Coronavirus: UK internships fall by 64% in a year

Firms are cutting internship opportunities amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty)

The number of UK internships available has fallen by 64% in the past 12 months as the coronavirus pandemic has hit hiring hard, according to new figures.

The highest number of current internship opportunities are with tech companies, according to the data from job site Glassdoor.

Amazon (AMZN) is offering the most internships, according to Glassdoor, as they are still hiring for applied sciences and language engineer interns despite the COVID-19 crisis.

Internships are also being offered by other high profile companies such as Facebook (FB), Nokia (NOKIA.HE), eBay (EBAY), and social media publishing company Echobox.

The figures come amid mounting concerns that youth unemployment could soar as students finish courses this summer, with experts warning of long-term damage to their career prospects. Unions and think tanks have called for a government-funded jobs scheme for unemployed young people.

A separate survey by The Institute of Student Employers found a 32% drop in school leavers hiring and apprentice recruitment.

Hiring for entry-level jobs overall had dropped by almost a quarter compared with employers’ plans before COVID-19 struck, according to the survey of 193 firms in late April and early May, across the UK.

READ MORE: UK jobless claims surged 69% as lockdown began

Joe Wiggins, Glassdoor career trends expert, said: “Internships have collapsed off the back of the pandemic, with almost two-thirds of open jobs gone. It makes for grim reading for anyone graduating this year, with competition higher than ever for those coveted slots.

“So many careers will simply have to be put on hold while there are far fewer opportunities to gain valuable experience.”

At the end of April, job openings of all types had fallen 44% since the start of March, according to Glassdoor. However the week-on-week change has reduced significantly in recent weeks, suggesting that the UK might now be past the peak of contraction.

UK job openings near a 50 percent drop since start of COVID-19 outbreak. (Glassdoor)