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Arts sector internships identified as “problematic” in social mobility report
POSTED 11 Dec 2018 . BY Andy Knaggs
Internships for young people in workplaces such as museums are often unpaid. Credit: Shutterstock.com

This is a huge social mobility issue. It prevents young people from getting a foot on the ladder
– Sir Peter Lampl
Increasing numbers of graduates are having to take on multiple unpaid internships as they strive to get their foot on the ladder in sectors such as the arts, according to a new report.

Conducted by social mobility foundation Sutton Trust, the Pay As You Go report described the arts sector as “problematic”.

The study found that almost 90 per cent of work placements in the arts are unpaid, forcing many graduates to lean upon friends, family and a second job to get by. For those from lower to moderate income backgrounds, this can often mean not even attempting to gain experience in a sector that they are interested in as a career.

"This is a huge social mobility issue. It prevents these young people from getting a foot on the ladder," said Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation. "In order to help tackle this situation, internships should be advertised, not offered through informal networks. This locks out the many young people who don’t have connections."

The arts sector is "one of the most problematic sectors" according to the report. Almost 90 per cent of internships were found to not be paying minimum wage, and there were high rates of placement per person, with 32 per cent of interns completing three or more work placements. Working class graduates are substantially under-represented, and more than a third of placements show none of the characteristics of a "good internship". Compounding this, there are high rates of unemployment and low salaries among former arts interns.

There is also confusion among employers and graduates as to the current law on unpaid internships, the report suggests. Under national minimum wage legislation, interns must be paid if they are expected to work set hours or on set tasks. Up to 50 per cent of employers and 37 per cent of graduates in the Sutton Trust survey were not aware that such internships, if unpaid, are likely to be illegal.

"The legal grey area around internships allows employers to offer unpaid internships with impunity," said Lampl. "We're advocating that all internships over four weeks should be required to pay at least the National Minimum Wage and preferably the Living Wage."
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NEWS
Arts sector internships identified as “problematic” in social mobility report
POSTED 11 Dec 2018 . BY Andy Knaggs
Internships for young people in workplaces such as museums are often unpaid. Credit: Shutterstock.com
This is a huge social mobility issue. It prevents young people from getting a foot on the ladder
– Sir Peter Lampl
Increasing numbers of graduates are having to take on multiple unpaid internships as they strive to get their foot on the ladder in sectors such as the arts, according to a new report.

Conducted by social mobility foundation Sutton Trust, the Pay As You Go report described the arts sector as “problematic”.

The study found that almost 90 per cent of work placements in the arts are unpaid, forcing many graduates to lean upon friends, family and a second job to get by. For those from lower to moderate income backgrounds, this can often mean not even attempting to gain experience in a sector that they are interested in as a career.

"This is a huge social mobility issue. It prevents these young people from getting a foot on the ladder," said Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation. "In order to help tackle this situation, internships should be advertised, not offered through informal networks. This locks out the many young people who don’t have connections."

The arts sector is "one of the most problematic sectors" according to the report. Almost 90 per cent of internships were found to not be paying minimum wage, and there were high rates of placement per person, with 32 per cent of interns completing three or more work placements. Working class graduates are substantially under-represented, and more than a third of placements show none of the characteristics of a "good internship". Compounding this, there are high rates of unemployment and low salaries among former arts interns.

There is also confusion among employers and graduates as to the current law on unpaid internships, the report suggests. Under national minimum wage legislation, interns must be paid if they are expected to work set hours or on set tasks. Up to 50 per cent of employers and 37 per cent of graduates in the Sutton Trust survey were not aware that such internships, if unpaid, are likely to be illegal.

"The legal grey area around internships allows employers to offer unpaid internships with impunity," said Lampl. "We're advocating that all internships over four weeks should be required to pay at least the National Minimum Wage and preferably the Living Wage."
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
RELATED STORIES
Skills for Success programme looks to 'diversify' Scotland's museum workforce


Museums Galleries Scotland has launched an initiative looking to address the lack of accessible entry routes into museum jobs for non-university graduates by offering opportunities for non- graduates.
Museums Association launches Transformers Influencers training scheme for 2018-19


The Museums Association (MA) is set to launch the latest round of its Transformers Influence programme – a scheme designed to help people in the sector harness the social power of museums to develop active partnerships within their communities.
Museums Association research reveals lower average pay for workers in sector


Museums Association (MA) director Sharon Heal says new research raises serious questions about entry into the sector, with average pay seven per cent lower overall than the market average.
New £15m arts employment scheme announced


A new £15m employment programme aims to diversify England’s arts and culture workforce by providing 6,500 traineeships, apprenticeships and paid internships for people aged 16 to 24.
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+ More catalogues  
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+ More directory  
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28-30 Sep 2021

International Wellness Tourism Conference

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Miami, United States
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+ More diary  
 


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