Document Abstract

Pay as you go? Internship pay, job quality and access in the graduate jobs market

Looks at internship pay, quality and access in the graduate jobs market. Uses a survey of business decision makers, job advertisement data, a survey of young graduates, and a survey of staffers working in MPs and Peers' offices in Westminster. Considers how common internships are in terms of provision and take-up. Investigates internship pay. Examines access to internships. Reflects on the law in relation to internships. Explores the quality and outcomes of internships. Addresses internships in British politics. Finds that internships are an increasingly integral part of the graduate job market, yet are characterised by many features that are socially exclusive and afford advantages to those from better off backgrounds, serving as a drag on social mobility. Argues, therefore, that internships play a role in perpetuating the disproportionate influence of those from well-off backgrounds in many of the country's top professions, and suggests that tackling the issue of unpaid internships is crucial to improving social mobility in the workplace. Concludes that it is necessary to make existing internships better for those doing them, along with improving access to the best opportunities by reducing the social exclusion caused by lack of pay, and making application processes transparent and open to all. Makes recommendations for government, employers and other bodies.


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Cullinane, Carl; Montacute, Rebecca
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Sutton Trust

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