Miliband pledges four-week limit to unpaid internships
Placements lasting longer than four weeks will require employers to pay minimum wage
Labour will ban all unpaid internships that last longer than four weeks if they are elected, the party announced on Friday as part of its youth manifesto launch at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.
“In this country, if you want a good job in a highly-prized sector, you’re often asked to work for free – often for months on end, sometimes even a year,” said party leader Ed Miliband. “It’s a system rigged in favour of those who can afford it.”
Labour also reaffirmed pledges that were already known including cutting tuition fees to £6,000, increasing annual maintenance grants to £400 to support students from low-income backgrounds, and raising the minimum wage to £8 an hour.
Miliband also announced plans to guarantee high-quality apprenticeships for all school-leavers who achieve the necessary grades and ensure paid starter jobs, with training, for young people unemployed for more than a year.
Intern Aware co-founder Ben Lyons welcomed the internship proposal. “The current chasm between twenty-somethings who can afford to work for months on end for free and those who can’t is bad for social mobility, bad for business and bad for Britain.”
“Businesses are crying out for clarity on internships, and the four-week limit offers that – as well as vastly increasing the pool of talent they can draw on. We hope this pledge is the start of a change in the political weather around getting young people into work,” added Lyons.
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