Posts Tagged ‘Sabrina Francis’

Using unpaid interns is wrong – there must be a better way

06/04/2011, 03:36:04 PM

by Sabrina Francis

The recent talk of social mobility and interning reminded me of my secret shame. My name’s Sabrina Francis and I was an intern.

I interned on and off for nearly three whole years. The reason I’ll always feel slightly ashamed is  that when I was in the throes of my intern adventure there was no high profile campaign – or talk of the unfairness of the PPE brigade stealing all the jobs – it felt like there was just me. I felt like a failure trapped in an endless cycle of interning followed by the crushing disappointment as I realised the organisation I’d  given up my time for were never going to employ me. I’d simply just slotted into a place on a conveyor belt of graduates desperate to get a foot in the door.

During all of Clegg’s grandstanding and showing off about the Lib Dems starting to pay their interns “at once”,  what’s been on my mind is that as a party we seem to be nowhere on this issue. The Labour party runs on unpaid work. Just a quick glance on throws up Labour MP after Labour MP offering only expenses to someone who will end up playing a large part in the running of their office.

What has happened to us? How can the traditional party of the people, the working class, be knee deep in practices that hold others back and go against the very spirit of meritocracy? I know IPSA are making it hard for MPs to adequately fund the staff they need and I also know that some MPs use internships as a way to offer opportunities to people that might not usually get them. However, the facts are quite simple: you cannot intern unless you live in London and have the money to support yourself while you’re not earning. They must know this is wrong. (more…)

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