According to a study carried out by YouGov, it found that 17% of UK businesses had employed interns as a cheap source of labour. Among the comments from UK managers where that inters were ‘useful to their organisation’ and they helped to ‘get work done more cheaply’ and at the same time no doubt help to boost company profits during a tough economic time, with numerous fears of a double dip recession.
More worryingly, the research also pointed to the fact that only 12% of the managers polled knew that unpaid interns could be illegal under UK employment law. It was also interesting to read that only 10% of young people knew this as well.
Becky Health, who helped to carry out the YouGov study for Internocracy, said “It’s a real shame that young people don’t know their employment rights,” and that “Conversely it is disappointing that businesses don’t understand what interns are worth and the new talent, energy and enthusiasm they bring to the workplace.”
This argument is not expected to end here as their seems to be a rift in politics as well. Nick Clegg (deputy prime minister), has stated that unpaid interns were endorsing a crisis of social mobility and in doing so contradicting the prime minister, David Cameron’s views in the process.
The latest estimates of internships in the UK are put at 250,000, with many of these thought to be unpaid.
What is worrying is that these interns are no longer making tea and delivering the post they are doing actual jobs and should maybe be paid for this.
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