Trade schools “fail students who report discrimination”


Trade schools are still failing students who experience discrimination during the work placement phase of their training, a report quoted by has shown.

The Verwey-Jonker Instituut talked to 41 trade school (MBO) students, 14 of whom said they had experienced discrimination on the work floor.

In total, 11 students had reported incidents of discrimination but said they had not been given the support they needed, prompting some to consider leaving the work placement or give up the training altogether.

Senior researcher Suzan de Winter-Koçak said education professionals are ‘woefully unable” to handle cases of discrimination properly. Mentors, coaches and teachers often put the blame on the students themselves, the research showed, or tell them to “grin and bear it””, she found.

“To put it bluntly, the way they go about it often causes more pain to students than the discrimination itself,” she told

Student union JOB MBO said the lack of a proper response is typical. “Students don’t report discrimination because their experience is that their coach sides with the employer,” a spokesperson said.

Education professionals need training to deal with the problem, De Winter-Koçak said. Without action, the goals included in the MBO Stagepact 2023-2027, put together by schools, unions and employers’ organisations, will not be met.

The MBO Council admitted that the pact, which contains a paragraph on discrimination against interns, does not contain concrete plans to offer more training. .

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