As you can probably tell by the frequency of our posts, the Interns Anonymous blog has been winding down for some time. One threat of legal action too many has confirmed what we have been thinking for some time: we don’t have the time and energy to do this blog the justice it deserves.
In the hands of our fellow campaigners, the brilliant Intern Aware, Graduate Fog and committed individuals like Mark Watson and Joe Thomas, the campaign against unpaid internships continues to make fantastic progress. There is much work still to be done but we both feel very proud that over the past four and a half years the issue of unpaid work has entered the public consciousness and businesses are beginning to understand what is right and what is wrong.
We’ve had great fun working on this campaign – from getting unpaid internships on to the front page of the Guardian, to being invited to discuss the issue with various government departments. One highlight (although this happens to almost every blogger!) was being contacted by the British Library for permission to archive the content of the blog for future researchers and historians. This, after all, was what Interns Anonymous was all about: cataloguing what the job market is like for our generation and giving a voice to those who didn’t and still don’t feel listened to.
To the hundreds of interns who have written to us with their experiences, to those we’ve met and the thousands more who have answered our surveys – THANK YOU SO MUCH. We started this blog in the pub, sitting with some friends who were all unpaid interns. We wondered how many interns there were – what they did all day and how they felt about it. Our maxim from four years ago still stands true today. Only by trying to make sense of what young people are experiencing in the job market can we have any hope of sorting out the issue of unemployment and underemployment. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: if you can’t afford to work for free, then you are effectively cut-off from a whole range of potential careers.
You can never say never but this blog and our email address are going to be pretty quiet from now on.
Alex and Rosy