Internship discrimination among Utrecht MBO students | NOS

It has been objectively established for the first time that MBO students with a migration background are discriminated against when finding an internship. The Verwey Jonker Institute tested in practice who was and was not invited for internships.

About a quarter of Utrecht MBO students tell the researchers that they have experienced or suspect discrimination when seeking an internship. During the internship, one in eight students experiences discrimination. This mainly concerns discrimination based on education level, the country where their parents or grandparents were born, religion, clothing, appearance and skin color.

Practical tests

The institute carried out the research on behalf of the municipality of Utrecht and MBO institutions in that city. A total of 577 applications were sent to 288 vacancies. More than 600 Utrecht students also completed a questionnaire.

Mehmet Day, researcher at the Verwey Jonker Institute, calls the research special. “It is the first time that both objective and perceived discrimination have been examined simultaneously, in the local context of internship discrimination”.

Prefer women

Internship discrimination is particularly prevalent among ICT companies. MBO students with an Islamic background find it more difficult to find an internship there than other students. There is no discrimination in health and welfare. Students whose CVs show that they are Muslims are even more likely to be preferred. Women are also more likely to have an advantage.

According to the researchers, the tests show unequivocally that female students are more likely to have a positive response than male students. This is especially true for the construction and engineering sector. Legally allowing positive discrimination in those sectors apparently has an effect there.

Discrimination complaint often not recognized

It was already known from previous research that teachers and internship supervisors often have difficulty recognizing internship discrimination. They wonder whether there really is discrimination.

This question was also addressed in the group discussions that were held with education professionals, employers and policymakers. They suggested that it would be good to better prepare students for job interviews and to make them more resilient.

“Reducing internship discrimination requires greater awareness and a sense of urgency among education professionals, employers and policy makers to really drive change,” the study said.

Making employers aware

According to Verwey Jonker, internship supervisors and employers must be made more aware that discrimination occurs. It is expected that it will help if employers start using standard forms when selecting trainees, without questions about personal data. Instead, students should be asked questions about their learning needs. The employer can indicate which competencies are important for the internship.

One way of demonstrating wrongdoing would be practical tests. Not by the school, but by an independent party, for example an anti-discrimination facility (ADV). It then performs this periodically.

Supporting students

Students indicate that they often receive too little help when they have a complaint. They don’t know who to turn to. Moreover, they often notice that it is difficult for a teacher to approach an employer.

He wants to maintain a good relationship with the training company, because of the shortage of internships. A confidential counselor at the study program could support the students with complaints about discrimination.

The Utrecht alderman Verschuure is shocked by the results. “With this research and the recommendations, we can now tackle internship discrimination in a much more targeted way and at the same time guide and support students,” said the alderman.

Internship discrimination among Utrecht MBO students | NOS
Source link Internship discrimination among Utrecht MBO students | NOS

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