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Unpaid Internships – is the tide turning?

by on December 19, 2012

As reported here in The Guardian, the last few years have seen a substantial rise in the number of (nearly always young) people taking up unpaid internships as a way of getting started on the career ladder. A recent YouGov survey reported that the take-up of unpaid internships has grown tenfold in the last two decades. The survey found that 20% of 18-24-year-olds had done an unpaid internship, compared with 2-3% of those aged over 40.

But the tide might be turning against this practice. On 5 December 2012 Labour MP Hazel Blears presented the Internships (Advertising and Regulation) Bill to Parliament which would ban employers from advertising long term unpaid internships.

In this article in The Spectator there is speculation as to whether 2013 will be the year in which it becomes ‘commercially and socially unacceptable to use unpaid labour’.

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