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Calls for code of practice on graduate internships
Today we recieved an email from:
"Employer Engagement is a training company working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus helping graduates into the workplace by providing a work experience scheme with individual training and mentoring support".
It is offering 13 to 26 week 'unpaid' work placements. Attached was an excellent Imperial College Graduate CV.
BDI itself, a not for profit trade association, has run a continuous graduate and work experience placement scheme for the past 7 years. We always pay final year and graduates, most of whom work 2 to 3 days a week, and at peak summer break time we might have 3 students on staff for 3 to 6 months. In most instances at least one of those placements has resulted in a full-time job or a launch pad for their careers. We pay double the minimum wage and provide normal employment benefits including holiday allowance. Three past graduates have remained with BDI for more than 3 years.
We see no reason why graduates or final year students undertaking actual work charged to clients or otherwise should not be paid positions.
However, if the Employee Engagement organisation backed by the Job Centre is offering staff for free (albeit with mentoring and time off for job seeking provisos) - is that not flying in the face of the call for a code of conduct from private sector employers.
Yet another case of lack of joined up public sector thinking and actions.
BDI agree with the Creative & Cultural Skills Council - but before pointing the finger at private sector yet again - get the public sector message co-ordinated first.
We will look at the excellent candidate offered 'free' by the Employer Engagement Organisation and Job Centre and if the candidiate is suitable we will provide a placement - but we will pay a weekly wage regardless of their free offer.
Stop the free placements - but first stop the government offering them.
Thu, 27 Aug 2009
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