Teenagers face discrimination and exploitation in the working sphere.
I find that students have access only to jobs which are seen as being at the lower level whereas the more challenging are out of their reach, not because they demand skills beyond students but are simply seen as ‘too good for them.’ By this I mean how many jobs are flogged off as unpaid internships with the most absurd being labelled part-time internships for students. This is a ridiculous concept because it allows companies to employ people for free when they should be paying them. For what reason are they not being paid? Internships are acceptable if the employee is being trained at the same time so has a reduced output compared to other workers. However, many internships adopt the label purely because they want to reduce their own costs by hiring free labour. Yet they are not regulated because rather than being seen as doing something immoral, they are celebrated as aiding students and recent graduates by developing their ‘experience.’ This does not mean internships are all bad but the ones who pose as internships while merely being unpaid work are sly, exploitative and just despicable.
What can be done about this? Well this problem is rife in the UK and the USA as I recently learnt so the governments of each country really do need to enforce strict punishments for companies who are trying to gain free labour. The UK government website describes how employees can complain if they feel they are being exploited, it would be interesting to know how many are actually reported and investigated. Companies need to realise that they simply cannot get away with paying people nothing but at the moment they feel they can as no one is really doing anything to stop them. Some advertised vacancies simply make me laugh, a social media internship for students listed as unpaid when it is likely that the students would be the ones teaching the company about how to use social media effectively.
So dear companies, stop being a selfish, greedy and stingy bunch, pay us.