TRU social work students to rally against unpaid internships | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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TRU social work students to rally against unpaid internships

Image Credit: Thompson Rivers University
November 19, 2018 - 12:41 PM

KAMLOOPS - Some students at Thompson Rivers University are uniting behind thousands of students in Quebec who are walking out of class this week to protest unpaid internships.

Human services and social work students at TRU will be holding a rally in solidarity with the more than 50,000 Quebec students who are expected to take part in the action at junior colleges and universities across that province.

Rob Long with the Human Services Student Association at TRU says the protest is to draw attention to unpaid internships in the social work field and in other helping professions, such as nursing and education.

The Kamloops rally is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 outside the university's Arts and Education building.

Long says helping professions are required to do hundreds of hours of practical work in order to get their degrees, so the students end up paying tuition to the universities so they can do unpaid labour.

"This upcoming semester I will be paying $1,200 for two hours for in-class instruction and 420 hours of unpaid labour in the field," Long says. "This has been an ongoing challenge amongst my cohort and a challenge for me especially given that many of us, myself included, have to work part-time jobs to pay to be able to go out and work in the field just to be able to graduate."

Long says he doesn't see much movement at the provincial level to ameliorating this issue, though it has been longstanding.

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