Poll: should unpaid internships be banned?

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Most internships in retailing, the arts and the media are unpaid, according to a survey from the Sutton Trust - a charity that campaigns for social mobility.

It  surveyed more than 2,600 graduates aged between 21 and 29.

The highest proportions of unpaid internships were found in retail (89%), the arts (86%) and the media (83%).

The survey coincides with a bill to ban unpaid internships of more than four weeks, which will be brought before the House of Commons.

It is clearly a vexed subject  – many people say the unpaid work is invaluable experience, but others say it is simply exploitation and its most blatant.

That’s why we’re asking: what do you think? Should unpaid internships be banned?

Vote now and join in the debate by leaving a comment below.

23rd November 2018 by TFN 1 Comment

Should unpaid internships be banned?

Poll results (total votes: 92)

Should unpaid internships be banned?
Answer:
Yes
Votes:
73
Ratio:
79.35%
Answer:
No
Votes:
19
Ratio:
20.65%

27th November 2018 by Andrew Lindsay

This is a tough call. I believe that ultimately unpaid internships should be banned. However, only if there is sufficient funding to still provide the same number of internship opportunities for often young people striving to gain experience. I benefited from an unpaid internship in the Scottish Parliament. I worked all week in parliament and also had a weekend job in a restaurant to get an income. It wasn't easy. But my experience during my internship opened numerous doors which ultimately gave me the career i have today. By banning unpaid internships but not providing funding to pay for same number of interns the Scottish Parliament has taken away many opportunities for young people who are not already connected to someone in politics to get vital experience. Interns should be paid, but if you are banning unpaid interns, you have to provide the funding to pay for same amount of interns. Young people need useful, meaningful experience and can offer organisations much in return, its time to invest in them.