Charities urged to end unpaid internships

The union Unite and Intern Aware have called on charities to stop unpaid internships, saying it breeds elitism.

The report, Interns in the Voluntary Sector, interviews 200 students on their experiences on interning in the charity sector and found while unpaid internships were viewed by students as necessary and potentially beneficial, their exploitative nature is also recognised – even in the voluntary sector.

Charities were also interviewed for the report, and it found that it was recognised that unpaid internships could be at odds with perceptions of the voluntary sector being the ‘ethical sector’ and pose a reputational risk.

The report also warned that unpaid internships in the charity sector bred elitism: “The sector puts itself at danger of looking hypocritical and juxtaposed: charities which are perceived as leading in ethical activity, are actually exacerbating existing socio-economic inequalities.”

Unite and Intern Aware are calling for all interns in the charity sector to at least be paid the minimum wage.

This article was taken from Civil Society – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/15161/