Employers 'should pay interns minimum wage'

by Morag Lyall

Business owners should pay interns a minimum wage, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

It has argued that graduates should be given around £2.50 per hour to reflect the contribution that they offer the company.

The move would also provide an opportunity for people from lower income backgrounds to apply for placements.

A new code of best practice was also proposed by the CIPD for employers to improve the quality of interns' programmes, as well as other benefits including sick pay.

Commenting, Johnny Rich, publisher of realworldmagazine.com, said: "Some companies exploit interns horrifically and basically treat them as extra employees without paying them or giving them any additional expertise.

"It's reasonable to expect somebody to pay with their time and effort in order to gain skills, but it is not reasonable to just use them as cheap labour."

However, internships are often seen as a necessity for getting a job.

According to research by the Trades Union Congress, 40 per cent of graduates believed that employers view work experience as a more valuable asset than qualifications.

Published on: July 6, 2010

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