Rosemary Bennett cites the Sutton Trust’s Pay As You Go research in an article on unpaid internships for the Times.

More than 80 per cent of internships in the film, TV and fashion industries are unpaid, forcing graduates to rely on parents and friends to gain vital work experience, according to research.

The Sutton Trust said that, overall, more than one in four graduates had taken on an unpaid internship and there was widespread confusion over whether they should receive a wage.


The Sutton Trust, a charity that aims to improve social mobility, said that completing an internship was associated with higher salaries in the end, but there was evidence that doing too many could lead to lower paid work.

Many young people are trapped in cycles of unpaid placements without significant benefits to their career, with many internships offering little actual training, it added.

The report coincides with a bill to ban unpaid internships that last longer than four weeks which will be brought before the Commons today.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the trust, said that unpaid internships prevented young people from low and moderate-income backgrounds from getting started in sought-after jobs such as journalism, fashion, the arts and law.

“This is a huge social mobility issue. It prevents these young people from getting a foot on the ladder,” he said, adding that internships should be advertised, not offered through informal networks, which “lock out” those who don’t have connections.


Get the full story or read our research on internships.