Unpaid Internships

Fabian has given his support to the campaign to make advertising unpaid internships illegal in the United Kingdom.

There is now a long established tradition of seeking an internship as a prelude to a career in the political milieu. The pressure for employment and the need for applicants for jobs to be able to produce a good CV of their experience has now grossly distorted recruitment. The word 'intern' is synonymous with being 'unpaid' in many organisations, particularly those with connections into Parliament at Westminster. Quite apart from the immorality of a system that permits people to work without getting paid, there is an additional injustice. Only those people from backgrounds or familes which can support them while working unpaid are able to gain the vital prior employment experience that internship often provides. This means that the applicants able to build up 'interesting' CVs are more likely to come from well-off families.

A first reading of a bill to outlaw the advertisement of unpaid internships was scheduled at Westminster on the 5th of December 2012 which was supported and sponsored by the National Union of Students.

Fabian says, "I am more than pleased to give an opportunity for students (and those still in school) to learn something of the way that MPs work at Westminster and in the constituency. Each year I am able to let a few people, from the many who make a request, have very short periods of work experience in the Leeds office. I give first consideration to students whose home is in the constituency or who attend constituency schools. On principle I will not seek to take unfair advantage of students who may seek to work as interns as I cannot offer employment. Sadly the difficulty many students face post graduation is a direct consequence of the economic failure of the Tory / Liberal Democrat government to establish a growing economy and therefore create many more worthwhile jobs at every level."

Like many MPs, Fabian receives a large number of requests each year from people, usually recent graduates, who ask if their are any employement or internship vacancies in his office at Westminster or at the constituency office. It is a most distressing experience for Fabian to have to disappoint those who enquire as he has no possibility of offering additional paid employment in connection with his duties as MP.