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ISER Working Paper Series 2017-07

Access to and returns from unpaid graduate internships

Authors

Publication date

08 Jun 2017

Abstract

We use the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (DLHE) to estimate the socio-economic gradient in access to unpaid internships among English and Welsh graduates six months after completing their first degree, and the return to this internship experience 3 years later in terms of salary, occupation, contract type and career satisfaction. We show a significant salary penalty at 3.5 years after graduation compared with those going straight into paid work or further study, but also that graduates from higher socio-economic status have an advantage in accessing internships while being significantly insulated from their negative effects.

Subjects

Human Capital, Labour Market, Wages And Earnings, Social Stratification, and Higher Education

Notes

Is referenced by: (2017) 'Unpaid Work Experience (Prohibition) Bill [HL] - House of Lords Hansard debate, 27 October 2017'. London: Great Britain. Parliament.; Is referenced by: Montacute, R. (2018) ‘Internships - unpaid, unadvertised, unfair’, The Sutton Trust Research Brief, No. 20. London: The Sutton Trust.

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