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Government considers ban on unpaid internships

02 Nov 2016

A requirement to pay interns at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is being considered by the Government, amid concerns that unpaid internships give wealthy candidates an unfair advantage over their poorer peers.

MPs are due to debate a proposed NMW (Workplace Internships) Bill, which would require employers to pay any adult hired as an intern.

School age children, apprentices and full-time university and college students completing work experience as part of their studies would not have to be paid.

However, it is considered unlikely that the bill will pass, so instead campaigners are hoping that changes to legislation could be reviewed in the next Queen’s speech. Employment Minister, Damian Hinds, recently confirmed that the Government was considering such a move.

Mr Hinds said: ‘I think it is important that young people have an opportunity to get work experience.

‘One of the big barriers to getting a job is not having had employment experience and so there is a role for work experience.

‘It’s important for social mobility that everybody has a crack at getting into the particularly competitive industries.’