Schiphol launches new-style internship

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is launching a brand-new project that will give up to twenty vocational students the opportunity to complete an alternative internship despite the current COVID-19 crisis. Under the banner of the House of Aviation programme, Schiphol Aviation Community, Royal Schiphol Group and MBO College Airport have jointly committed themselves to this project. It’s a response to the difficulties vocational students are currently facing as they look for an internship. 

In the mix 

Called Internship in the Mix, this new approach divides the traditional internship into two parts. One part takes place at Schiphol, where the students gain practical experience three days a week. On the remaining two days, the students work in groups of three under the supervision of a Schiphol employee to tackle a series of challenges linked to their own vocational training programmes. The other part of the internship takes place at MBO College Airport and consists of practical simulations and an assignment.

The students will also participate in a number of masterclasses aimed at familiarising them with working life at the airport. Internship in the Mix got underway at the start of October, offering places to twenty students.

The internship has been carefully designed in collaboration with an educational expert from MBO College Airport, to ensure that the students gain sufficient experience and can put what they learn into practice. The current round of internships will last until the end of 2020. An evaluation will then take place to decide whether the approach should be expanded and offered to a larger group. Royal Schiphol Group hopes that this initiative will inspire other companies to follow suit and create new alternative internship opportunities. 

Importance to society 

Many intermediate vocational students are studying for professions that are relevant to Schiphol and its partners, from the aviation sector to handling agents and security companies. With the scaling back of activities due to COVID-19, many students have struggled to find a suitable internship. This problem has affected not only the students themselves but also MBO College Airport in the nearby town of Hoofddorp. 

We believe it’s important to give students the opportunity to gain practical experience. Especially in these troubled times. By making these investments today and giving students the chance to successfully complete their studies, we are pre-sorting for a future in which companies at Schiphol will once again be crying out for the skills these young people have to offer. Of course, these interns will not be taking over work from our employees. Instead, they will gain a wealth of practical experience by carrying out supplementary and supporting tasks.
Miriam Hoekstra-van der Deen, Director Airport Operations at Royal Schiphol Group