Paying for Internships
22/12/2011

 
Image courtesy of The Daily Beast

The practice’s reported in the news include interns paying between £50 - 200 / day for work experience, in addition to admin fees being charged by company’s offering services to find internships.

It disturbs me that people feel this is their only option and also that there will be plenty of people out there willing to exploit this practice. This doesn’t mean I agree that all work experience should be paid either. Offering services free of charge has long been a way of gaining experience but also proving to prospective employers an individuals determination to succeed in their chosen path. Offering employers money in exchange for work experience is not illegal and the moral issues are for those involved to contemplate.

It is illegal under The Employment Agencies & Employment Business Regulations 2003, to charge work seekers fees for finding work. Therefore the above practice is testing the limits of the legislation.

We regularly receive enquiries from graduates and students with regards to work experience opportunities. We also hold seminars for students studying relevant sector qualifications, in local Universities, geared at preparing them for the jobs market. There are also plenty of other companies out there that are still willing to invest in young people, train them up and help them realise their potential.

The Youth Contract announced by the government in November is reported to be offering subsidies worth £2,275 for employers to take on young people but if you are interested hurry as it will only be extended to a mere 160,000 young people.

If you think you might have been charged a seekers fee for finding work and want further advice on if it was legal then contact the Department of Business Skills & Innovation (BIS)

Diane Edwards
@DiOrchard

See related blog by Andy Chesters: Get a Job Seminar does the job



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