Small business owners clash over ethics of unpaid internships
After a recent survey found that UK citizens overwhelmingly backed a ban on unpaid internships, we consulted a panel of employers to see where they stand in the debate. __________________________________________________________________________________ Retail had the highest proportion of unpaid internships at 89%, followed by the arts, 86% and the media, 83%. Only 26% of IT & telecoms and 32% of manufacturing internships were unpaid. The research found that graduate internships appear to be on the rise, with 46% of 21-23-year olds having done one, compared to 37% of 27-29-year olds. Younger graduates are also more likely to have taken on more than one internship. According to the report, there are around 100, 000 interns working in Britain every year, with around 58, 000 unpaid. The survey comes as a bill to ban unpaid internships over four weeks in length is brought to the House of Commons. It would like to see all internships longer than one month to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage of 7.05 for 21-24-year olds, and ideally the Living Wage of 9 per hour. In addition, the report recommends that internship positions should be advertised publicly, rather than filled informally and recruitment processes should be fair, transparent and based on merit. Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: Unpaid internships prevent young people from low and moderate-income backgrounds from accessing careers in some of the most desirable sectors such as journalism, fashion, the arts and law. “This is a huge social mobility issue. It prevents these young people from getting a foot on the ladder. The legal grey area around internships allows employers to offerunpaid internshipswithimpunity. That is why the law should be changed.” Read more about UK employment law:
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