Last week business people across Brighton and Hove voted to cut down the time allocated to unpaid internships, to just 6 months. The vote evolved out of discussions held at The Big Debate, where it was argued that the maximum internship time should be kept to 6 months to allow people to go on to earn a liveable wage. However, on the flip side of the coin, many argue that internships really do pay off, and that there shouldn’t be a time limit on them.
Interns learn valuable skills and gain vital experience in a given area. Many internships are a way of getting the long term unemployed back into the work environment, and helping them to build up their CV’s ready to show to prospective employers. It helps to prepare people for job applications, interviews, offers support and bridges the gap between unemployment and paid work.
Many organisations offer Internships as employability training programmes, and a lot of interns go on to do full time work with their intern company. Many of the internships on offer have a dedicated Programme Coordinator, whose role it is to support the interns, provide advice and guidance, and ultimately to make sure they are getting the most out of the programme, which will in-turn encourage them to apply for paid opportunities.
Internships are great way of helping those who want to work get back into employment, one step at time a time. Today’s job market is highly competitive, and some individuals really don’t stand a chance without any support behind them. There are some great companies providing internship training programmes that can really help and for some, taking an internship could be the best choice they ever made; unpaid work is always going to be better than no work at all.