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Sunnuntaisuomalainen: 1 in 10 works for free

More than one in ten labour market participants in Finland works for free, according to the Välisuomen media supplement Sunnuntaisuomalainen. An organisation working to improve trainees’ treatment says that employers take advantage of interns and trainees.

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Image: Antti Kolppo / Yle

A new report from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy says that interns receiving a labour market subsidy from the Social Insurance Institution, Kela, are in the weakest position in the labour market.

The law stipulates that subsidised traineeships should lead to permanent employment, but Kari Laurila, chair of the trainees and interns association, says that is often not the case. In extreme cases, some companies rely on free or cheap intern labour. The situation is particularly poor in the service sector.

At least 115,000 trainees and interns are working in Finland. If those undertaking compulsory work experience as part of their studies are included, the number reaches 400,000—13 percent of the total work force.

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