From prweek.com/uk: Feedback - Can the intern scheme bridge industry divide?

Unpaid internships are inhibiting social mobility

We have to be realistic and glamorous, or world famous.

Die-to-work-for organisations will always trade off their names ('Intern plan divides industry', prweek.com/uk, 7 April).

However, it has now spread throughout the industry and is not healthy. I have a daughter studying PR at university and graduating this year, and she and herp colleagues are fully expectant of having to work for free for a time, if they are lucky. It feels to me like a middle-class tax. But, more importantly, it really does inhibit social mobility. Do we really want PR to be like politics?

Valentine Smith

Interns need opportunities to gain vital experience

As an MA student in PR, there are problems finding internships in the industry.

I have just finished a five-week internship. My fellow students and I had a lot of trouble even finding a placement and we were all told that we were 'not experienced enough'. How can we become experienced if nobody wants to offer us the opportunity of gaining that experience?

Sophie Redman

Exploiting interns must be considered illegal

There is a fine balance between a short 'work experience placement', where students are often given the very basic foundations of being in a real business, and then simply exploiting interns.

We often take on interns at my company.

We always cover lunch and travel costs, and generally the internships are about 100 hours long, in line with what universities seem to expect. Just hiring interns to perform specific functions and not to train, grow or offer anything in return, is surely illegal.

Calum Brannan

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