trainee is hired for a fixed-term employment of two to six months. When hiring a trainee, the employer should allocate sufficient time for the orientation of the trainee. Primarly a traineeship is one of the first opportunities for a student to utilize the expertise gained in studies and it is important to acknowledge this in the recruitment process. The trainees duties must provide an opportunity for learning new things.

The employer will assign a more experienced employee as supervisor for the trainee. The supervisor is responsible for providing necessary orientation on the duties, supporting the trainee in their work and the learning of new skills, and providing the trainee with constructive feedback on their performance.

As the employer is expected to spend time in supervising the trainee, the trainee’s salary level is typically lower than in a normal employment contract.

A university trainee is employed for the full duration of the traineeship and must receive a salary for this time. The salary is often lower than that of a normal employee as the employer is expected to spend time supervising the trainee. The relevant collective agreement may be referred to when determining the trainee’s salary. If no collective agreement applies, the trainee must receive a salary that complies with Kela’s work requirement (1399 €/month in 2024).

If the employer is unable to pay the full sum of the traineeship salary, the student may apply for the University’s traineeship funding to cover salary costs. The amount of the traineeship subsidy is €1,800/traineeship/student and it is paid to the employer once the traineeship has ended. The subsidy does not cover the trainee’s full salary, so the employer must participate in the costs.

As it is impossible to offer traineeship funding to all students, students must fulfil certain criteria relating to the stage of studies and completed credits. If you can only hire a trainee who has been approved for a University traineeship subsidy, make sure you state this in your advertisement.

In addition to the salary, the employer must cover indirect labour costs (sickness insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance, accident and group life insurance payments).

The trainee has the same working hours as other employees with equivalent duties at the workplace. The trainee’s working hours must comply with the relevant collective agreement.

If no collective agreement applies, the regular working hours of the trainee may be no more than eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. If mutually agreed, the trainee may work part time. However, the recommendation is for part-time trainees to have no less than 50% of full-time hours.

The recommended minimum length of a traineeship is two months of full-time employment. The average duration of a traineeship is three months. If the trainee works part time, the duration of the traineeship is extended so that the total amount of completed hours is equal to that of two months of full-time employment. For example, if the trainee has 50% of full-time hours, the minimum duration of the traineeship is four months.

The employer must insure the trainee against accidents and occupational diseases as specified in the Workers’ Compensation Act (459/2019).

The University of Helsinki has many international students who are looking for traineeship placements in Finland. It is possible to hire an international student as a trainee. International students have language and cultural skills which may be useful in communicating with international cooperation partners, for example.

Citizens of EU and EEA countries may work in Finland with no restrictions. Students from outside the EU and EEA may work full time in a traineeship that relates to their studies, and an average of 25 hours per week during the academic term in employment that is unrelated to their studies. No restrictions on the employment of students from outside the EU and EEA are applied during the University’s holiday periods.

We recommend that the employer provides occupational healthcare for trainees. University students have access to the Finnish Student Health Service FSHS, and they may also use these services during the traineeship.

The employee may also provide a lunch benefit to the trainee, but this is not required. University students are eligible for student-priced lunches also during their traineeship in student cafeterias intended for higher education students (provided one is available close to the traineeship location).

The trainee’s annual leave is determined by the Annual Holidays Act and the collective agreement that applies to the trainee’s host organisation. As a rule, the trainee’s annual leave should be taken as leave, but the employer and trainee may mutually agree to pay the trainee in lieu of leave.

Traineeship advertisements are published on JobTeaser. We do not publish advertisements of unpaid traineeships. Read our publication terms.

For more information on advertising a traineeship, see the our services for employers.

Traineeship instructions for students

Student - are you looking for information on how to find a traineeship, how to conduct your traineeship or the traineeship subsidy? Go to the Traineeships theme on Instructions for students.