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新一代万年实习生

2021-05-10

阅读与作文(英语初中版) 2021年4期
关键词:实习期实习生年轻人

Young workers have borne the brunt of economic hardship in the labour market since the Great Recession.

The most recent 2014 unemployment rates for under-25s in Europe and the U.S. shows a whopping 54% unemployment rate for those under 25 in Spain, 43% in Italy, nearly 24% in France, 18% in the UK and 12% in the U.S.

Though these figures have in some cases improved in the last few years, persistent high unemployment has led more and more new graduates to internships as a way to get a foot in the door at companies around the globe. And in some cases, long-term internships both during and after university have become the main way to get into the workforce as a young professional. But, more concerning to some is that too many young people are moving from one internship to the next, especially in Europe. They dont secure a regular full-time job—and sometimes arent paid adequately—for years.

Even in a country like France, where what the French call stages have been a common hurdle to accessing the job market for decades, the number of internships shot up from 600,000 in 2006 to 1.6 million in 2012, according to French government statistics.

Working for Free

What is even more worrying for young workers is that this job experience is often pro bono: a 2013 EU report found that 59% of 18- to 35-year-olds across 27 EU member states hadnt received any financial compensation for their most recent internship.

The U.S. has also seen a rise in unpaid internships over the past decade, according to Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation. He estimates up to half of these are unpaid, though unlike in Europe many are part of university curricula or organised summer programmes for those still in the midst of their studies. However, critics contend that theres almost no way to really know how big the issue is in the U.S. And according to a YouGov 2014 poll, interns in the UK dont fare much better than their U.S. counterparts. Some 26% of UK companies pay either nothing or only expenses for interns, typically about £500 ($744).

Taking Advantage

Increasingly, young people in both the U.S. and across Europe are feeling frustrated with the status quo.

Christina Isnardi did four unpaid internships for academic credit while a student at New York University. In one instance, she paid $1,200 to NYU to intern in the camera department on a production set. In reality she was little more than a gofer.

“I definitely didnt need a college degree to do it; an 8-year-old could have,” she said.

Perlins research on internships found that more than 75% of university students in the U.S. did at least one internship during their schooling. And anecdotally, there are increasing reports of recent graduates taking on similar internships after commencement, a practice that is commonplace in Europe, not just for a first job experience, but often several internships in a row, well past graduation.

Nuno Loureiros experience exemplifies this. He left Portugal for Brussels in 2008 with a degree in International Relations. He landed an unpaid internship at the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the EU, and on one occasion even replaced the official representative in negotiations with other member states.

“In retrospect, I think I should have been paid, but at the time I did it willingly because it was experience,” he said. He went on to do six more internships over three years, only one of which was paid. “Companies and NGOs are definitely taking advantage of this job market, which is completely saturated with highly-qualified and highly motivated young people,” he said.

Towards Quality Internships

Advocacy groups have successfully raised public awareness about the plight of interns in both North America and Europe. In 2014, more than 10 such groups formed the International Coalition for Fair Internships to further heighten the visibility of the actions of individual associations in different countries.

Intense grassroots action in France culminated in the passage of a ground-breaking law in 2014 to improve conditions for the countrys hundreds of thousands of stagiaires. It includes measures like setting a limit of six months on the majority of internships and raising the monthly indemnity from around 400 euros ($456) per month to just over 500 euros ($570).

The European Union has also moved to address the increase in questionable internships across Europe by adopting a Quality Framework on Traineeships in March 2014. The framework calls on EU member states to ensure their national laws guarantee internships are “high-quality work experience under safe and fair conditions”. The aim is to improve internship transparency and quality through such measures as requiring internships be based on a written agreement covering learning content and working conditions.

Whats Next?

Young people are also pushing back. Isnardi, the NYU student, who now works at a labour and employment law firm, successfully petitioned NYU in 2014 to remove unpaid internships that dont comply with U.S. Department of Labor guidelines from its career-services site. She is also currently lobbying members of Congress to extend civil rights protections to unpaid interns.

Loureiro founded the Brussels Interns NGO (B!ngo) to promote quality internships. “Civil society and the private sector are mobilizing to change the situation,” he said.

Pierre-Julien Bosser, who did four internships over two years, founded InternsGoPro with two other former interns to encourage companies to offer meaningful paid internships by providing certifications for those that do.

“Companies now know that unpaid internships equal bad press, so what they do is they pay them a little, say, 200 euros ($228) a month, and in the end the young people suffer from the same economic insecurity,” he said.

Perlin said in an email that the rise of the intern economy wont be halted, let alone reversed, without something bigger than a better economy. “The only thing that will make a real difference is a major cultural shift, perhaps just starting, that restores the link between a hard days work and a fair wage, including for young people,” he said.

