Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

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Contrarian
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Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by Contrarian »

Might this affect those in Honorary Assistant Psychologist roles? What do you think about this?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32346213
Ed Miliband has pledged to put an end to long-term unpaid internships if he becomes the next prime minister.
The Labour leader promised to ban placements that last for more than four weeks in order to end "the scandal" of unpaid work experience. He claimed the poorest young people are held back from good jobs by a system "rigged" to benefit the wealthy. He made the pledge at the launch of Labour's manifesto for young people in Lincoln. Mr Miliband will say that under a Labour government, companies would be forced to pay interns at least the minimum wage if they keep them on for more than a month. He said: "In this country, if you want a good job in a highly-prized sector, you're often asked to work for free, often for months on end, sometimes even a year. "It's a system that's rigged in favour of those who can afford it."

Educational charity the Sutton Trust estimates there are around 22,000 unpaid interns in the UK at any one time, with about 31% of graduates on placements not being paid. Mr Miliband added: "It's not fair, it's not right and actually it prevents our companies drawing on all the talents our nation has to offer. "So we'll put a stop to it. We'll end the scandal of unpaid internships." He also announced plans to guarantee high-quality apprenticeships for all school-leavers who achieve the necessary grades and ensure paid starter jobs, with training, for young people unemployed for more than a year. "If you get the grades we will guarantee you an apprenticeship. That's the first time any government has made that promise and we will deliver," he said to audience applause.

The Labour leader also reaffirmed his party's promise to cut tuition fees to £6,000, and increase maintenance grants by £400 a year to support students from low-income backgrounds. "Debt shouldn't be weighing you down, when you should be taking flight," he said. Ben Lyons, co-founder of the campaign group Intern Aware, said ending unpaid internships would make a real difference to thousands of young people entering the job market. "The current chasm between twenty somethings who can afford to work for months on end for free and those who can't is bad for social mobility, bad for business and bad for Britain," he said. But business lobbying group the CBI has previously warned that banning unpaid internships could reduce the number of opportunities available.
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miriam
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by miriam »

Good.
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by emjayeff »

I have mixed feelings about this.

I was an honorary assistant psychologist for three months, which eventually led to some bank work, and I believe was instrumental in getting me a paid AP position at interview in another trust. I think this is the way in clinical psychology sometimes - it is so competitive that to get experience, one must already have experience and honorary AP jobs provide a way in. The only way around this is to create more paid jobs, which requires more funding and is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

HOWEVER, I sought that experience myself, and a service was willing to take me on as an addition to their team and not to fill a noticeable gap. Once I had worked there a while, they realised there was a role for an AP and created a paid p/t job after I left. I believe that if a trust has noticed a gap and is willing to advertise for a job, this should be paid not honorary.

I think if someone is willing to work voluntarily and find a service is able to offer them some a role which is additional to their needs, then honorary AP roles work, but I'm not sure I agree with the practice of advertising for honorary AP roles, as this implies a genuine gap in employment needs to be filled and the trust may as well make the most of volunteers than paying them what they deserve...
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by hettie »

Out of interest how did you fund your 3 months?
Because the question for me isn't about whether trusts are getting free labour (although this si really problematic...But it's more about putting up boundaries to those from low incomes/without family support. Even if you live frugaly in a flat share you still need a minimum income to live on, and if you have to earn you can't take 'honorary' roles...
I hope to hell this gets pushed through (but I very much doubt it will)
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by Lp22 »

I imagine if this did come in to effect that the term "honorary/voluntary assistant psychologist" may fade somewhat.

It would probably mean, in inpatient settings at least, that support workers with an interest may be able to get some AP experience (paid or unpaid) under the guise of a support worker receiving training. It could also lead to more split support worker/ assistant psychologist posts like the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust sometimes advertise.

Promoting social equality can never be a bad thing. :)
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enid
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by enid »

I did very part-time (one day per week) honorary AP work in addition to full-time work - well full-time PhD. I also believe that this was key in getting my CP career forward, without a doubt. I think the proposed time-limit is too short in a way - maybe three months max makes more sense. In the media I know people work for free for 6 months-a year, very very full-time, and this is very unfair/ a very unfair system.
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by eponymous85 »

On the whole I think it's really good news, though I do echo concerns about opportunities disappearing where there is no money for paid posts.

The blanket ban is more headline grabbing, but I would have preferred a more subtle range of limits, e.g. a limit on hours per week so that you can also be in paid employment, a more sensible time limit like 3 months etc.

However I think (hope) this is mostly designed to cut down on exploitative schemes like welfare to work and to redress the SES imbalance in aspirational careers.
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Psyfer
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by Psyfer »

I don't think unpaid AP posts should be banned. Rich people will always have an advantage! I view unpaid work as fairly accessible to a those who need to support themselves in comparison to some of the other things AP posts want eg an MSc.

1. I self funded 8 months part-time AP experience by working part time and using money I saved working in a non-psychology related graduate job for a year.

2. I would have loved to have done an msc but the ones I wanted are soo expensive. It would be cheaper to do an unpaid full time AP for over a year.
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by Randomswirls »

I wonder if these position would just become voluntary ones. I know the trust where I work appoints volunteers who go on the wards or work in teams co facilitating groups etc. I know one Early Intervention Team had a yearly volunteer who worked one day a week. On both occasions it was someone interested in Psychology but they could have been placed in lots of areas as the trust doesn't specifically recruit Psychology volunteers (I guess because they would be overwhelmed).

I have literally just started volunteering one day a week with the R&D department where I work. I guess it could technically be called an Honorary AP/RA role and when applying for jobs I'd probably see if that would be appropriate. They have just employed some paid AP's and if I wasn't there nobody would be paid in my place the work would just be done by current staff. I don't have an academic reference particularly as my uni tutor was being difficult due to the many years it's been since I graduated so out of this job I will get the reference and I will also get a bit of research experience.

I get no help from my family and work part time, if I wasn't volunteering on that day I wouldn't be working so I am no worse off doing it unless more hours magically became available and that is beyond highly unlikely!!!!!

That said living in London I am a member of one of the AP groups and constantly get sent jobs about honorary AP roles within one trust. These seem to be roles that in many cases would/could be filled by a paid AP. They often require several days of commitment and a year's time frame. I guess I disagree in many way with these as it does seem to be taking the piss a bit as often they have vacancies for a few of these AP's meaning they may have two or three volunteers doing a few days a week which equates to a full time post.
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by miriam »

It isn't going to end volunteering, or student placements. It is just going to end the practise of companies taking people on for long-term full-time work without paying them. I'm sure anything legitimate will still be possible.

It also hasn't happened yet, and if it does it may be phrased as 4 weeks whole time equivalent, allowing "long thin" commitments, or have some exclusions that allow volunteering in the charitable and public sector, including the NHS. Its hard to predict at this stage who will be in power in a month from now, let alone what the wording of one particular proposal from one party will mean if and when enacted.
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by Gilly »

miriam wrote:one particular proposal from one party will mean if and when enacted.
this being the main thing - pre-elections promises and manifestos need to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt!

(and if it does start to be discussed - talk to your local MP with your concerns and see if they will bring it up...)
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Re: Miliband pledge to end long-term unpaid internships

Post by eponymous85 »

Gilly wrote:
this being the main thing - pre-elections promises and manifestos need to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt!

e.g. voting against tuition fee increases, "no top down reorganisation of the NHS", etc etc...
The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many layered thing.
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