Labour’s manifesto for young people ‘A Better Future for Young People’ , sets out a new commitment to end the scandal of lengthy unpaid internships, by banning unpaid work experience lasting longer than four weeks.
Bridgwater and West Somerset Parliamentary candidate Mick Lerry said: “It is only by building on the creativity and talent of the next generation that Britain will succeed in the 21st century”.
“But in too many of our professions, intense competition is leading to an increasing expectation that young people complete a lengthy internship as the route into good jobs” says Mick.
This situation means that thousands of talented young people who cannot work for free are being locked out of some of the most sought after jobs in professions such as media, the arts, finance and law. Research by the Sutton Trust shows that:
• Almost a third of university graduates working as interns are doing so for no pay.
• There are at least 22,000 unpaid interns in the UK at any one time.
• Taking an unpaid internship can cost an individual more than £900 a month in London or just under £800 a month in Manchester, excluding transport costs.
Fairer and Better opportunities
Labour Town and District Council candidate for Bridgwater Dunwear Diogo Rodrigues (25) welcomed the manifesto saying “This is great news for all young people all around the country. An internship is a great way to gain experience into the field of work that you want to enter but, for too long, some companies have taken advantage of the system in order to get free labour to keep costs down and profits up. It’s about time that we stood up for the young people that have no other choice but to accept this modern form of slavery. I couldn’t be more supportive of the Labour Party for standing up to the companies exploiting these young people whilst the Conservative led government have continuously allowed this to happen. Only with a Labour government can we create fairer and better opportunities for young people like me with: tuition fees cut to £6,000, a guaranteed apprenticeship to every school-leaver who gets the grades, giving 16 and 17-year-olds the important right to vote, raising the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 by 2019 and ending exploitative zero-hours contacts. This is the way forward for the fairer and better future that we all deserve.”
A better future for young people
Mick Lerry added: “Short periods of work experience and training provide valuable opportunities for young people, particularly when they are part of vocational training courses or university placements, but it is not right that young people are being asked to work for months or even a year without pay. This is not only unfair on those who do not have access to money from their parents but is also denying Britain and our businesses the chance to benefit from the talents of all young people”.
“Today Labour’s manifesto for young Britain, A Better Future for Young People, sets out a new commitment to end the scandal of lengthy unpaid internships, by banning unpaid work experience lasting longer than four weeks. After this period companies would have to pay interns at least the minimum wage”, says Mick.
A fair wage is vital
Bridgwater Student Holleigh Isaac-Young said “As a young person unpaid internships are a key focus to many people of my age group. With young people spending years in higher education it is only fair that these young people’s hard work and dedication of pays off, not only should they gain invaluable experience but if they are working for more than four weeks, a fair wage is vital. Internships are highly valuable and we should be attracting young people of Britain to gain experience to help further their future rather than scaring them away with the prospect of having no money, especially after many have spent thousands of pounds on university and higher education to benefit their future.”
Cllr. Mick Lerry – Leader of the Labour Group on Sedgemoor District Council
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency
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