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The eco brief. Covid-19: free fall of internships in companies


An intern at work. Illustrative photo. (CLAUDE PRIGENT / MAXPPP)

The drop in internship offers reached precisely 22% over one year according to Dares, the statistical service of the Ministry of Labor. 225,000 internship entries were recorded last year against nearly 290,000 in 2019, while the figures have been increasing for at least two years. The dynamic was broken from the first confinement in the spring of last year, companies hesitating to recruit interns in the face of many uncertainties related to the activity and the economy.

Those under 20 are the most affected (less 40% of internship entries last year), which is a real problem for the validation of diplomas. The impact is more limited for 21-25 year olds, for a very simple reason: they are more operational and their skills are an asset for companies.

Almost all sectors are affected, with the notable exception of health and social work. This trend is linked to the context: the number of internships in these two branches increased last year by 16%, while the greatest decline was in the hotel and restaurant industry and retail.

The recruitment of interns is essentially the responsibility of companies. What the State can do is help, financial aid for recruitment or tax measures. Aid for the hiring of young people is extended until the end of May, the measures for work-study and apprenticeship until December 31. With the youth, we touch an ultra-sensitive point of the effects of the crisis and the figures of the Ministry of Labor appear as an additional marker of the urgency of the situation. Every day we see a little more how much youth is paying a heavy price for the crisis.

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