Sat, Apr 17, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Enterprises unimpressed with interns, survey shows

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Domestic enterprises expressed widespread dissatisfaction with the performance of interns hired under a special government subsidy program, but more than 90 percent said they were willing to keep at least some of the interns on for a second year, a poll conducted by 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) has found.

In a survey of 458 companies conducted by the job bank between March 31 and last Tuesday, the respondents gave the interns an average score of 41 on a scale of 100 for their job performance, with 34.62 percent of respondents giving their interns scores of between 21 and 40.

The main causes of dissatisfaction were the interns’ attitude toward their jobs and early termination of their contracts, the survey showed in results released yesterday.

However, 92 percent of the companies said they were willing to keep the interns after their one-year contracts expired, and 52.32 percent were willing to offer them formal positions.

A spokeswoman for 1111 Job Bank said that the apparent contradiction between the high disapproval rate and the willingness to retain the interns was related to two factors.

First, companies participating in the program hired five interns on average, so even if they were only willing to rehire some of their interns, they would still be included among the 92 percent willing to retain the interns.

Also, because many companies had already invested in training and familiarizing the interns with their operations, the employers were more willing to hire the experienced interns than new recruits, the spokeswoman said.

Under the internship program launched in the middle of last year to curb unemployment among young adults, the government provides subsidies to businesses that offer one-year internships to people who graduated from a university or college within the previous three years.

Businesses receive NT$26,000 (US$826) per month for each new graduate hired (including subsidies for health and labor insurance), and the interns are paid NT$22,000 per month.

Open to 34,000 people, the program is still employing 29,265 interns.

Most of the jobs are related to planning and design, marketing and trade, and business management, the survey showed.

Of the companies responding to the poll, 68.75 percent have raised their interns’ salaries, with an average monthly salary of NT$23,651 paid to each intern, the survey found.

More than half, or 57 percent, of the companies said that if they rehired the interns, they would raise their salaries by an average of NT$1,280, the survey showed.

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