Writing for the Telegraph, Graeme Paton reports on new Sutton Trust research into unpaid internships.

Graduates from wealthy families are tightening their grip on top jobs because they can afford to spend up to £1,000 a month taking internships without pay, according to research.

The richest university leavers are far more likely to work for nothing to kick-start their career in highly-competitive professions such as journalism, politics and law, it was claimed.

The Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, warned that poorer graduates may be missing out on good jobs because they cannot afford to take unpaid internships.

It came as new research from the charity found that around 22,000 out of 70,000 people taking long-term work experience placements are currently without pay.

The study estimated that a six-month placement in London would cost more than £6,000 when accommodation, food, transport and other bills are included. The average for an unpaid internship in Manchester would be just over £5,000, it was claimed.

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