Accountancy firm Deloitte has cancelled its summer internship programme as part of its broader strategy to save on operational costs amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The firm will instead offer a virtual mentorship programme and “goodwill payment” to the interns scheduled to start this summer. Similarly, PwC has cancelled summer 2020 internship programme and offered interns a place in its autumn 2021 training programme.
This shift to online education and work experience programmes has been noted in WYSE Travel Confederation’s latest survey of youth, student and educational travel providers, where 27% of respondents indicated new trends arising from the pandemic, most notably online and virtual education. Although virtual exchanges may take on new forms during the COVID-19 pandemic, over the long-term the opportunity for cultural and social immersion will likely retain an important edge over digital learning.
Given the move of major firms like Deloitte and PwC to cancel their summer work experience programmes, it is no surprise that WYSE Travel Confederation’s COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey revealed increasing concerns of travel organisations about placement availability for young travellers. Between March and April, placement availability went from the near bottom of the top-10 list of long-term concerns to one of the top five.
WYSE Travel Confederation’s monthly COVD-19 Travel Business Impact Survey is open from 1 – 11 May 2020. Given that youth aged 15 to 29, represent 23% of international arrivals, all travel businesses are welcome to participate. To read more findings from the survey series, visit WYSE Travel Confederation’s COVID-19 resources hub.
 “Coronavirus: Deloitte scraps summer internship scheme,” 4 May 2020, BBC.
 “Satisfaction with COVID-19 cooperation, but placement availability concerns rise,” 28 April 2020, WYSE Travel Confederation.