Iran: Controversial Internship Program Launched

NCRI - To create jobs for the unemployed graduates, Iranian regime’s Ministry of Labor has officially kicked off its internship program through launching a website.

Meanwhile, deputy head of Employers Labor Unions Association believes that such programs are not going to resolve unemployment crisis.

Isa Mansouri, deputy chief of Labor Ministry’s Employment and Entrepreneurship Development Office, has announced that University Graduates Internship Program will officially start late June. This comes after regime’s Ministry of Labor launched in April this year the internship program website on which university graduates could register.

In his interview with judiciary’s Mizan news agency on Thursday June 22, regime’s Labor Minister ‘Ali Rabiei’ announced that 200 thousand unemployed graduates have already registered on the website, adding ”university graduates will through this program be introduced to business enterprises and units for employment.”

There are, however, serious doubts over the program’s success. Although the government is seeking to spend on programs that could drive the graduates out of unemployment figures, but that necessarily won’t lead to a sustainable employment.

Entering the operational phase over the past couple of months, the internship and skill-learning programs have been faced with increased disputes, drawing lots of criticism from both labor activists and regime’s own experts.

Deputy Head of Employers Labor Unions Association ‘Mohammad Atarodian’ said in an interview with state-run ILNA news agency “such programs like internship and skill-learning are not going to resolve the country’s unemployment crisis, and the government needs to come up with a useful strategy in order to do so.”

Pointing to similar programs such as fast-yielding and home enterprises launched by previous governments, Atarodian says the programs failed to lead to job creation as they were not expertly planned, so unemployment remained intact.

“Rather than trying to wipe the question”, adds Atarodian, “the economy’s illness must be treated, otherwise, even providing employers with insurance exemptions is not going to work.”

Meanwhile, Kamal Ethari, referred to as economist and sociologist, asserted on June 19 that even if such programs have positive points, they won’t lead to real job creation due to the way they’re implemented by the government.”

Pointing to officials’ launching a website to quickly absorb job seekers, the economic expert told ILNA “before introducing regulations or setting up a website, such programs need to be backed by sponsoring entities.”

Ali Aslani, board member of the so-called ‘Islamic Labor Councils Association’, criticizes job creation programs from another aspect, saying “internship and skill-learning programs will lead to no bright horizon in the field of working relationships, challenging rule of law with an increased chaos.“

Some labor activists believe that internship and skill-learning programs will cause job seekers to be no longer subjected to supportive laws and legislations of the labor council, and that such programs will invalidate chapter five of labor law which is related to the relationships between interns and employers.

In addition to such criticisms, there’s still another problem which has been directly and indirectly acknowledged by government officials, namely the disproportion between the absorption capacity of the likes of internship program and the number of graduates entering the job market each year.

According to regime’s presidential website, regime’s president Hassan Rouhani has said in a ceremony earlier this year “rather than creating jobs for the youth over the past years, they opened university doors to admit five million students, so that today nearly 800 thousand graduates enter the job market each year.”

Meanwhile, Mizan news agency says the government has predicted that 150 thousand graduates will be employed every year through the program. Moreover, the graduates thus employed will receive only one third of the minimum wage of workers, at least at the early stages of their employment.