[Journal:] Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung – Journal for Labour Market Research [ISSN:] 2510-5027 [Volume:] 41 [Year:] 2008 [Issue:] 4 [Pages:] 471-487
Internships are understood as a bridge into scarce employment by young job entrants or students. Using the IAB Establishment Panel, we discovered 600,000 internships in 300,000 firms. The use of internships differs significantly between sectors. They are frequently used in the sale and retail sector, and in social and business services. The analysis of the firms' use of internships is based an the theoretical concept of the 'political personnel economy' by Nienhüser. We extract central employment strategies to explain the function of internships in the firm. From this perspective we distinguish five problems of the firms' employment strategy: the problems of availability, transformation, discontinuity, maintenance of power and - across the board - the cost problem. We find significant indications that internships are used to solve recruitment problems and can therefore be seen as having a functional equivalence to apprenticeship contracts in academic labour markets. We also confirm the affirmed correlation between the regional unemployment rate and the use of internships. Finally internships can often be found in firms without motivation problems.