European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2015: Why interns should matter to business

Written by Allan Päll, secretary general of the European Youth Forum

Allan Päll is the Secretary General of European Youth Forum

Allan Päll is the Secretary General of European Youth Forum

At this European Business Summit the European Youth Forum will be hosting a “Meet the expert session” on quality internships: what can business do?. We hope to meet with and discuss with many businesses how they can improve their internship schemes or start providing decent quality internships and how this is actually beneficial for them as employers too.

But why do we see this as such a key topic to address at this high-level event? Well ask any young person now what they think about internships and they are sure to have a strong opinion. Most will have done one, many will have undertaken several internships and, unfortunately, such experiences are not always of good quality.

Undertaking an internship is now a rite of passage for young Europeans, but the quality of such internships is often unacceptable. Whilst almost half of Europe’s young people have done an internship, only one third of these are paid and 35% are undertaken without a contract. As the platform of youth organisations in Europe, the European Youth Forum strongly advocates to make internships a valuable stepping stone into a quality job, rather than – as they too often are – the replacement of real jobs. To do this we created our European Charter on Quality Internships and Apprenticeships, which lays out the criteria for best practice when it comes to internships.

It is a shame that European leaders have been slow to recognise this as an issue and the Quality Framework for Traineeships adopted by the European Council last year did little to remedy the situation. It included no proposals that require internship providers to pay their interns or offer them access to social protection, thus perpetuating the status quo that internships are not accessible to all young people and thus a form of social discrimination. The weakness of the Framework has been perceived by many to be as a result of business’ fears that quality internships are expensive and difficult to achieve.

That is why we decided to go directly to employers and try to allay such fears. Many organisations, in fact, already appreciate the benefits of providing quality internships. For the intern, the benefits are clear: they are provided with a learning experience and first step into the working world. They should be given strong support, in the form of guidance, as well as challenging tasks- not the cliché of the intern perpetually at the photocopier. And where the internship is taking place outside education, they should receive remuneration and protection, as any other employee does.

What has not been promoted enough so far is the benefit to the employer of providing such internships; We have been working with different employers (Microsoft, Titan Cement, Abbvie, Adecco, EUK Consulting, EPACA and the European Brands Association) in order to identify what these benefits are and to set out best practices from employers themselves on how to ensure internships benefit both interns and employers. We’ve also been working with new initiatives that aim to reward employers that offer quality youth opportunities. InternsGoPro is one such example, having developed a Quality Label for employers that provide such internship schemes – with the Youth Forum itself one of the first employers to receive the label.

The Employer’s Guide for Quality Internships is the result of these collaborative efforts from business, civil society and youth organisations. The Guide is based on the Youth Forum’s own European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships, and has sparked much interest from the business world; that is why we are delighted to be at the European Business Summit to explain to business why this important issue should be tackled now and why it’s good for young people and for business too!

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN human rights chief denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

UN aid teams scramble to reach ‘most remote places’ cut off by Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique

Nearly 900 children released by north-east Nigeria armed group

Trade Committee advocates lower tariffs in Western Sahara

5 post-COVID trends from Indian entrepreneurs

Rights experts call for greater protection of indigenous people during migration

Can I still send mail in the time of coronavirus?

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Capitalism’s greatest weakness? It confuses price with value

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

4 key ways countries can finance their SDG ambitions

Digital Green Certificate is the right move but speeding up vaccination is key

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

‘Eco-shaming’ is on the rise, but does it work?

Population in crisis hit EU countries will suffer for decades

Total US cases quadruple in one week – Today’s coronavirus updates

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

The EU threatens to impose extra import duties on Chinese products

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: The fruits of sustainability and decent work

Venezuelan crisis: MEPs reaffirm their support for Juan Guaidó

Brexit: European Commission recommends the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached on the revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and revised Political Declaration

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

UN working to prevent attacks on civilians in eastern DR Congo

Adjust UN force in Abyei to current realities, peacekeeping chief urges Security Council

Sweden has a plan to end all traffic accident deaths

The zero that every investment portfolio needs

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Chatterbox Rome Declaration cannot save the EU; Germany has to pay more to do that

4 fixes for equipment supply chains before the next COVID-19 waves hit

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

Climate finance for developing countries reached USD 71 billion in 2017

The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai will take place on 27-29 June 2018

Women in leadership: closing the gender gap in medicine

Why trust and technology go hand-in-hand

Growing a future free of terrorism: UN News special report from Cameroon

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

Blockchain is facing a backlash. Can it survive?

Creating zero-emission aviation with hydrogen and electric power

COVID-19: Commission creates first ever rescEU stockpile of medical equipment

Taxation: Commission refers Poland to Court for failing to remove certain tax exemptions on the use of energy products by highly polluting businesses

A new roadmap for corporate climate governance

It’s time to stop talking about ethics in AI and start doing it

These countries are driving global demand for coal

Protecting workers from biological agents: how to classify SARS-CoV-2

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

Major humanitarian hub in north-east Nigeria burned in attack

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s