Career Talk

/ 4 years ago /

 Article by Brenda Wong

UK ministers finally considering ban on unpaid internships

Wow. We can’t believe it’s taken them long to even consider this.

Reports have come in stating UK ministers are indeed looking into banning unpaid internships. đź‘Ź


Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell will be introducing a House of Commons private member’s bill to ban unpaid internships this week. The downside? It’s the type of legislation that’s pretty unlikely to progress through parliament.

It’s not all bad news. Instead, the government could review internships before including restrictions on unpaid internships in legislation in the next Queen’s speech. Employment minister Damian Hinds has confirmed the plan would be examined in conjunction with a green paper from the Department for Work and Pensions examining the assessment of disability pensions.

Hinds spoke passionately to  ITV’s Peston on Sunday about the issue. “I think it is important that young people have an opportunity to get work experience. One of the big barriers to getting a job is not having had employment experience, and so there is a role for work experience.

“But I think particularly in the media, in fashion, in these very sought-after occupations, there is a concern… that with unpaid internships those aren’t actually accessible to everybody and I think it is right we look at it.”

Media companies have been slammed time and time again for their exploitation of young job seekers. Most recently, Bauer Media came under fire for advertising an internship for Heat Magazine paying just £10 a day.

ban on unpaid internships

Graduate Fog’s Tanya de Grunwald, who picked up the story about Heat magazine, commented on the news of a potential ban on unpaid internships. “Young people have been crying out for thie issue to be addressed for years,” she stresses.

“Campaigners regularly remind the government that we are perfectly placed to explain exactly what the problems are, and what could be done to improve the situation, but so far they have shown little appetite for this information. So if that is finally changing, we look forward to their call.”

Amen to that, Tanya. Amen to that.

Feature Image © Savoo

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