18 Sep 2013

nEbO celebrates workplace rights for interns with ‘Thank Your Intern Day’

-Youths get fun education on their workplace rights as interns, with online videos on ‘Thank Your Intern Day’ (TYID) website and Facebook page

-Reaching out to employers to value interns as potential employees

1. For the first time ever in Singapore, a youth social movement will be launched to raise awareness of interns’ workplace rights. Initiated by members of nEbO, the junior membership arm of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), ‘Thank Your Intern Day’ (TYID) is a month-long campaign that would culminate with an outreach event on 10 October, a special day of the year to commemorate the movement to encourage appreciation of interns among employers.

2. TYID grew from a simple belief that internships are beneficial for both the students and the employers. With greater awareness and better understanding of the interns’ workplace rights plus a positive appreciation towards interns and employers, there can be a meaningful work relationship between both parties. Motivated to help their peers ease the transition to working life through meaningful internships, the team of youths approached nEbO for guidance and successfully embarked on this initiative.

3. The first online video, of a series of four will be released on 18 September. Created by nEbO youths, these videos will be posted weekly on TYID website and Facebook page, the platform that will help generate interest among nEbO members and garner public feedback for this youth movement. Using light-hearted humorous skits in the videos to depict both the ideal and undesirable attitudes of interns, the focus is for interns to identify the core purpose of an internship, which is personal growth and exposure to the work environment. Essential information on basic employment protection rights such as maximum working hours, rest days, overtime pay and feedback channels would also be shared via these videos.

4. Leader of the TYID team, Ryan Teo Jing Ren, 20 years old, said, “The recent intern abuse case got me thinking a lot deeper, as I am also currently an intern with nEbO. It spurred a lot of conversations among the team, and we felt the importance for all interns to know their rights and to take on a positive perspective and view internship as a valuable experience for both the employers and the interns. A win-win situation is definitely possible when employers provide a conducive learning environment with mentorship while interns remain open to challenges to contribute to the organisation and their own growth. It takes good attitude from both ends to make it great!”

5. In line with nEbO’s objectives to prepare youths to be Work-Ready, World-Ready and Life-Ready, nEbO encouraged the campaign, providing the group of nEbO youths with an opportunity to drive a cause that they believed in, developing their potential to become productive workers of tomorrow. The message of the campaign, which is beneficial for both the companies and the youths as future employees, can potentially bring about positive changes in the community and contribute to the Labour Movement.

6. “Internships are often the last big ‘project’ for youths before leaving school, and the first step for making their foray into their chosen career. A healthy workplace that respects interns and values them as potential future employees is highly important to these youths who are seeking role models and looking to learn from experienced mentors. nEbO encourages our youths to spearhead social initiatives such as TYID that not only helps the youths out there to be more informed about their internship, but to contribute to the larger picture of a productive and fair workforce made up of happier employees of the future and employers with integrity. While we right now seek the support from all companies out there to appreciate the contribution of their interns, we hope to bring this youth movement to greater heights by exploring partnerships with unionised companies,”  said Mr Lim Eng Lee, NTUC Alignment Director (nEbO).

7. In addition to the social media platform, nEbO youths will be visiting companies for a closer interaction, feedback and support to increase employers’ involvement after the official launch of ‘Thank Your Intern Day’ on 10 October 2013. A public outreach event at Raffles Place is planned to spread the awareness of the movement.

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