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Graduate interns condemn employers

Published: Wednesday, 18 April 2012   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

In a recent survey conducted by a website, 75% of those questioned said that employers should be forced by law to pay interns.

Graduates are more determined to fight for the right of getting paid for their graduate jobs, and a great majority of them claim that employment law should force companies to pay their interns.

58% of respondents said that they would still take an internship even if it was unpaid, and 44% admitted to having taken unpaid internships in the last six months.

“Now more than ever, students, graduates and all young people need to be boosting their CVs in any way they can, whether it is through internships, volunteering or by taking a more entrepreneurial approach to work,” said Ed Mellet, co-founder of Wikijob.

“Unfortunately by doing this, lots of young people are being exploited by employers who are not paying them the going rate for work.”

Minimum wage

With the increase in the national minimum wage, the government has suggested that interns should be economically compensated for their jobs with at least the minimum salary; however, there is no real obligation for companies to pay their interns yet.

“Over the last few years, government has brought in legislation to protect older workers, disabled workers, temporary workers... but nothing has been done to protect young people entering the workforce for the first time," said Mellet.

"Consequently some businesses are taking advantage of graduates who have little experience of the world of work. Government should step in and protect these people from being exploited.”

A campaign entitled ‘Pay your interns’, lead by the Graduate Fog blog, recently re-ignited the battle for improved internship conditions on behalf of struggling graduates.

Is it fair to work for free in exchange of experience? Is there any better way to finally get a graduate job?

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