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Cours De Cultures De Communication (document en anglais)

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Par   •  9 Avril 2014  •  448 Mots (2 Pages)  •  818 Vues

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The pressure to get experience on their CV leads students not only to work for free in internships, but to pay for the privilege... if they can afford it.

About a decade ago the word internships was barely used in a British context. There was work experience, but that was something you did for a couple of weeks while you were at school. Today, internships are both ubiquitous and highly contentious. There are campaigns denouncing the ethics of requiring young people already saddled with thousands of pounds of debt from their degree studies to do unpaid work, and debate over the morality of a system that allows those from well-to-do families to exploit their connections and secure opportunities that give them even greater advantage over those from humbler backgrounds.

Yet with competition for graduate jobs more intense than ever — last week a survey showed applications were likely to be up by a third this year — internships are still widely accepted as crucial for those seeking the best positions after university. Demand shows no sign of dropping — and now it seems increasingly that the pressure to bag a career-boosting placement is leading students not just to work for free, but to pay for the privilege.

Firms offering to arrange internships abroad for a fee, usually in China or Australia, are growing in size and number. One, CRCC Asia, has increased the number of placements it offers in Beijing and Shanghai, in areas including law and green technology, fivefold in three years.

This year, 3,600 students applied for its one or two month internships, easily filling the 1,300 places. It expects to expand further next year and possibly start offering opportunities in Hong Kong. Students, who are assessed for suitability, pay £1,495 for a month in Beijing and £100 more for Shanghai. As well as a fee for arranging the placement, the figure includes accommodation, a visa and other extras. But students must cover their flights and living costs while in China, separately.

The firm's London director, Edward Hoiroyd Pearce, says employers in the UK are particularly impressed by students who can offer insights into working in China given its importance as a fast-growing economy. Already concerned that unpaid internships put poor students at a disadvantage, critics say asking students to spend large sums for such opportunities harms social mobility even more.

"Employers have been looking for more than just the basic degree for some time, and the recession accelerated that process," says Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research (HRF). "In the past work experience was a 'nice to have'. Now it has, in effect, become a pre-requisite."

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