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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Do as I say, not as I do #94

Chris Grayling in HMTelegraph:

"The critics are job snobs. The Guardian newspaper publishes stories attacking big retailers for offering short-term unpaid work experience placements for young people."
"But that same Guardian newspaper advertises on its website - yes, you guessed it - short-term unpaid work experience placements for young people."
"The BBC's Newsnight joined in the attack on big retailers offering unpaid work experience. And on the BBC website? Yes, you guessed it again – an offer of unpaid work experience placements. It's time we put an end to this hypocrisy."

2 comments:

webwrights said...

I am perfectly relaxed about people being on defined, (very) short-term contracts, whether implied or formal. I do, however, believe that it's disgusting that anyone - fashion magazines, BBC, politicians, banks, anyone - can get away with paying anything less than what is, for every other employer, minimum wage.

When I ran a broking business, I frequently gave holiday jobs to friends' kids, and also provided them with 'work experience' (for their CVs) while they hunted for full-time employment. I always paid them, not least because that gave them an implied responsibility not to screw up. If you are paid nothing, there is the ever-present temptation to shrug and say "phuqit" and take zero interest in menial tasks. Money in the hand tends to concentrate the mind a fraction.

Even if they are making coffee and collecting dry-cleaning, they are worth the pitiful few quid of minimum wage. I think the government should outlaw 'expenses only' internships.

Alex said...

I quite agree. It is not as though talented people ever started on massive salaries. I remember when I graduated an average graduate salary was about £5,000. I made about £8,000 but I was working overseas (Holland), but I had steady, large pay rises. Within 18 months I was making £20,000 a year (job change) and withing 5 years I was working in New York making £100,000 a year (OK sterling was weak against the dollar at the time).

The point was that employers recognised that young people could add value and they didn't try to beat them down or exploit them just because there was pressure in the job market.