Students lose internships due to coronavirus


Tens of thousands of students are thought to be sitting at home instead of taking up their planned internships, reports RTL Nieuws.

But vocational training institutions where work experience forms a vital part of the study say that their students cannot progress without it.

‘For our students who are training to work in hospitality, internships all stopped on Sunday,’ spokeswoman Els van Riel of ROC in Twente reportedly said.

Peter Scheffer, of Hogeschool Inholland, added that students studying tourism or leisure activities are also stumped. ‘The whole travel industry is in a hole, and there’s almost no work,’ he reportedly said. ‘Almost all internships and work experience have been cancelled.’

He said that some students will not be able to complete their studies without this work experience, but that the institution is looking to see whether they can propose alternative exercises or postpone internships.

RTL Nieuws itself asked work experience student Meri Cools to postpone an internship there due to the risk of infection, while the internship organisation Integrand said that 10% of placements have been taken offline.

Meanwhile, organisations offering online courses for students have seen a huge bump in demand. StuDocu, based in Amsterdam, told that it has seen a 100% increase in usage in Milan, where schools and universities have closed, and a demand for lecture notes has doubled.

For those students, however, looking to work in the construction sector and electrical engineering, there are few problems with getting work experience. Van Riel said that they are in top demand – although ‘tomorrow could be another story.’

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