19 January 2024, by Emily Proctor
A majority of the Dutch House of Representatives are in favour of giving free travel to interns in the Netherlands, following a vote on a proposal in the chamber. Now, around 1.300 students who undertake an internship during their vocational studies will be able to travel for free by public transport.
Those undertaking an entree-opleiding will qualify for free travel
The students who will qualify for the new funding, are students undertaking the entree-opleiding – an entrance course which usually lasts one year, and is intended for young people who have not graduated with a diploma from high school.
These students often end up taking up the same internships as peers the same age who did obtain high school diplomas, but have until now, not received any reimbursement for travel costs. That’s why a number of student and teacher-campaigners asked the House of Representatives to allocate part of the education budget to these students.
Students undertaking vocational training often fall into the low-income category
According to Nicole Teeuwen of the Vocational Education Sector Council, “Students in entrance education fall under secondary education and not under vocational education. And that is why it doesn’t work out. While the education is comparable to what students in MBO do during their internships. It is also the same age category”, she said in an interview with NOS Radio.
Teeuwen went on to explain that students in vocational training often fall into the lowest income categories and that they need financial assistance when it comes to travelling for work opportunities. The financial proposal is expected to cost around one million euros a year, and was backed by the government and members of the house from many different parties, including the GroenLinks-PvdA, VVD, NSC, BBB, SP, Denk and PvdD.