Several of the UK’s top universities have banned the advertising of unpaid graduate internships.
Oxford University requires graduate employers to offer the minimum wage, and will only promote unpaid internships that last less than a month, unless the recruiter is a charity or voluntary organisation.
Other institutions taking similar stances include Sussex, York, Leeds and Liverpool.
Alex Brannen, Head of Media and PR at Reading University, says: ‘In the interests of equality and fair access to all students, we do not endorse or promote unpaid internships, and employers are advised that this is our policy. Work placements and internships are becoming increasingly important to help graduates move into managerial or professional careers, and all undergraduate courses at Reading offer a placement opportunity. The University’s own scheme provides paid internships.’
Prompted by campaign group Intern Aware, HMRC is currently investigating the internship practices of 100 businesses that potentially breach minimum wage laws.
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