These last years we have seen young people miss out on key events that were to shape their lives. What they need now as they enter the labour market is to be taken seriously. Yet employers continue to minimise their worth by making them work for free.
This year has to be the year that we end unpaid internships and traineeships in Europe.
This February, the European Parliament will vote on a resolution on Empowering European Youth in the context of the European Year of Youth and our society post-covid. Sign our petition and let the Members of the European Parliament know that the era of working for experience is over. We need to ban unpaid internships!
Increasingly we see that young people are expected to work for free to get enough work experience before they are eligible for an entry-level job. And with the normalisation of this practice, employers are becoming more and more dependent on this type of free labour.
Meanwhile, young people are exploited by working for free, without getting any remuneration for their labour, which denies their value and ambitions.
Unpaid internships are fundamentally unjust as they deny the equal opportunity to acquire work experience across all sectors. Their lack of security leads to financial stress with many interns forced either to find a second job, or to accept mounting debts, in the face of society’s increasing housing costs. Interns from a wealthy background avoid this and so are granted another unfair advantage in the labour market.
Young people who do not have the privilege of financial security, parental support or cheap housing cannot take up unpaid internships, making it even harder to begin their working life.
Education can help create equality, but if the first step after your degree is an unpaid internship, we maintain existing inequalities in our society. The COVID pandemic has already forced young people to put their lives on hold. The least we can do is to ensure young people start their lives in the labour market not already in debt.
It’s time to put an end to this. Sign this petition to demand a legal framework to ban unpaid internships, traineeships and apprenticeships in order to end exploitative practises for young professionals.
Kim van Sparrentak (NL)
Alviina Alametsä (FI)
Ciarán Cuffe (IE)
Rosa D'Amato (IT)
Eleonora Evi (IT)
Sara Matthieu (BE)
Tilly Metz (LU)
Niklas Nienaß (DE)
Kira Peter-Hansen (DK)
Diana Riba i Giner (ES)
Mounir Satouri (FR)
Sylwia Spurek (PL)
Monika Vana (AT)
Greens/EFA Members of the European Parliament
in cooperation with
📸Visual: Fair Internship Initiative