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Over half of young interns feel 'undervalued' - survey

A survey of young people on college campuses finds that 53 per cent of interns felt undervalued during work placements.

Many interns complain of being asked to do menial tasks like paperwork while on work placements.
Many interns complain of being asked to do menial tasks like paperwork while on work placements.
Image: cdsessums via Flickr

OVER HALF of young interns complain of feeling “undervalued” in at least one placement, according to a survey of college students.

The survey, involving 212 students and carried out over three days last month, found that while 86 per cent had completed an internship or were planning to do so, a majority had been disappointed at their experiences.

Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone, who commissioned the survey, said the results were “surprising”.

“Internships are a wonderful tool for allowing talented young graduates from a variety of fields to gain exposure to fields such as PR, public affairs, politics, journalism and a variety of jobs,” Noone said.

“However, as this survey underlines, many interns feel let down and undervalued during internships and placements. We need to work on improving this situation.”

Noone has urged the government to adopt an ‘internship charter’ which she says should be a prerequisite for offering placements through the JobBridge programme.

“We need to make sure that any internship position has not been previously advertised as a paid position,” Noone argued, “and if people spot breaches, that these breaches are reported in confidence.”

Read: Plans to extend JobBridge to people with disabilities confirmed

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Gavan Reilly

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