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Internships can border on exploitation, graduates are warned

Published: Thursday, 10 June 2010   Category: Work Experience

Internships provide valuable experience but graduates should not allow companies to use them as an excuse for exploitation, one recruitment expert has claimed.

Last week, the BBC published a study from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) which suggested that too many professions are relying on unpaid workers.

Dan Hawes, co-founder of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau, explained that graduates often have to fill work experience positions due to the level of competition for full-time roles.

However, he also admitted that he can understand the findings of the IPPR report and urged university leavers to bear this in mind as they seek to boost their credentials.

"In some industries it is the norm, like PR or fashion, where graduates enter into an agreement in which they are not paid for an internship," he said.

"But there does come a point where it could be viewed as exploitation. There are laws against not paying people who work for you, who shouldn't do it for nothing."

Last month, in an article published by the Yorker, recent graduate Ella Grace-Kirton urged university leavers not to give up on securing their dream job.ADNFCR-1068-ID-19830431-ADNFCR

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