Archive for January, 2011

MPs accused of exploiting unpaid interns

Our trusty survey of unpaid parliamentary interns has finally had an outing in the national press! A Times article looking at MP’s abuse of unpaid interns referenced its findings. Massive thanks to all who took part. We promise to run further surveys in coming weeks and months.

If you are a Times subscriber you can access the article here. This is what it said about us:

A survey of recent unpaid parliamentary interns by Interns Anonymous, a website set up to support interns, found that two thirds did not even have their expenses covered and 28 per cent undertook tasks that they did not feel comfortable doing.

More than three quarters (77 per cent) said that they were obliged to work set hours, which could mean that their employer was in breach of minimum wage legislation

Labour Peer wants unpaid child-minder (er…. intern)

New Labour peer Bryony Worthington is looking for an unpaid intern. A free researcher for a few days a week. What’s particularly amusing is that the candidate must “be energetic and like children!” Is she looking for an unpaid child-minder? “Bryony recently became a mother for the first time. She is looking for someone to act as her assistant as she juggles these three important roles.” More importantly how does this square with her leader Ed Miliband’s desire to see a living wage? Or indeed a London wage? Send a CV or a scolding email to bryonyworthington@gmail.com

With graduate unemployment at its highest rate for over a decade she really should be setting an example. By not paying interns you are only inhibiting social mobility and entrenching a system in which the rich and well connected can get ahead. As a Labour peer I would hope she understands this.

Songs for interns #2 Sam Cooke – Chain Gang

Our second song for an interns playlist… Sam Cooke’s brilliant Chain Gang. Please keep your suggestions coming in.

How can a museum with a public subsidy of £40m and self-generated income of £30m get away with not paying their interns at least NMW?!

The museum in question is the Victoria & Albert museum.

They expect their intern to work for them at least six months, four days per week, seven hours a day.

What makes this job advert so interesting is the brazen acknowledgement of the current problems graduates and finding when trying to secure jobs in the arts. They write:

However, with jobs in the cultural sector at a premium, and many graduate students unable to secure job interviews without demonstrable work experience, the experience offered through this internship is invaluable, and past interns have gone on to secure a variety of posts in the cultural sector.

Is this a threat? Is it goading? Are they saying that without this internship you won’t be able to get your dream job? Positions like these only perpetuate the problem!

The advert can be found here: V&A Internship.

Victoria and Albert - hardly a work of art themselves.

Victoria and Albert - hardly a work of art themselves.

Songs for interns #1 The Clash – Career Opportunities

Songs for interns #1. Further suggestions of videos to post very welcome in the comments.

The offered me the office, offered me the shop

They said I’d better take anything they’d got

Do you wanna make tea at the BBC?

Do you wanna be, do you really wanna be a cop?

You might have noticed a post go missing from this blog recently

Well… for the first time in our 2 year history interns anonymous has been threatened with legal action!

We have taken the offending blog down  for the good of the intern… who was also threatened.  Threatened by the Global Director of Comms no less.

This is all we are going to say at this stage.

Parliamentary intern mentoring scheme

Does my CV sound ok? Help, I don’t know what a statutory instrument is?! Where is the Table Office?

Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch are re-establishing the Parliamentary intern mentoring scheme and there will be an introductory meeting for interns interested in participating in the scheme on Thursday 13th January in Room M, Portcullis House from 12.30-13.30.

If interns who are interested in attending the meeting could email Shelley at shelley.phelps@parliament.uk so that we can get a feel for numbers that would be great. If you are an intern in the constituency and would like to take part in the scheme then you can sign up via email and we will put you on the list to be assigned a mentor.

Anyone who works for an MP and is interested in becoming a mentor should also email shelley at the above address.

Looking forward to meeting you on the 13th.

Shelley, Nick and Mili


Interns Anonymous

We want this website to be a forum for interns to share their experiences and discuss the ethics of unpaid employment. Most importantly, we want this site to be a place where YOU can tell us your story.

Disclaimer

Interns Anonymous accept no responsibility for the contents of the blog, comments or any other content on this site that is posted or provided by third parties. This website is designed to act as a forum for interns to share experiences and opinions about their work, therefore, we will not censor opinions we do not agree with. The opinions stated in blog contributions do not represent those of Interns Anonymous. We disclaim all liability for such content to the fullest extent permitted by law. If you have any queries please email us.

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