Research Suggests Unpaid and Underpaid Internships are Blocking Students' PR Careers

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14th April 2014 15:05 - Media and PR

A recent survey of 400 CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) students found that half (49%) of PR interns are not receiving at least the National Minimum Wage, and that a third (32%) of student members felt they could not afford to take low-paying or unpaid internships. While most have done internships, only a quarter said they were paid.

The study’s demographics show that just a quarter (24%) of respondents indemnified themselves as lower middle-class or working class, while it found the same number (24%) were from non-white backgrounds.

According to statistics, a tenth (9%) of the PR workforce is non-white, suggesting that something is preventing non-white interns from becoming fully fledged practitioners – CIPR is to investigate the causes of this disparity.

CIPR president Stephen Waddington said:

 "The lack of fair pay for interns has wide ranging repercussions. It reinforces a growing concern that employers who refuse to pay interns could be depriving the profession of the most promising talent."

When it came to the duration of internships, three in ten (30%) of those surveyed said their longest internship lasted longer than six months. Just under half (46%) of participants indicated they’d spent more than six months interning throughout their career.

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