自經济大衰退以来,年轻工作者们已饱受经济困难对劳动力市场的冲击。

最新的2014年欧洲和美国25岁以下青年失业率数据显示,西班牙的失业率高达54%,意大利是43%,法国接近24%,英国是18%,美国是12%。

虽然在过去几年里,这些数值在某些情况下有所下降,但持续的高失业率让全球越来越多的毕业生把实习作为进入企业的敲门砖。在一些情况下,毕业前后的长时间实习成为了年轻的专业人才迈进职场的主要方式。但让一些人担忧的是,很多年轻人做完一份实习工作又接着做另一份实习工作,这种情况在欧洲尤为显著。他们没有稳定的全职工作——有时候甚至拿不到足额的薪水——连续好几年都是如此。

即便是在法国这样的国家,几十年来,实习期也是通往职场的普遍障碍。法国政府的统计数据显示,2006至2012年间,实习生人数由60万上升到160万。

无偿工作

更令人为年轻工作者担忧的是,这种实习工作往往是无偿的:欧盟2013年的一份报告显示,在27个欧盟成员国里,有59%的18至35岁的年轻人在最近的一份实习工作中没有获得任何经济补偿。

《实习国度》的作者罗斯·佩林认为,在过去的十年里,美国无偿实习的人越来越多。他估算多达一半的实习生没有拿到酬劳,虽然与欧洲不同的是,美国的实习生很多都是在校学生,实习是大学课程的一部分,或是学校组织的暑期项目。然而,评论家认为几乎没有办法能够真正获知美国的无偿实习问题有多严重。英国的“你来统治”民调机构2014年的民意调查显示,英国实习生的境况并不比美国的乐观。英国大约有26%的公司要么没有支付任何报酬给实习生们,要么只支付补贴,一般是500英镑左右(744美元)。

占尽便宜

美国和整个欧洲的年轻人都愈发地为这种现状感到灰心丧气。

克里斯蒂娜·伊斯纳迪还是纽约大学的一名学生时,为了修够学分,做过四份无偿实习工作。有一次是在一个片场的摄影部实习,她付了1200美元给学校才得到这个职位。而实际上她的工作跟勤杂工差不多。

她说:“这份工作绝对不需要大学学历;一个八岁的孩子都能做。”

佩林关于实习工作的调查发现,美国超过75%的大学生在校期间至少做过一份实习工作。还有传闻说,近年来欧洲有个普遍现象,毕业后像毕业前一样参加实习的大学生越来越多,不仅仅是为了赚履历的头份工作,往往在毕业后很久,他们接二连三换的工作都是实习。

努诺·洛雷罗的经历就是个很典型的例子。2008年他带着国际关系专业的学位离开葡萄牙,前往比利时布鲁塞尔。他在葡萄牙常驻欧盟代表处获得了一个无酬的实习岗位,有一次甚至代替一位正式代表参与了多成员国谈判。

“回过头来想一想,我觉得我本该得到薪水的,但当时为了阅历我是心甘情愿的。”洛雷罗说。在接下来三年多的时间里,他又做了另外六份实习工作,其中只有一份是有薪酬的。他说:“如今劳动力市场上有太多兼具实力与积极性的年轻人,企业和非政府组织无疑是利用了这一现况占尽便宜。”

推进优质实习

一些宣传团体成功地引起了公众的注意,关注北美和欧洲实习生所面临的困境。2014年,超过10个宣传团体组成了国际公平实习联盟,致力帮助各国不同组织进一步提高其行动的受关注度。

2014年,为了改善成千上万实习生的工作条件,法国出台了开创性的法律,激烈的草根抗争行动也随之达到了顶峰。出台的措施包括给大部分实习岗位设定最长六个月的期限,把每月的补贴额度从400欧元(456美元)左右提高到500欧元(570美元)以上。

欧盟也于2014年3月采用了一个培训生质量体系,准备应对欧洲可疑实习岗位增加的问题。该体系号召欧盟成员国确保他们国家的法律能保证实习工作是“在安全和公平环境下的高质量工作经历”。目标是通过一些措施来提高实习工作的监管透明度和质量,例如要求实习工作须签订书面协议,来保障培训内容和工作环境。

展望未来

年轻人也在抗争。目前就职于一家劳务与就业法律事务所的纽约大学毕业生伊斯纳迪于2014年成功请愿纽约大学废止无偿实习期。无偿实习期与美国劳工局就业服务网站上的指导方针相抵触。目前她还在游说国会议员扩展民权以保障无酬实习生的权益。

洛雷罗成立了布鲁塞尔实习生的非政府组织(名为B!ngo)来倡导优质实习。他说:“民间团体和私营部门正在动员大家改变现状。”

皮埃尔·于连·博赛在两年多的时间里做过四份实习工作,他和另外两位曾经同是实习生的朋友一起成立了“实习生转正”组织,号召企业提供有意义的有偿实习岗位,并给这样的企业颁发证书,以资鼓励。

博赛说:“企业现在知道无酬实习是严重的压迫,所以他们转而支付一点点报酬,比如一个月200欧元(228美元),最终年轻人还是一样遭受经济无保障之苦。”

佩林在邮件里说到,这股“实习生经济”的热潮不会停止,更不可能逆转过来,除非有比经济好转更大的变革发生。他说:“唯有一次重大的文化变迁才能带来真正的改变,才能恢复辛苦的工作和公平的薪水之间的关联,对象包括初入职场的年轻人。这次变迁大概才刚刚开始。”

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