Sunday 20 February 2011

MoS: Cameron will ban auctions of internships

The Mail on Sunday says David Cameron will ban Tory fund raising auctions of internships after being embarrassed by the paper's revelations last week that placements at city firms and Tatler magazine were sold off at the Conservative's Black and White Party for thousands of pounds.

A senior Tory aide tells the paper: "You can rest assured that this kind of auction will not be part of next year's event. It was badly misjudged."

The MoS notes its story was seized upon by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who taunted Cameron in the Commons: "Your view of social mobility is auctioning off a few City internships at the Conservative Party ball."

The MoS also highlights a Labour MP advertising an unpaid internship and says: "Last month, a survey revealed that hundreds of MPs have offered unpaid internships to graduates in defiance of calls for all employers to pay anyone on extended work placement a proper wage.

"There were also warnings that politicians advertising for internships for as long as six months were breaking the law."

In an MoS opinion piece Curse of the Interns , Ros Perlin writes: "The Tories’ auction of internships to wealthy donors for their children – reported last week in this newspaper – is only the tip of the iceberg.

"If the UK continues to follow America’s lead, you can look forward to dozens of ‘internship companies’ selling positions (a California firm called Dream Careers offers its American clients summer internships in London for £6,500 a pop), lots more auctions and the further erosion of pay and working conditions.Interns will keep replacing full-time workers but will rarely get hired on a regular basis themselves.

"Instead of work experience lasting a few weeks, we’ll see more internships dragging on for months, even years, and the rise of ‘serial interns’. Britain should put the brakes on the internship boom before it’s too late – if it isn’t already."

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