Intern Labor in China

In: Rural China
Jenny ChanDepartment of Applied Social Sciences Hong Kong Polytechnic University,

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Internships have become integral to the development of vocational education in China. This article looks into the quasi-employment arrangements of student interns, who occupy an ambiguous space between being a student and being a worker at the point of production. Some employers recruit interns on their own, while others secure a supply of student labor through coordinated support of provincial and lower-level governments that prioritize investments, as well as through subcontracting services of private labor agencies. The incorporation of teachers into corporate management can strengthen control over students during their internships. While interns are required to do the same work as other employees, their unpaid or underpaid working experiences testify that intern labor is devalued. Exposés of abuses, such as using child labor in the guise of interns, have pressured the Chinese state and companies to eventually take remedial action. Reclaiming student workers’ educational and labor rights in the growing intern economy, however, remains contested.

学生实习已经成为中国职业教育发展的重要组成部分。本文旨在探讨实习生面对的特殊雇佣关系,了解他们的工作处境,就是在劳动过程中占据了一个介于学生和工人之间的模糊位置。目前企业一般自行招募实习生,或通过地方政府和私人的中介机构进行大规模动员。校企合作之下,老师的介入加强了实习过程中对学生的劳动控制。当这些实习生被要求和其他工人一样工作时,他们的薪酬和福利待遇却往往低于一般工人,甚至是无酬的。近年来,以实习之名而使用童工为实的事件曝光以后,政府官员和剬司主管被迫采用了一些应对措施。然而,在快速发展的“实习经济”中,要实现实习劳工的基本教育和劳动权利仍是困难重重。 (This article is in English.)

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