Internships and work placements are extremely valuable experiences for students today. While we are grateful for the hands-on learning opportunities offered to us through our education, the current system is hurting us. Many of us are already struggling financially, working jobs and relying on loans to help cover the cost of our education. When we have to pay tuition to work for free as part of our program requirements, it not only hurts us, but Ontario’s economy. Organizations are benefiting from our free labour instead of hiring paid workers. We can no longer pay to work.
Like us, the Government of Ontario values experiential education, as shown in the December 2015 report: Focus on Outcomes, Centre on Students: Perspectives on Evolving Ontario’s University Funding Model. As today students and tomorrow’s future leaders, we are asking the government to invest in this belief. Supporting our contributions to Ontario will ensure essential industries and sectors of our society thrive well into the future.