Human resource management
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What is Internship
One interesting and controversial topic nowadays is internships. Several people argue whether they are fair or not and there is a great deal of different arguments and points of view. Evidence indicates that internships have more flaws than virtues, and these flaws determine the arguments that demonstrate that they are not fair whatsoever. There is a significant problem: countless students cannot afford this job option, creating an unfair disadvantage for those scholars with financial difficulties.
The number of undergraduates in need of an income source to pay for their living expenses and their college tuition is constantly increasing. In brief, the more difficulties the students have financially, the less positions they can afford to apply for. In contrast, scholars with financial commodities can access a vast number of options and find the best fitted placement to fulfill their interests. Furthermore, unpaid internships are merely a simulation of a real job, losing the seriousness and responsibility the last one usually possesses. In some cases, employers utilize internships as an opportunity to exploit a free labor source instead of teaching the basics of the professional world to his or her interns. These drawbacks are making impossible for apprentices to acquire full benefits from this opportunity, turning the position in only a way to increase their resume. The lack of rights and voice for trainees is another major flaw. Students do not have proper protection against discrimination and harassment, and they do not receive the benefits that jobs usually offer. Even though the students are the most affected by these abundant flaws, they are not alone, the economy is also in jeopardy. Interns create a surplus in the job market, making more difficult to qualified workers to fill positions that, for the reason that apprentices are cheaper, are already filled.
Issues of Internship for Students
The debt from unpaid loans and the high cost of living are making the source of income mandatory for most students. This represents an essential problem, for it limits how many scholars can truly afford an internship. If to study, a part-time job or in some cases a full-time job is needed, the idea of an internship is outrageous, since there is no additional time left in the day to satisfy these three activities. Occasionally these positions pay, however, this only implies that the ones that do not pay are not an option for students with financial difficulties. In short, for an average student an internship is not affordable. Only the advanced programs that pay for the student ‘s service or work are suitable for those that come from a low income family. In those privileged cases, is also known that the payment barely covers the essential needs of the student, who often faces a precarious economic situation with the illusion and promises of receiving relevant records into his or her resume.
Opposing the problem internships present to poor students, there is a number of unfair benefits to those who can afford any placement no matter their opportunity cost. The unpaid internship difficulty is no longer an issue for this group of students, creating an unfair advantage over those who cannot afford almost any unpaid placement. This suggests that, in most of the cases, the only undergraduates that can achieve the goal of completing the internship program are the ones with a higher financial status, as the less privileged or poor feel forced to abandon it by evident economic reasons. As a result, wealthier students can obtain a denser resume at the culmination of their career, allowing them to access higher paid jobs. Consequently, a cycle is created, where the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer, corrupting the principle of competence, where the fittest, not the richer, should have greater success in his or her career.
In addition, one of the most significant flaw is the existence of unpaid internships. When preparing for a real work position, a student must receive proper training and cope with complicated tasks as if they were permanent workers. Yet, all these responsibilities are ignored in as unpaid working position, as the seriousness is lost. Thus, unpaid positions become merely simulations of what a real work is, and a simulation is not enough to prepare future workers. Unpaid interns do not learn all they need to start working, making less efficient their readiness to face a real job when they graduate.
Another issue to consider, is the selfish usage of trainees by employers. The free or low cost peculiarity of internship is very attractive to all business and companies. Even if an apprentice creates revenue for the company, he or she does not receive whatever form of rewards, would it be financially or not. Employers have an enormous leverage over interns, since the last group is almost obligated to complete the internship in order to obtain work training and to start working in the near future. This leverage unbalances the relationship between employer and employee, and allows employers to utilize employees as they want. Since this is a form of exploitation, it violates the human rights. No student should allow been exploited no matter the situation, and if they were, this will only evidence the unfairness of the internship in question.
Furthermore, even if the final purpose of an internship is to introduce students into the working world, this goal is not always met. The competencies the student should met after the internship are often not achieved, wasting the time and effort invested. Only for the reason that apprentices are generally younger, that does not imply that their time worth less, and this problem affect directly the possibility to find a job after graduation. Also, several trainees accept these poor formation simply for the reason that they will receive a slight improvement in their resume. If these placements are occupied for the wrong reasons, the new working class will be less experienced and prepared, decreasing the productivity of the entire country.
Life of Internships
The life of trainees in the workspace can be complex and dangerous. The benefits and legal rights that permanent workers have, are not extended to apprentices. In other words, interns are not protected against discrimination, harassment or accident in the workplace. “For example, unpaid interns are not protected by workplace and discrimination statutes such as the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.” (Durrant). This situates interns in a detrimental situation, without support of any type from the company nor the college where they are taking classes. Similarly, students do not have an appreciated opinion or credibility inside the work’s hierarchy, making their viewpoints and opinion as insignificant and unnecessary. If trainees are treated this way, it is difficult to expect that they develop the skills necessary to solve problems on their own, and to express their concerns to improve the workplace environment.
Finally, internships are not only unfair to students, the economy is affected as well. The most affected section is the job market, where the balance between job demand and job supply is altered. As mentioned, the low cost of interns creates a working class willing to sacrifice their pay for the experience acquired. Therefore, an enormous increase in the job demand can be appreciated, reducing the chances of every worker searching for a job. As a result, the unemployment rate increases and the standard of living of the society declines drastically. Workers with experience and abundant skills cannot compete with this low cost working class, an entire life of effort is reduced to nothing only for the reason that another person is willing to fill their position and work for less or nothing. “In this way, unpaid interns are like illegal immigrants.” (Kamenetz 585). This situation affects several families and can even turn them into homeless families, perturbing the future of countless children.
In summarize, the disadvantages of internships are vast. They are infructuous for undergraduates in countless cases, and they also have greater benefits for wealthier scholars. This gap between poor and rich contributes to the increasing inequality already present nowadays in the society. Internships are not fair to students, and this problem affects millions of undergraduates in the United States and all over the world. Moreover, the economy experiences a drastic impact, affecting its stability and wealth. All these arguments corroborate why internships are unfair, not only for students, but also for the entire society.