Interns used to fill the gap in China

HRM 09 Jan 2013

At least eight million students aged between 16 to 18 are currently working on China’s assembly lines and workshops. Contrary to what many may think, it is not a case of child labour – these students are on internship.

In a report by Reuters, China is facing a labour shortage in many of its factories and assembly lines that require large numbers of workers to operate. The solution? Government officials such as those in Yantai, a northeastern Chinese coastal city, are ordering vocational high schools to send students to plug the gap.

That has led to multinational corporations and suppliers to take advantage of the millions of teenage students from vocational and technical schools to help them out with production. These schools often include mandatory work experience, which means that students must take on work assignments to graduate.

The Ministry of Education is commanding vocational schools to fill any shortages in the workforce. The minimum legal working age is 16.

Vocational interns are so sought after by companies because they can be paid less than full-time workers. Even if they pay the same base salary, employers can potentially save up to 40% per person because they need not pay for health insurance or social security benefits for student interns.

China’s assembly lines produce many of the world’s top products such as Apple’s iPhones, Nintendo Wii game consoles and Samsung’s electronic equipment.



Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 30 Jul | Frazer Jones - Global HR Search and Recruitment | Singapore
    Front Office Recruiter required to work within a leading Financial Services organisation
    30 Jul | Frazer Jones - Global HR Search and Recruitment | Singapore
    Leading Financial Services Corporation looking to hire a seasoned HR Director
    01 Aug | Talent Insight Executive Search Group Pte Ltd | Singapore
    Scouting for High Potentials
    Alvin Chan, Asia HR Director, Celestica, explains the company’s four-prong approach to identifying and accelerating the growth of high-potential employees.
    Talent retention through global mobility
    Unorthodox HR
    The impact of diversity on WSH
    This workshop will help you develop your confidence and skills in giving speeches. You will explore techniques for preparing and delivering talks, as ...
    This informative workshop develops the writing skills you need to make you and your readers’ lives easier
    Nanyang Tecnological University - Nanyang Business School, Open Enrolment Programmes | amyflin@ntu.edu.sg
    Programme is intended for non-finance professionals to interpret financial statements from multiple stakeholder perspective.