Mike Kelly, head of Living Wage at KPMG, comments on the news that 31% of university graduates working as interns are doing so for no pay, with a six month unpaid internship costing a single person living in London a minimum of £926 a month. He said:
“Every intern should be paid fairly. It seems as though unpaid internships have increasingly become the gateway to land the first job, but the reality is that a vast majority of individuals cannot afford not to be paid. Paid internships allow everyone to compete on a level playing field for valuable experience. It is best for the individuals and best for the employer.
“Every employee, including interns, should be paid and a Living Wage should be the ultimate aim for all internships.
“Over 1000 employers have already voluntarily endorsed the Living Wage Accreditation Scheme. This has helped more than 50,000 families escape the trap of working poor. If more employers followed their leadership we could see an end to poverty pay.
“The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission drew everyone's attention to the fact that more than two thirds of children living in poverty were the children of working parents. It is time this was consigned to the history books.”