Around three quarters of UK adults support the ban of unpaid internships

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31st October 2017 16:53 - Central Government

Around three quarters of UK adults support the ban of unpaid internships

Around three quarters of UK adults support the ban of unpaid internships: In response to the second reading of Lord Holmes of Richmond Private Members’ Bill, recent figures released by the Social Mobility Commission found that 72% of 4,723 UK adults support the new proposal.

In response to this, the YouGov survey asked respondents if they would support or oppose the proposed ban.

The results showed the percentages of those who were for and against the proposed plans.

·       Strongly support – 42%

·       Tend to support – 30%

·       Tend to oppose – 8%

·       Strongly oppose – 2%

The latest statistics estimate that there are up to 15,000 unpaid internships in the UK, many of which are presumed to be undertaken by graduates as an opportunity to work in their desired industry.

In the National Minimum Wage Act (1998), the role of an intern is said to have a similar description to that of a worker, meaning that the lack of clarity between the two is more likely to broaden the possibility of employers exploiting the use of interns. As a result, the Bill has been proposed in hope to ban unpaid internships and unpaid work experience lasting more than four weeks.

In addition to the previous question, surveyors also asked if they would prefer companies to openly advertise their work experience positions, or deal with the arrangements informally.

Overall, 80% said they would prefer it if employers advertised their intern vacancies openly, while only 5% were against this type of arrangement. Additionally, 14% of respondents said they didn’t know.

Commenting on the survey’s results, Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation, said: It is no surprise that a majority of the public want to see an end to them. We welcome the commission’s call to ban unpaid internships that last for more than four weeks.”

He adds: “There also needs to be greater transparency in recruiting for these positions, so that young people without professional networks are not at a disadvantage.”

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