Sutton Trust research is cited and CEO James Turner is quoted on unpaid internships in the BBC.

Every year, approximately 70,000 real world internships are undertaken in the UK according to social mobility charity The Sutton Trust.

A substantial amount of these are unpaid. This puts a strain on many people who are unable to afford the cost of travel, appropriate office clothes, or rent in big cities.

Not having the right contacts can also be an obstacle when it comes to landing a work placement.

“Digital internships could help to break down some of these geographical, social and financial barriers,” says James Turner, the chief executive of The Sutton Trust.

However, he identifies a potential problem.

“We don’t want to see a two-tier system formed, where physical internships are the ones with real currency and continue to be accessed by those who are better off and have connections.

“Then there could be this second set of virtual internship experiences which may not be quite as good at developing employability skills, and may not open as many doors further down the line.”

Get the story or read the research.