Nearly half of young people have been unpaid interns


A survey by Prospects has reported that young people are more likely to work as an intern unpaid than receive a wage.

The report shows that 48% of the 9,000 young people aged 16-25 asked about types of work they’d undertaken had completed an unpaid internship, while just 17% had been paid.

Almost 60% of those working in Northern Ireland report having worked on an unpaid basis, while that figure is 52% for both Wales and the South West. The North East is where students are least likely to work unpaid but the figure here is still a substantial 42%.

The findings are in line with those of Brussels Interns NGO (BIngo) that estimates more than half of internships in Europe are unpaid. They also claim that around 30% of interns don’t believe their unpaid experience was useful in helping them to find a permanent job.

Jayne Rowley, Chief Executive at Prospects said “While unpaid internships are a feature of the student jobs market in the UK, they are not legal and companies should not offer them. An intern is entitled to be paid if they are a worker and no exclusions to the national minimum wage apply. Graduates should not feel that working unpaid is a necessity for their career. If a job is worth doing, it is worth paying for.”

31% of those responding said they were thinking about starting an internship in the next 12 months.

For those considering an internship, half said that its relevance to their career aspirations was most important, while one quarter said that the most important factor was getting experience for their CV. Payment was the third most important factor with just one tenth cited being paid as the most important factor.  

Monday, 24 July 2017

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