Scholarships and practices. They are nothing new, have always existed as one of the means through which young students and recent graduates have their first contact with the working world. In the past, (not as distant as it may seem) these internships were a period of varying duration, always temporal, whose main aim was focus on training the trainee, helping him or her to gain experience and implementing all the knowledge acquired during the academic process. Nowadays, with rampant unemployment, a lack of productivity and the need of companies to save costs have condemned them to become in lids jobs.

Precisely, in order to provide us with certain rights and ensure quality internships, Brussels has decided to promote a series of measures in the framework of the European Union, among which are included news to facilitate the possibility of students to gain work experience in safe and fair conditions. Now are the member states the ones who must ensure their compliance and implementation within the national territory, adapting the current legislation if necessary.

Even so, the echoes of occupational fraud linked to this training tool are the daily bread.

According to data provided by the European Commission, one of every three placements is poor, being used as a way to get work for free or, in the best, for a very low salary, using the sizars as workers. It is a corrupt practice, it is clear, despite being unfortunately quite widespread among companies and corroborated by court rulings.

Then, what control mechanisms exist to prevent occupational fraud like this? The experts say that these abuses will only be avoided in strict compliance with the current regulations. The problem occurs when the deal is made outside the university, bilaterally between company and student, something as common as dangerous.

The reality is that there is no protocol which ensures that there are no scholars covering the position of a worker fraudulently. The only way to detect it is through the intern, being him or herself who denounce the company, something as unusual as hypothetical and unexpected.

Very few interns choose to report their situation, mainly because it is always difficult to deal with this type of process and the profitability that comes from doing so is very low.

This is the reason why it has already been established this kind of philosophy, in which young people understand that are going to be exploited, that nobody  will pay us, but at least we will get work experience, and perhaps, in the best distant and unreachable case, the company that has taken advantage of us will be acquiescent, and in a not too distant future, will hire us. Welcome to the world of the perpetual scholars.

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