As she packs up a glamorous evening dress from one of Madonna’s favourite designers to send off as a celebrity sample, Pamela Ngomba can hardly believe her good fortune. After four months of seeking in vain for a work-experience placement, the history graduate has landed a temporary post as the assistant to the press officer of Issa, the fashion label of the Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel.
Archive for May, 2009
Almost half of British firms have no plans to hire any of the hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults who will join the jobs market in the next three months.
Last week I was agonizing over whether or not I had the courage/audacity/right/energy (depending on which side of the desk you’re sitting on) to voice my concerns about my internship at the think tank. But after bumping into another intern at a conference and comparing notes it became evident that my particular department had a high admin level and I was bearing the brunt of it: While he’d been in the British Library researching minimum wages I’d been counting magazines in a dusty stockroom.
Are you an unpaid parliamentary intern?
We’d really appreciate the feedback.
The Low Pay Commission mention “work experience” in their annual report on the operation of the Minimum Wage, published today:
“4.80 We again received evidence on this topic this year from a number of stakeholders.
The National Council for Work Experience (NCWE) stated that employers in the media industry continue to exploit students through unpaid work experience, and it believed there was some inconsistency and confusion with the existing guidance and advice by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). It was concerned that unpaid work experience could lead to the exclusion of less wealthy students and reported little policing of the minimum wage as it applied to this group.
Given the daily revelations about MP expenses is now the time to be anywhere near an MP’s office?
There are numerous internships out there that involve hard work and few guaranteed rewards- and they don’t come much harder than interning for an MP, especially if you end up working for a corrupt tax evader who claims expenses on pampers.
Disregarding the moral questions raised by the various expenses scandals out there at the moment-interns within Westminster or constituency offices must be thinking, is this really where I want to be?
Last week a meeting took place in Westminster between MPs, staff and their representatives about the centralisation of MPs expenses, and believe it or not, the status of Interns did get a look in.
7th Question from the floor: “What about interns? The situation is not satisfactory will they look at their pay and expenses?”
Chris Bryant MP: Personally I feel very uncertain about the situation with interns.
It is not good to employ people for free
It is not right that people with contacts or wealth get on in professional life because they have those two things.
I will not criticise colleagues who have interns and I know people are prepared to volunteer because they are so passionate about it. It is not our intention that the independent Committee on Standards and Public Life will look at that although the work being done by Alan Milburn on access to the professions may address it. I think interns should be a separate issue and I would support a formal system of internships like they have in the EU.
I have just completed a lengthy (6 months +) internship at a well-known PR agency in London, and have come to the conclusion that Interns are a commodity – to be bought at the lowest possible price, and if not sold on, then discarded when the need for them wanes.
This may sound very cynical, but this should be an indication of how my period as an Intern has affected me! I busted a gut for a company I believed would be likely to take me on permanently after a period of about 3 months, but this never came to fruition, and I am now back on the job (or cattle) market.
After four months of interning in various different capacities, companies and countries, even, my expectations of unpaid placements are increasingly demanding.
In pre-crunch times, I would have been content to endure any amount of boondoggling and tedious admin, safe in the knowledge that, provided I proved enthusiastic enough, my name would be nudged towards the top of the candidates list for prospective vacancies. But when you’re copied into internal emails asking staff to hold out on big payments and the office coffee jar goes un-replenished, no amount of wishful thinking will convince you that there is a job just waiting to be snapped up.
Internships are nothing new, they provide a way for graduates to get their foot in the door and for more experienced workers to try something new.
There have never been so many internships available for people and the recession has created a large and ever increasing pool of potential candidates.
But when is the best time to do an internship?