This is how political internship discrimination wants to fix

What happened?

Why is this campaign here now?

Suppose you have a Moroccan surname, you study and look for an internship. Thats why you send a cover letter to a number of companies. You dont get an answer or just a very short rejection. Then you decide to send the same letter with a Dutch-sounding name to a few companies. Now you get an extensive response back and manage to find a place much better.

Or say: youre looking for an internship as a Muslim wearing a headscarf. You can come to talk, but only get the place if you take off your headscarf at work.

Both really happened examples of internship discrimination. For example, for young people with a migration background or a disability it is sometimes extra difficult to find an internship because they face discrimination.

The extent to which this problem is has been investigated by asking almost 3000 students and students. In this, 44 percent of Moroccan-Dutch young people say that they think they have been discriminated against in finding an internship. Nine percent of all young people think they work below their level through discrimination. And three percent even stopped training because of internship discrimination.

Two years ago, the Ministry of Education itself did research. It also came out that internship discrimination gives young people with a migration background a backlog. For example, 68 percent of students without a migration background manage to fix an internship at once. For young people with a migration background, this is 48 percent, a difference of 20 percent.

And the problem is probably even bigger, because many students who face discrimination do not report it.

What can you do if you have to deal with internship discrimination?

If you think youre dealing with internship discrimination, its smart to tell me first in school. In addition, MBO students can report to the SBB. This is an organization where MBO schools and companies work together to help as many students as possible to do an internship.

The SBB is investigating your report. If there is indeed evidence of discrimination, the SBB can ensure that the company can no longer have trainees. They also help you find a replacement spot.

The campaign that starts education minister Van Engelshoven, is in line with that. There is a special site,, where MBO students can find information, talk about discrimination and report their problem.

Who finds what?

Through this campaign, education minister Van Engelshoven gives extra attention to internship discrimination. She calls it unacceptable that its still a problem. โ€œYoure crapping a dream. You give young people the feeling that there is no place for them in society.โ€

The Minister has been looking for solutions for a few years now. Traineeship companies have already received additional training to prevent discrimination and in Amsterdam and Rotterdam there is a special traineeship broker who mediates between companies and students.


the coming years there will be an experiment in which schools choose an internship without the student having to apply.

Minister Van Engelshoven also thinks it is important that there is a diversity coach in schools: someone to go to if you suffer from discrimination. This person can also help with searching for a spot and writing your application letter.

Not everyone agrees with that last idea. Fellow Minister Ollongren of the Interior said in June that she thinks that a diversity coach is not working. She is afraid that students with this problem will not go to a separate coach at school.

Van Engelshoven is not so afraid of this and states that such a diversity coach can simply be a teacher or mentor. In addition, she says, not one person should be responsible for internship discrimination but the whole school.

Other political parties are also involved in internship discrimination. They are pleased that the Minister is now taking action, but above all they want to keep a close eye on whether it really helps.