Coronavirus, a generation of trainees blocked by the lockdown. From those with an open internship to the lucky ones in smart-working: the stories. “Frustrated kids without activities and again dependent on families”


To Alessio there were three weeks to finish the internship, but given the restrictions imposed by the emergency coronavirus his internship stopped on March 12th. Since then nothing more. “I could have continued in smart working – he says – but my company has decided to stop. And I understand it. ” Giorgia is Camillainstead, they consider themselves “among the lucky ones” because they continued the experience of attorney from home. Then, there is Stephenwho went to the office a week while Elisabetta he hasn’t really set foot there. These are just some of the stories of interns and practitioners who in the weeks of the stop to non-essential activities and social distancing had to suspend the training period or have not even managed to start it, while the luckiest ones continued in smart working.

“The Revival decree it raised everyone except the trainees, ”he points out Eleonora Voltolina, director of the magazine The Republic of interns, who has been dealing with the rights of interns, trainees and practitioners for ten years. No ad hoc measures so far for the category that affects half a million people a year, including extracurricular internships (350 thousand trainees) and curricular (150 thousand), that is those carried out during the Education. And if you include those who are practicing to become a lawyer, notary or accountant, you get more than that 700 thousand. “Suddenly – continues Voltolina – many interns found themselves without an activity and with less entry to face the expenses. Do we expect families, now in great economic difficulty, to always run to the rescue and support children and grandchildren? ” But the economic aspect is not the only problem raised by the situation, because there are deadlines, degrees or exams of state to face. And sometimes there is no time to postpone the internship.

The smart traineeships – Where it has been possible and has been granted, also at the discretion of the host entity, i trainees continued, or even started, the training period from home. According to Voltolina “it is another way of training and one becomes responsible if one is forced to organize oneself and learn to constantly use communication platforms. The important thing is not the time you spend in the office, but the goals you achieve“. The counter-test? “Since the health crisis began, most of the kids who have turned to us, angry and frustrated, are the ones who had to stop the internship. Those who continued it in smart mode found themselves in one lucky situation: being able to get up in the morning and have something to do gives an extra motivation “.

The proposals and the aids of the Regions – For its part The Republic of Interns in late April it formulated four proposals to the government to clarify the timing of resumption of traineeships, allow throughout Italy to continue internships from home, authorize the start of new traineeships, even already in smart mode, and expect a subsidy in favor of all those who have had their internships interrupted or suspended. Two agendas were also approved in Parliament Chiara Gribaudo (Pd) and Rosalba Testament (M5s), who asked the executive to grant a suspended or suspended trainee. But if at national level there have been no measures for interns and trainees, some regions have decided to take ad hoc initiatives. L’Emilia Romagna, for example, has already recognized 450 euros to all those who had to stop the extracurricular internship due to the COVID-19. The Lazio, 600 euros. “Also there Calabria has provided for a subsidy, but only for internships activated in the public sphere – Voltolina underlines -. There Tuscany instead he announced a measure, but the announcement has yet to come out. ” Lombardy, Veneto is Piedmont seem willing to introduce measures similar to that ofEmilia Romagna, even if the first, from Monday 18, has already given the green light to the activation of new traineeships and the reactivation of those suspended.

Aurora Notarianni, vice president of the Italian Labor Law Association, points out that “if the trainee is a worker or citizen without income, and falls within the required requirements, can have access to emergency income”Introduced with the Relaunch decree. But if instead, as almost always happens, he is a student, “then he is considered a student subject who continues to perfect university studies, which is learning a trade“. So no check. However, some professional orders are moving, Notarianni says, because the interns of professional practices, in fact, are under the jurisdiction of the orders and “for this reason a uniform discipline cannot be adopted. For me, then, you have to leave the freedom to order to regulate income of their trainees “. At the moment, according to the lawyer, it is necessary “to look to tomorrow more with a view to investments and accelerating measures rather than those welfare, because solidarity is indispensable, indeed perhaps one of the positive aspects of Covid, however right now you have to invest in the business and not in supporting trainees’ income. ”


Alessio: “Suspended to a date to be set” – The internship was only three weeks away. Due to the social distancing measures, the training internship of Alessio Palumbo, 25 years old, graduated last July in economics ad Ancona, stopped on March 12th. “I started in October and there was a good chance of one future hiring – underlines the boy -. I could have continued in smart working, but my company has decided to suspend “. While waiting for the Marche Region to reopen, “I live with my family, so I don’t have big expenses. My fear is for the aftermath – adds Alessio -. With the economic crisis, it will be more difficult to introduce new people, young and capable graduates especially in the world of work “.

