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UK – Graduates shelling out for unpaid internships

04 September 2013

Graduates are reportedly paying recruitment companies nearly £5,000 to find them work experience. A report from Radio 4 states that the internships are unpaid but it is a price that students are willing to pay to get ahead. 

Many graduates struggle when leaving university and looking for work. The benefits of completing an internship means that students are three times more likely to find a job than those who don’t.

Lewis Talbot, Programme Director at City Internships; the company that offers eight week internships between £2,000 and £5,000, says: “The internship programme itself is an eight week programme, the major components of that is an eight week internship placement with an employer in the field of the intern’s choosing.”

"All employers cover an absolute minimum of daily lunch and travel expenses, that’s a condition of their participation. The programme itself includes weekly careers seminars, networking events in addition to regular social events and excursions.”

Jonathan Black, who ran the careers service for the University of Oxford, disagrees and says he doesn’t feel that people should have to be made to pay for this service. He says: “Many of the services this company is offering are already available and free at all universities in the UK through their careers service or through their students unions.”

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