THE GROWING popularity of work experience programmes for university students has prompted the Japanese ministry of education to commission a panel of advisers to draw up detailed guidelines for students, universities and companies participating in student internships.
The ministry had already called for an internship model to which all universities and colleges would adhere. The model will mean employers and universities agree in advance about details of work placements including the length of the internship, the amount of compensation paid to students and the sort of accident insurance cover which should be provided.
Ministry figures show that more than 100 universities and colleges are offering work experience programmes and that most internships involve students from engineering and business-based faculties. The ministry plans also include the creation of a directory to provide information about companies willing to offer internships.
The guidelines will replace the wide range of internship programmes with a more uniform programme that will eliminate many existing problems. The use of student interns as no- or low-pay workers and the lack of insurance cover for participating students are the two most common criticisms.