volunteer picking litter

Volunteer or work


Once you are registered on the European Solidarity Corps portal, you can find a wide range of opportunities posted by various organisations across Europe.

Social action is at the core of the European Solidarity Corps, so expect to find projects with exciting ways to make a difference. For example, you could get involved in environmental work in forests, support refugees to resettle or bring improvements to a small village.

There’s more – European Solidarity Corps projects can also relate to inclusion, democratic participation, disaster prevention, health and wellbeing, and education. The list is long and keeps growing with more funded projects every year.

Volunteering and Traineeships and Jobs placements are full time, but duration can vary, and they can take place in the UK or abroad. You could spend a whole year abroad, but there are also opportunities for shorter placements, starting from two weeks, if that suits you more. Click on the tabs below to know more. 

From 1 January 2021, some participants coming to the UK may require a visa under the Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) scheme. This is part of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) points-based system and is needed before participants can take up their placement in the UK. Costs may be covered by organisations who select you for their project. For more details, please take a look at the Erasmus+ website.

Traineeships and Jobs

Volunteering in a European Solidarity Corps project means being involved in the daily work of an organisation in the form of community-level projects, in the UK or abroad.

Accommodation and meal costs are covered as part of the placement (including a holiday period). You will get pocket money and travel expenses up to a set amount, as well as insurance coverage. Worried about your language skills? Not a problem: linguistic support can be provided.

Your participation can be individual (known as Individual Volunteering Placement) or in a group (called Volunteering Teams).

Individual Volunteering Placements

This is the classic style of volunteering, with great emphasis on the benefits that the experience could bring to you as the volunteer. Not only will you feel rewarded for helping a community, you will also receive training before your placement, as well as throughout and after the experience. There will be support to help you make the most of it.

The exact destination, duration and type of placement will depend on the project you get involved with. Usually, these placements can last from two to 12 months, but young people with fewer opportunities can have shorter placements, starting from two weeks. Individual volunteering activities can take place abroad or in the UK.

Volunteering Teams

If you don’t feel ready to embark in an experience on your own, you can participate in a group of 10 to 40 young people from different countries, this is called a Volunteering Team. The group volunteers together in a community for a period between two weeks and two months. Volunteering Teams activities can take place abroad or in the UK.

It’s also a good option for those who cannot commit for a long period of time, but still want to make a difference.

Application process

Who can apply: young people aged 18-30 from an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Countries neighbouring the EU who are registered on the portal.

How to apply: search for opportunities on the portal

Please note: a volunteer can take part in only one Solidarity Corps volunteering activity. This means that if you have already been part of an Erasmus+ volunteering activity or a European Voluntary Service, unfortunately you are not able to apply. For further details on possible exceptions, please check the Corps Guide under the Volunteering eligibility criteria.

Within the European Solidarity Corps, you can find opportunities for work practice in a type of project called Traineeships and Jobs. This sort of activity can help you to boost your skills while helping communities, facilitating your transition into the labour market.

Although a work experience, it includes a solid learning and training component which will help you to gain relevant skills for your professional, social and personal development.

European Solidarity Corps Traineeships and Jobs are paid placements, in line with the national rules of the country where you will be training or working. If you are given a job, you will be expected to cover living expenses and accommodation from the payment received. Costs such as travel, relocation and additional personal expenses are covered up to a set amount. Linguistic support is available, if needed, and you will be covered by insurance. 


A European Solidarity Corps Traineeship lasts between two and six months in the UK or abroad. It is remunerated by the organisation responsible for your traineeship. From the beginning of the experience, you will know what to expect, as there will be a written traineeship agreement.

Traineeships do not substitute jobs and are clearly separated from voluntary activities. Traineeship placements in the UK are only available for young people aged 25-30 years old. Placements abroad are available to participants aged 18 to 30 years old.


A European Solidarity Corps Job is a full-time work practice that can last from three to 12 months in the UK or abroad. It will be remunerated by the organisation employing you. You will have a clear idea of what to expect before it starts, as there will be a written employment contract agreed in advance.

Application process

Who can apply: young people aged 18-30 from an EU Member State who are registered on the portal

How to apply: search for opportunities on the portal