Giorgia and Camilla: “We work in the prosecutor’s office. From home” – After graduating in law a Perugia, the master which will end in July. “That’s exactly why I had to finish my internship,” he says Giorgia Bazzurri, 26 years. Internship of 150 hours, in the Prosecutor’s Office. “I had started the internship for a week, but on March 9 I had to stop it – he adds -. For two weeks I have been shooting remotely, it’s another matter entirely. My job is the same, analyzing and studying case files, but missing the human contact. If I were in the office, the prosecutor could answer all my doubts directly. Anyhow I consider myself lucky, because I am still very popular. ” Same situation for Camilla Sbarbieri, 27 years old and a law graduate, who had just started her internship. “Resuming in smart working saved us because it allows us to stay in touch with the environment. But if this situation continues, it must make everything more efficient. The modalities are not improvised, but the same programs used in the office must also be accessible from home “.

Stefano: “I hope to return to the company” – A few days and then home. Graduated in Management Engineering, in the second year of the master’s degree at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Stefano Lenzi, 24 years old, until the end of July he would have had to do a 600-hour curricular internship in a metalworking company in Modena. After a few days, however, the experience is over. “I could have worked in smart working, but I had just started, my preparation was not adequate “. A few days ago, Unimore gave the opportunity to temporarily change the internship – dedicate hours of the internship to projects and research, followed by a professor – waiting to return to work in the company once the emergency is over or totally change the type of internship until the end of the scheduled period. “I’m happy because I have something to do, even if I would have preferred the experience in the company.”

Elisabetta and the unanswered applications – Elisabetta Olivieri, 24 years old, graduated from the Bocconi in economics and management, however, he never set foot in the office. “I had found an extracurricular internship in a consulting firm. I should have started early April. I was happy, I managed to find a job with hiring prospects“. Then with the coronavirus emergency, “they told me they wouldn’t take anyone anymore.” Maybe we’ll talk about it between July and September. “Between March and April I sent a lot of applications: mostly I received negative feedback or silence “.

Benedetta: “Adapted to the new context even without human contact” – In the last year of Bocconi’s master’s degree: “In February I started a paid internship in a consultancy company – he says Benedetta Sargentoni, 23 years -. That weekend, when everything was blocked, I had gone home to Ancona, luckily I had the phone and the company computer with me. So I never stopped the internship and continued in smart working “. Internship that will continue until the end of July. “Some of my classmates, however, were forced to suspend it and postpone it. I consider myself lucky, I prefer to have continued, even if it means working from home. Yes, it is true, there is no human contact, but we immediately adapted to them platforms“. Faced with a future that is still very uncertain and conditioned, “they say there could be the possibility of go back to the office, probably in shifts. ”

Letizia: “In my internship, working from home is not possible” – It was the second curricular internship for Letizia Bellucci, 23 years old, student at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Perugia. “I started at the beginning of March at the inspectorate of quality control and food fraud prevention in Perugia of Ministry of Agriculture. After the decree they told us to stop, they too were in trouble. I found myself a little confused because I didn’t know what to do. We have not received certain news from the university, but I understand the difficulty of organizing the situation. ” In fact, students have had the precedence. “For now they have given certain provisions only for those who graduated in July and had to finish their internship. They had to make up for the 250 hours of planned making plans. ” In this case, however, transforming the internship into smart working would be a formative loss. “In the laboratory I checked the food in the wine sector, if there was fraud on wine and must. This is not possible from home – adds Letizia -. They hinted that it may be possible to do a part of the hours in smart working, doing research for them, but I would have preferred to go back to the laboratory “.

Gemma: away from home, remotely and satisfied – Gemma Granocchia, 23 years old, a graduate student of Economics, instead she continued her curricular internship in Milan remotely. “At the end of February I was asked if I wanted to end my internship in a company in confectionery or continue in smart working and I preferred the second option – he says -. I am entrusted to one tutor careful that it involves me a lot ”. For some there will be an opportunity to return to office, “But only for the needs and it will not be my case. Working from home allows me to carve out moments for me and I’m happy to have been able to continue this experience: I’m from Perugia and I spent the quarantine in Milan, the internship distracted me and it helped me not to break down. ”

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