Out of curiosity I just searched for ‘internship’ on Unitemps. There are 57 results with intern in the title. There are currently 201 jobs listed on Unitemps. So over 25% of jobs on Unitemps are currently looking for interns. Many of these have an identical description as “3 Months ‘Paid’ Internship”. The invert commas are presumably intended to indicate a description of the status rather than to cast doubt on the meaningfulness of the pay. But the effect is jarring nonetheless.
What’s even more jarring is how many of these internships are clearly just jobs. But calling it an internship is seen to justify much lower wages and/or a flat fee on the strength of a barely sustained pretence that it’s a training programme rather than a strategy for recruiting staff at (and potentially below) minimum wage. Remember it’s a university at the heart of this. Unitemps is “the University owned temporary staffing service providing job opportunities on campus and with local commercial businesses” for those who haven’t encountered it.
The other jobs service my university runs is doing the same thing. These are the first few of the 25 results when you search for “internship” on jobs.ac.uk. Surely the first ‘internship’ is obviously below minimum wage?
Categories: Higher Education