The Guardian wants richer unpaid interns to apply for its work placement scheme
WHAT does the Guardian think of unpaid internships?
‘Join the fight against unpaid internships’ – Unless students refuse to work for free, employers will continue to exploit them, argues campaigner Libby Page
Writes Libby in the Guardian:
People from richer backgrounds are three times more likely to have undertaken unpaid internships than those from poorer backgrounds, according to a recent survey conducted by NUS and YouGov. I have managed to support myself with my student loan while working for free, but when I graduate, unpaid work will no longer be an option. Yet I am constantly being told that I should expect to work for free after graduating.
After my seventh internship, I decided enough was enough… When I talk to students about unpaid internships, one common response is: “But I don’t mind working for free.” What I hear is: “I can afford to work for free”…
For every person who can work for free, there are so many who simply cannot afford to. This means that they are being shut out of many careers where internships are an essential part of your CV.
Elsewhere in the same paper:
Positive action work placement scheme
Positive Action Scheme
The Guardian believes there should be a better representation of our diverse society in journalism, and each summer offers 12 two-week placements for students or graduates from black, Asian and other visible ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds.
But not that diverse. As the advert notes at the end:
The scheme is unpaid.
Rich apply within.
Also in the paper that cares:
The power of the intern – Laurie Penny: The system is unfair and open to abuse, and gives posh young dogsbodies far too much influence
Internships: institutional exploitation? The Institute for Public Policy Research has condemned most unpaid internships as illegal. Tanya de Grunwald: A recent report condemned unpaid internships as illegal. So why are so few major British companies willing to stop the practice?
We shouldn’t have to work for free – Susannah Straughan: Companies are shamelessly circumventing minimum wage laws and cherry picking ‘interns’ from a pool of free labour
Hey intern, get me a coffee and stop whingeing – Barbara Ellen: The real scandal of internships is that they are pretty much exclusive to the well off
In the paper:
The NUS vice-president, Danielle Grufferty, a former unpaid intern, said: “Asking people to live and work for free is wrong. The current situation in which young people are expected to undertake many months of unpaid work in order to gain sufficient experience simply must not go on any longer.
But it will.