Thousands of Italian school students are protesting nationwide over work placements which they say contribute little to their future job prospects.
The students are calling it a “strike” in 70 cities. Student unions organised the protest via social media.
Italy’s Student Network says “no more exploitation through free labour”.
It says 95% of schools – about 900,000 children – participate in work experience schemes. Italy has the EU’s third-highest jobless rate, at 11.2%.
The students want the government to fulfil its promise to draft a statute defining the status of people taking part in work experience and a code of ethics for companies using them.
The strike – with marches and rallies in Rome, Naples, Salerno and other cities – is also in protest at alleged under-funding of state schools.
The Student Network national coordinator, Giammarco Manfreda, said “we want work placements that provide real alternative training and quality for all”.
He said Italy “continues to lack rules defining who can or cannot offer work experience”. “We’re tired of being humiliated by our companies, whose work experience does not amount to training at all.”