Turning a traineeship into a permanent job

The majority of University of Helsinki students complete a traineeship as part of their studies. Traineeships link students’ theoretical studies to real-world work situations and offer students the opportunity to gain relevant work experience in their field of study. A well-planned traineeship benefits not only the trainee, but also the employer. The Apropos Lingua translation agency hired a trainee who later became a permanent part of the team.

Coordinator Vitali Rabotsev of Apropos Lingua is happy with his company’s traineeship cooperation with the University of Helsinki. He says that hiring a trainee was a cost-effective way to recruit and train a new permanent employee. Apropos Lingua hired a University of Helsinki translation student as a trainee to assist in the coordination of translation work.

–In practice, we had four months to develop the trainee into exactly the professional we needed. And we did it at a relatively low cost, Rabotsev adds.

CEO Jouko Väärälä of Green Cap Tours, which organises city tours of Helsinki, also recommends that companies hire an academic trainee. Green Cap Tours offered a three-month full-time traineeship to a history student, who had previously worked as a part-time guide for the company.

–University students are smart and capable of learning, and they are usually able to work persistently and systematically. Although you learn on the job, these qualities support learning, Väärälä notes.

The orientation of a trainee takes time, but benefits the whole company

The first time a company hires a trainee, it should prepare for the trainee’s arrival and allocate sufficient time for orientation.

Both Vitali Rabotsev and Jouko Väärälä emphasise that the orientation and supervision of a trainee takes a great deal of time from other staff. But Rabotsev points out that the time invested in the orientation pays off in the long run. From the outset, Apropos Lingua’s goal was for the trainee to remain at the company after the traineeship.

The time spent providing orientation to the trainee can, at best, benefit the organisation of operations at the company as a whole. Rabotsev says that his company’s practices had to be carefully and comprehensively explored ahead of the orientation. The review of processes also revealed some room for improvement in the company’s operations and enabled the company to focus even more on its main business, i.e., translation.

Jouko Väärälä of Green Cap Tours is also familiar with this phenomenon.

–A new team member meant that we had to improve our internal communications and generally clarify our operations.

A permanent contract as the shared goal

At its best, a traineeship may lead to a permanent employment relationship.

Both Apropos Lingua and Green Cap Tours hired their trainees as part-time employees after the traineeships ended.

The student who began as a trainee at Apropos Lingua will work on a part-time basis until graduation and will then conclude a permanent contract with the company. Rabotsev explains that the purpose of the arrangement is to encourage the student to both graduate as soon as possible and gain relevant work experience with no hindrance to their studies.

Join the Think Career trainee programme!

The Think Career trainee programme organised by the University of Helsinki’s Career Services is intended for employers and students.

The programme is aimed, in particular, at small companies and organisations hiring their first trainee. The University provides the participating employers with support for

  • marketing their traineeship position
  • recruiting and supervising a trainee.

The wishes of the programme participants will also be taken into account.

Employers can register for the programme from 2 October to 2 November 2018. The traineeships will begin in spring 2019 based on employer needs. 

For more information about the trainee programme and the employer registration form, please see the programme website