By Kayte Lawton
Internships can offer significant benefits to young people, but are out of reach for far too many.
Every year, thousands of young people desperately seek out the chance to work for free as unpaid interns in exciting and competitive industries like fashion, advertising, politics and the arts. The lucky ones will often find themselves working long hours doing jobs that many of their employers would admit are vital and would otherwise be done by paid staff.
It would be churlish to suggest that interns get nothing in return for their hard work. That is the whole point of an unpaid internship – people do them because the rewards are significant, including valuable experience, an address book full of contacts and sometimes a permanent role with the employer.
The problem is all those well-qualified, talented and passionate young people who lack the resources to pay their way through an unpaid internship. This means that the experiences and contacts