MBO interns less likely than college students to be paid

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Some 60% of trade school students are not paid while on internships, according to research by ResearchNed and the CBS, which was commissioned by the cabinet.

Some 75% of hbo college students are paid while on work experience programmes, as are 65% of university students. But only 41% of MBO college students get any form of compensation. MBO students who do get paid also earn less than college and university students.

Much, however, depends on the sector they are working in. Some 77% of students at teacher training colleges are not paid anything, which education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf describes as “inexplicable”, particularly given the ongoing shortage of qualified staff.

GroenLinks-PvdA parliamentarian Mikal Tseggai is now drawing up legislation that will require employers to compensate trainees for their time on the job. She argues that not being paid is not only bad for their mental health, but means they have to do other jobs to pay their bills. 

Without compensation, an internship becomes a privilege that not everyone can afford, she said. 

Dijkgraaf said in response that “appropriate compensation” is part of a positive first experience in the jobs market. “Unfortunately, this research shows this is far from the case everywhere,” he said. 

Currently, pay for interns is regulated via sector or company pay and conditions agreements. Pay for interns is explicitly mentioned in just 10% of the 681 pay and conditions deals looked at by the researchers. 

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