Students say schools require them to do internships at Foxconn factory

09:17, October 13, 2010      

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  Li Sheng, 20, a journalism student at Henan Radio and Television University, was shocked to find out that he would spend his internship in a Foxconn factory instead of a newsroom.

  Li (not real name) was told that he had to do his internship at the embattled Foxconn production plant in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, instead of at a media organization, if he ever wanted to graduate.

  "Forcing me to work for Foxconn violates my right of choice. I would prefer to drop out rather than work at a place I cannot use what I have learned. I don't want to end up being jobless after years of learning journalism," Li told the Global Times Monday.

  Li was relieved after he was told late September that Foxconn had already recruited sufficient interns.

  Other vocational students in Henan Province were told they had to work for the electronic giant or fail to graduate.

  Some automotive majors at a vocational school in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, were also forced to serve as interns for Foxconn before they were given their diplomas, China Youth Daily reported Monday.

  The company, plagued by a series of suicides, decided in July to move part of its production line from Shenzhen to other cities including Zhengzhou.

  A notice issued by the provincial education department last month demanded schools send students to work as interns for Foxconn in Shenzhen. It said the company has played an important role in easing the unemployment problem.

  A teacher said some students only got just two or three days to prepare for the internship. The interns were promised "a monthly salary of 1,200 yuan ($180) for working eight hours a day."

  The education department has planned to recruit 25,000 student interns from some 100 vocational schools in Henan, said Dong Chengming, an official in charge of vocational education.

  The official said three Foxconn projects that needed up to 150,000 workers would be launched in Henan next year, and some of the interns may be selected to work for the company's Zhengzhou production plant next year.

  The notice said the internship is voluntary, but Dong said some schools might have made it obligatory.

  Ge Lili contributed to this story

Source: Global Times


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