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Report The Sutton Trust Research Brief 20

Internships - unpaid, unadvertised, unfair


Publication date

Jan 2018


For young people who cannot afford to work for free, and for those who do not have the networks with which to secure a placement informally, internships are acting as a barrier to the best careers – and to social mobility.
Written by Research Fellow Dr Rebecca Montacute, this brief analyses the latest data to examine at what cost a young person is taking an unpaid internship in 2018 and how we can ensure the best internships are open to all young people, regardless of their background.


Young People, Labour Market, and Wages And Earnings



References: Holford, A. (2017) ‘Access to and returns from unpaid graduate internships’, ISER Working Paper Series, No. 2017-07. Colchester: University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research

Related publications

  1. What I wish I’d known before my unpaid internship

    Angus Holford

  2. Internships cost job seekers £1,000 a month in London and £827 in Manchester

    Angus Holford


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