The Elitism of Unpaid Internships

As a young person working in the field of public relations, I was extremely lucky to get to where I am without needing to undertake internships. However, the field which I always strove to get into was politics, and the door to this world was unfortunately closed tight. When people feel like they have been dealt an injustice, they must feel like they can turn to their representatives for redress. However, when an unpaid intern approaches their legislator about their exploitation, they find that they too use the exact same methods of unpaid labour. 

Progression for me remains extremely difficult, since as a native of the North and a father to a one year old girl, the option of doing unpaid work is impossible. I come into contact with unpaid interns on a regular basis, but in my eyes they are not the real victims in all of this. As opposed to concerning myself with the mistreatment of the young people currently holding these unpaid positions, my sympathies lay with those who have been excluded from these opportunities.

The majority of young people in the UK are not privileged enough to be born and raised in London, and therefore have no base in which they can reside free of charge. Also, these people do not live off daddy's credit card and must therefore go out into the world of work and succeed on their own merit. This group, it must be said, consists of a high number of individuals within ethnic minorities - who have been excluded from industries such as PR, journalism, and politics for a very long time.

You would be surprised to learn that far from being a Marxist, I am a libertarian conservative. This being said, my principles have always made me champion the principle of meritocracy and challenge elitism and exclusion. Unfortunately, London (now the most expensive city in the world) has a job market which is built on the foundations of unfairness.

Naturally, I understand that many who undertake unpaid internships also cannot afford to live without pay and have found themselves having to get by with basic rations. This too cannot be tolerated in a modern economy which should be preparing future generations to become the leaders of tomorrow. Many graduates in the North have found themselves stuck in low-skilled and low-paid jobs while their affluent counterparts slip into industries such as journalism, fashion, public relations, and politics.

However, until graduates and undergraduates collaborate and refuse to apply for such positions as one unit, reform remains highly unlikely. For this reason, we must rally parliamentarians and senior party figures to help defend the rights of hard-working and self-sufficient young people in our country.