Hey. Today I would like to talk about paying the interns. Syed Saddiq recently expressed the need for regulating paid internships. Like many others, I have conflicting views on this matter. In my view, it should primarily hinge on the individual companies and the workload assigned to interns. However, please read on for further insights.
What Is Internship?
First and foremost, it’s essential to grasp the definition of an internship. Oxford Languages defines an internship as a student or trainee working within an organisation, sometimes without compensation, to acquire practical experience or meet qualification requirements.
The Students Need the Intership, Not the Other Way Around
So obviously, interns are not in the position to demand because they are the ones who NEED the internship to GAIN EXPERIENCE or at least, to GRADUATE. Why would those in need be demanding? Macam tak sedar diri je? Do these interns expect companies to train them comprehensively and provide compensation for acquiring knowledge that they will later apply in other companies? In that case, the interns should ask the higher learning institutions to pay them for studying at their colleges or universities.
Paid Internship as an Added Value
Paying the interns should not be compulsory but only as an added value. It’s unsurprising for big companies to offer a lovely sum of money to the interns. Some of the logical reasons are that they REQUIRE THE EXTRA HELP for their current employees to pursue the organisational goals. Additionally, given that these large corporations are generating profits, they could potentially offer outstanding interns permanent positions once they finish their education. With that, they don’t have to spend more to find new employees and train them. It’s kind of a win-win situation, right?
Of Course, There Are Cheapskates Employers
I can’t deny that indeed there are companies, especially the small new ones, aim to take advantage getting free or low paid interns to get the companies moving forward while minimising their expenses. No kidding, I’ve seen so many ads. They only have few permanent employees and they want to hire interns for EVERY DEPARTMENT by paying around RM400 a month. Instead of providing brief introduction or experience to the interns, the interns have to do so many things as if they’re getting the same amount of salary with the permanent employees.
In my opinion, it’s going to be difficult for the policy makers to create a law concerning paying the interns. It’s going to be unfair to either the employers or the interns. Companies can’t be burden with the added expenses. Interns can also potentially cause damages. On the other hand, the employers also must not bully those interns. But probably the policy makers can create some kind of guidelines on the hours of work for interns (probably shorter working hours), the limitations on the job scope, and requiring allowances/salaries for internship that require the interns to work like any other full-time employees.
Can it or can it not be done? We’ll just have to wait and see. Thanks for reading!