A six-month internship costs young people over £6,000, new research shows

Submitted by sglenister on Fri, 02/02/2018 - 17:09

02 February 2018

Unpaid internships currently cost up to £6,114 for just six months, a new study has revealed, locking all but the most privileged of young people out of potential employment opportunities.

Research by the Sutton Trust found that a single person in London will pay a minimum of £1,019 per month on living costs while getting nothing in return from their job. In Manchester, a six-month internship costs £4,965 - £827 per month.

These costs have increased since the Sutton Trust last performed a similar study in 2014, yet it reports that many organisations – including major firms and one MP – continue to advertise for unpaid labour.

According to TUC figures, internships in London are affordable to only one in five people between the ages of 18 and 35, yet the Sutton Trust reported that they are increasingly seen as a prerequisite for entering high-paying professions.

Furthermore, many unpaid internships are illegal. When a role fits the legal definition of a "worker", the employer is legally bound to pay the minimum wage, but the law is not well enforced and many firms ignore it entirely as a result. There have been zero prosecutions regarding non-payment of the minimum wage to interns.

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust, added: "Large numbers of internships are never advertised and instead offered through informal networks. This practice locks out young people without connections."

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