Student associations are calling on the government to take measures to fund internships, particularly in the areas of education, health and social work.
“It would change everything for us, we would feel more recognized in the eyes of the government for the work we do in our internships,” says Cloé Jacques, a speech therapy student at the University of Montreal.
To address the labor shortage, these students need to be virtually autonomous from the start, launching them into their future careers overnight.
She regrets that the mandatory final internship of her school career, which includes 350 hours of work, is not paid.
“We take on tasks that are reserved for speech therapists, such as assessment, implementation of intervention plans and speech therapy,” she explains.
Although the internship itself is not paid, students are eligible for the scholarship to support the interns’ persistence and success. Cloé Jacque explains that this scholarship only covers tuition fees.
“For the government to succeed in training and retaining health and education workers, it must recognize their work from the start, from internships,” she says. “It will help alleviate the labor shortage.”