Compared to the rest of Spain, Barcelona enjoys a good economic environment, that is why students are more likely to do their internship in the Catalan city. As we know, the labor market has been affected by the crisis for over 6 years now, but what about the interns? They tend to be seen as an affordable way to support a company. Wages and working conditions as an intern may vary from an industry to another. Let ShBarcelona walks you through them.
Two profiles of interns
The “Beca of practicas” is linked to your school by internship agreement (convenio escuela-empresa):
- Internship lasts about 3 months.
- You can work up to 4 or 5 hours a day.
- The intern must have an assigned guardian within the company.
- No real staff costs for the company.
- The company has no obligation to pay the intern, although the reimbursement of commuting expenses is still recommended and appreciated.
The second type of internship is more of a professional setting without real interdependence with the school (contrato laboral). In addition to validating your degree within 5 years before the internship and be between 18 and 30 years old, the following conditions apply:
- The intern should contribute to social security.
- The contract period must be between 6 months and 2 years.
- The job can be part time or full time.
- The intern receives wages determined by agreement. If it has not been set, the remuneration must be minimum 60% (during the first year) and 75% (second year) of the Spanish minimum wage (645.30 euros net for a full-time employee in 2014).
- The company shall issue the intern a certificate stating the duration and position held during the internship at the termination of the contract.
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Some working rules in Spain: usually the days begin later than in any other European country and end around 7pm. You will have to complete 40 hours of work within a week. Lunch break is usually at 2pm. Depending on your type of contract, it may be that you have to obtain your NIE (foreigner identification number). For example, if you are an European Union citizen, this card is not mandatory for a short period internship. It becomes necessary for getting a bank account, though. For Spanish interns, it is also stated that their work level can not be equivalent nor superior to a qualified employee under penalty of denunciation and fine.
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Pay and living standards
In many cases, you will earn less money than in some other European countries, however, the cost of life in Spain is one of the least expensive. Whatever the internship, review the contract carefully before signing it, to counter any unfair term and bad surprises. In addition, be aware that it is very common in Spain to practice under the table compensation.