Trade body calls for an end to unpaid internships

A leading trade body is calling for unpaid internships to be outlawed.

SJA experts recently condemned an apparent attempt to exploit eager young journalism graduates by “offering” long-term internships on the possibility (probably remote) of paid work at some point in the future.

And while some form of work experience is acknowledged as an essential component on any first-jobber’s CV, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has called for a living wage of £2.50 per hour for interns, the same rate modern apprentice schemes pay.

Blogger Patrick Smith has today highlighted an audacious advert for an intern, placed by a freelance journalist with the apparent aim of signing up a willing dog’s body for six weeks.

Smith writes: “It’s tough out there in the journalism job market. It always has been, but those entry-level openings are only available to people that really want them or have talents that newspapers, websites and magazines cannot do without.

“Naturally, many students and recent grads complete many weeks of work experience in newsrooms across the land. I certainly did,” it’s now an inevitable part of getting a first foot on the ladder. It’s been an interesting barometer of the recession to see how many of the job listings on Gorkana‘s Friday newsletter have moved from the ‘jobs’ to the ‘work experience/intern’ section.

“But check this out: freelance journalist Tiffany Wright is advertising for what amounts to an unpaid personal assistant to help with her real life women’s mag features for a minimum of six weeks.”

To read all the gory details of Wright’s “offer”, and for more pointers and links from Smith, click here.