MCAST Backlash After Students Told To Return To Apprenticeships "Immediately" Despite COVID-19 😳
MCAST students are not happy 😡
Yesterday, students attending apprenticeship placements at MCAST received an email saying that they would have to return to work, effective immediately, despite the current Coronavirus situation.
The Backlash 😳
Naturally, there have been multiple concerns over the health and safety implications of this decision. Also, another factor contributing to this kind of response would be that students weren't given a warning beforehand, so the announcement came as a shock.
The Responses Can Be Categorised Into 3 Main Scenarios:
1) - Students who live with vulnerable people: such as their parents, the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions and do not wish to risk anyone's life.
2) - Students who do not have cars or do not wish to risk public transport.
3) - Students who simply believe that it is too soon to reintegrate society as the spread of the virus could reignite.
MCAST's Response 🤔
Following the flurry of angry Facebook posts made by fearful students, the MCAST student council released a statement of their own to respond to several concerns.
The statement made the following points:
1) - Students who are vulnerable / who live with people who are vulnerable are to contact MCAST explaining the reason why they are not able to continue their apprenticeship, while also attaching a government issued health document as proof.
2) - Students who are vulnerable, who live with people who are vulnerable or students facing other circumstances such as; the employers which will not open their premises / the possibility of getting fired, are to contact MCAST via email, and they will not be failed from that unit, therefore they will be able to proceed to the next year or graduate.
3) - Students should all contact their employers to discuss the way forward regarding their apprenticeships. A situation where the employer will ask the student to work from home, the employer will not open his premises, etc. may occur.
Complaints Keep Coming In 😒
Unfortunately, following the statement, things have seemingly not changed, many people have contacted them and sent out e-mails and not gotten replies, or have gotten unsatisfactory replies such as the one shown below.
Update: SDM have also released a statement reassuring students that their voices will be heard, and have offered direct assistance for students who are unsure on how to proceed.