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Interns in the Voluntary Sector
Time to End Exploitation

May 2013

This paper addresses the fact that paid internships are widespread in the third sector.

This is mainly due to the legal uncertainty about volunteering and NMW regulations, which is being used to avoid paying interns in the sector.

Despite this, internships are becoming an increasingly necessary requirement for those looking to work in certain fields and are already widely viewed as the entry-point to third sector jobs.

There appears to be a large difference in quality between different internships, with paid internships usually offering a better experience, both for the intern and the organisation.

By not paying interns, third sector organisations are excluding many high quality applicants, undermining ethical aims of the sector and equal opportunity in the economy as a whole.

The growth of unpaid internships has meant a reduction in entry level paid work in the sector.

Intern Aware and Unite the Union are calling for an end to unpaid internships and the reintroduction of paid entry level jobs in the sector.

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