Rachel Reeves All Talk on Unpaid Internships

Well done to Rachel Reeves for slamming unfair unpaid internships offered by unscrupulous employees. She told the audience at her speech yesterday:

“The problem with internships is that you can afford to do it if your parents have got money. If you don’t live in London you can’t afford to do it if your parents don’t have the money or if you live in an area where there are those kinds of opportunities. So I think there are real problems with unpaid internships and I think obviously the cost of living for a young person versus the cost of living for a family but I still think it’s wrong that you ask people to do a job… there’s nothing wrong with work experience… there’s nothing wrong with offering a couple of weeks work experience but internships that last 3 or 6 months that are full time and you’re not paying them anything… that’s a job and you should pay someone for doing a job and I think they should pay someone a living wage.”

How noble. Yet Reeves has personally advertised for unpaid internships no less than six times: twice in June 2010, once in December 2010, once in January 2011, once in April 2011 and twice again in August 2011. Not just in her Leeds constituency office, in London too, where “you can’t afford to do it if your parents don’t have the money”. Spare us the lectures.

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