(Updated 2023) Internships and work experience placements can often get bad press, so we look at whether they are a beneficial experience for both Employers and the interns, or unethical exploitation! We also look at what they offer (and what they should offer!) in more detail.

You can read our Guide to Apprenticeships here.

Generally, the problem with many Internships are that Employers don’t pay a wage to their interns, or pay a very low wage, which means they are potentially breaching minimum wage legislation (for more details see below).

In 2021, in a poll of more than 3,000 students by Prospects, they found that during 2020, the first year of the Coronavirus pandemic, less than one in five students found work experience.  The survey found that just 17 per cent of university, college and sixth-form students undertook work experience in that year, with a quarter of students losing work experience placements because of the outbreak. Of those that did find work experience, nearly three in five (59 per cent) said they had not been paid for their work.

A previous report by The Sutton Trust at the end of 2018, found that in the previous two years, 56% of internships were unpaid.  In particular, in the media industry, 86% were unpaid.

You can read the whole article here.