Some public and private institutions in Embu have been accused of charging internship fees.
This is despite the government rolling out a paid placement programme a year ago.
Nominated MCA Martin Mwangi said many graduates cannot get jobs for lack of experience and cash to pay for internships.
He spoke on Sunday during International Youth Day celebrations. Mwangi urged the government to ensure the programme the President started includes all graduates so they have a level playing field.
He said only the children of the rich get internships.
“I’m disappointed that some public and private institutions in Embu have been charging internship fees to graduates... the government should make internship free and also pay allowances to the students,” Mwangi said.
In the paid internship programme, graduates from universities and technical institutes were supposed to be absorbed by the government and private sector for a period of 12 to 18 months.
Mwangi also expressed concern about youths missing out on jobs because they are unable to pay for job clearance documents including a certificate of good conduct.
He supported a proposed law sponsored by nominated MP Gideon Keter which seeks to do away with the requirement for the youth and people living with disability to pay for clearance certificates from government agencies.