Seven authorities including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Education recently collectively issued a Notice about Further Strengthening Internships ("Notice"), stipulating that China will expand the scale of internships and improve the quality of internships.
The internships mentioned in the Notice are not general internships provided by companies for college students. Generally speaking, the internships to which the Notice applies are for college graduates who are unemployed within the two-year period after leaving college. In addition, unemployed young persons aged 16 to 24 are also qualified to participate in the internship program. Any enterprise or institution that would like to offer such an internship program is required to file an application with the local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau to enable them to qualify as an "internship base". The internship program for each intern usually lasts for three to 12 months. During the internship period, the "internship base" (i.e., the company or institution for whom the interns work) will provide a basic living fee to and purchase personal accident injury insurance for the interns. The basic living fee will usually be in the range of 70% to 100% of the local minimum wage decided by the local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. The local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau will also provide some allowances to the internship base. There is no employment relationship established between the internship base and the intern.
According to the Notice, the government will expand the scale of the internship base and increase internship positions as well as encourage more qualified young people to participate in such internship programs. Further, the government also encourages internship base to increase the basic living fee for interns to the standard equal to the local minimum wage, to purchase additional commercial insurance for its interns and to employ them after the internship program completes.
KEY TAKEAWAY POINTS
The local provincial or municipal governments have different implementation rules applicable to the internship programs, particularly in relation to the internship base application and applicable benefits for interns and internship bases. Companies that are interested in becoming an internship base should become familiar with the specific local rules and policies for such internships, and the benefits/incentives being offered.
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