Posts Tagged ‘Greg Barker’

Tuesday News Review

05/04/2011, 06:15:18 AM

Clegg to cut his own school tie

Nick Clegg will call for sweeping changes to internships today to try to break the ‘sharp elbowed’ middle-class stranglehold on the professions. Firms that fail to provide ‘financial support’ to interns could face investigation by HM Revenue and Customs over their compliance with the minimum wage laws. Launching the Coalition’s social  mobility strategy, the Deputy Prime Minister will also warn that the ‘well-connected’ middle classes enjoy an unfair advantage in getting work  experience for their children. He will argue that internships have become a closed shop in many professions. Mr Clegg will also criticise the practice of expecting interns to work for nothing, which he believes discriminates against youngsters from poorer backgrounds. – Daily Mail

The government is aiming to reverse the growing culture of unpaid internships, which favour the wealthy and well-connected, as part of asocial mobility strategy to be launched by Nick Clegg. The national internship scheme will ask firms to pay young people doing work experience and warn they could otherwise risk a legal challenge under the national minimum wage legislation. The deputy prime minister will say that the aim is to make career progression less dependent on “who your father’s friends are”. The Conservative party chair, Lady Warsi, will announce on Tuesday that the civil service will end informal internships before 2012. They will all then be advertised on the government’s website. As one part of a many-pronged effort to narrow differences in achievement between social groups, a number of firms have been enlisted to give people without family connections experience in competitive fields of work. The government will encourage firms to use name-blank and school-blank applications. – the Guardian

HM Revenue & Customs will launch a crackdown in professions such as law and journalism where work experience is commonplace, to ensure that people are paid the national minimum wage or receive out of pocket expenses. Ministers say that many young people miss out because they lack the personal contacts or cannot afford to take an unpaid internship. They believe this is hindering efforts to close the “life chances gap” between the poor and better off. Mr Clegg will announce his moves when he issues the Government’s plans to improve social mobility and tackle child poverty. He will say: “For too long, internships have been the almost exclusive preserve of the sharp-elbowed and the well-connected. Unfair, informal internships can rig the market in favour of those who already have opportunities. We want a fair job market based on merit not networks. It should be about what you know, not who you know.” – the Independent (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon